Hurricane Lili was the twelfth named storm and seventh hurricane of the 1990 Atlantic hurricane season. Lili developed on 6 in the Atlantic Ocean well to the southwest of the Azores. Lili initially started out as a subtropical cyclone, but ultimately acquired tropical characteristics and became a Category 1 hurricane. At one point, it appeared that Lili would make landfall along the coast of North Carolina, and thus, watches and warnings were issued for the state. Lili turned away without incident, and became extratropical on October 15 off the coast of Atlantic Canada.

Lili caused no known damage or deaths.

Hurricane Lili on October 11
FormationOctober 6, 1990
Dissipation October 15, 1990
Highest winds 75 mph
Lowest pressure 987 mbar
Deaths None
Damages Unknown
Areas affectedBermuda, East Coast of the United States, northeast U.S., Atlantic Canada
Part of the 1990 Atlantic hurricane season

Meteorological History

While Hurricane Josephine was moving cyclonically around an upper-level low located several hundred miles southwest of the Azores on October 5 and 6, the aforementioned upper low was moving toward the surface. By 0600 UTC October 6, a ship report confirmed the existence of a surface circulation, and the storm was thus deemed to have become a subtropical cyclone at this time. The storm was classified subtropical because the strongest winds were well removed from the circulation center. Over the next two days, satellite imagery indicated that the cyclone gradually shed its subtropical characteristics, and became a fully tropical cyclone. Lili became a hurricane at 0000 UTC October 11 while moving westward at a swift forward speed of 25 mph. Over the following 18 hours, the hurricane moved south of due west to due strong ridging to the north. At 2100 UTC October 11, Lili passed about 120 miles south of Bermuda, just prior to the first aircraft reconnaissance missions into the cyclone. Lili changed little in strength over the following three days, as per raissance reports. By 1200 UTC October 13, Lili weakened to a tropical storm as it passed less than 170 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. A high pressure area located over Newfoundland had dropped southeastward and become quasti-stationary near 40°N 50°W. The high subsequently dipped further to the southeast, which caused a southwesterly steering flow over Lili, causing it to move northeast and away from the East Coast of the United States. On October 15, Lili became extratropical just to the southeast of Atlantic Canada.


On October 11, a Hurricane Warning was posted for Bermuda, but was downgraded to a Tropical Storm Warning at 1900 UTC that day as Lili passed south of the island. Due to the quick forward speed of the cyclone, the National Hurricane Center had difficulty accurately predicting Lili's path. On October 10 and 11, it was predicted that Lili would continue moving westward and eventually make landfall in North Carolina. Because of this, a Hurricane Watch and later a Hurricane Warning were issued for the Carolinas and Virginia on October 12. The watches and warnings urged residents and tourists in North Carolina to evacuate from the coastal areas. On Ocracoke Island, an evacuation order was issued, and officials closed a campground in Cape Hatteras. In Virginia, an art festival was postponed for one week because of the threat from Hurricane Lili.

When it became apparent that Lili would recurve northeast away from the United States, the National Hurricane Center canceled all Hurricane Warnings, replacing them instead with Tropical Storm Warnings.


On October 6, several vessels came into contact with Lili, and reported sustained tropical storm force winds.

Even though Lili passed south of Bermuda, it managed to produce heavy rainfall as well as strong winds, but there were no reports of damage or fatalities on the island.

In North Carolina, Lili produced high waves that washed away part of a dune fence near the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. Rough surf from Lili caused minor beach erosion across the coast of North Carolina. As Lili moved northwestward, its outer rainbands produced heavy rainfall to New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and New England. Lili's rainbands caused heavy rainfall in Adams County, Pennsylvania, which caused significant flooding, with the flooding in the county being the worst since Hurricane Agnes in 1972. The hardest hit town within the county was Arendtsville as heavy rains from Lili caused Conwego Creek to overflow its banks. The flooding caused a harvest festival to be canceled, and also forced one family to evacuate their home via boat. Elsewhere in the county, Lili produced 6 inches of rainfall in a 12 hour period, which resulted in more flooding that caused some road closures and a log jam near the South Mountain Fairgrounds. In spite of the immense flooding, there were no reports of injuries or fatalities, and total damage is unknown.

Lili produced strong winds across portions of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, but caused no known damage or fatalities.

Lack of Retirement

Because damage was relatively minor, the name Lili was not retired in the Spring of 1991 by the World Meteorological Organization. It was used again during the 1996 season, but retired following the 2002 season. It was replaced with Laura for the 2008 season.

See also


External links

1990 Atlantic hurricane season

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