After a long and circuitous journey to land over the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic on October 12th, 2002, Kyle weakened to a non-tropical entity in the North Atlantic. Nevertheless, Kyle was one of the longest lasting storms in the Atlantic Basin's history as it lasted some 23 days. It also changed strength quite frequently as it went from a depression to tropical storm, and then up to hurricane strength for a brief period.
It then went back down to storm status, where it would fluctuate in intensity and drop to even depression status. Like its predecessors, Isidore and Lili, Kyle was very resilient, and even more than its formers, but it was more nuisance as it meandered in the Western Atlantic. After weeks of floating about the Atlantic in limbo, Kyle finally made up its mind, and moved inland over the Carolinas before heading back out to sea.
Kyle began as a subtropical depression in the North Central Atlantic some 825 miles to the Southeast of the resort island of Bermuda. Kyle gave us an idea of its resilience right from the beginning as it acquired more tropical characteristics and became a tropical storm at 5 PM EDT on Sunday, September 22, 2002.
The storm would continue to hover around a large subtropical ridge in the Central Atlantic, and actually started its long and crazy journey to land in the United States. What was so weird about this storms eventual track was the fact that it was way out in the Northern Atlantic, where steering currents turn storms eastward. While this was beginning to occur, the storm strengthened, and on Wednesday, September 25, 2002, Kyle strengthened to a hurricane in the 5 PM Advisory from the NHC.
Kyle didn't stop there as it strengthened to nearly Category Two strength with winds of 85 mph. While Isidore had lost its punch, and Lili was going through turmoil of her own, Kyle seemed to be on its way to being the headlining storm in the Atlantic. However, that would change as Kyle weakened below hurricane strength.
Although, it seemed well on its way to becoming a significant hurricane, Kyle's run as one wouldn't last long. Shearing Northwesterly winds over the storm hindered thunderstorms from developing near the center, and on the morning of September 28th, 2002, Kyle was downgraded to a tropical storm at the 11 AM Advisory from the National Hurricane Center.
By this time, Kyle was beginning to become a potential problem for the Bahamas and Bermuda, which had no idea that it was going to get a visit from Kyle a week or so ago. Kyle was heading Westward at this point, and the storm would take yet another turn to the south as it moved toward the Bahamas. Again, though, the steering currents would not be kind, and not only weakened the storm to a depression, but it stopped the storm's motion dead in its tracks.
The storm would continue to drift, stop, and then move slowly again for the next two weeks as Kyle would not go away easily. But, as impulses would head down from the polar regions, and cool temperatures in the Northeast while bringing some stormy weather, Kyle would finally head back toward land, and this time, it was for good.
After spinning out in limbo in the Western Atlantic for a couple weeks, Kyle finally made a turn to the west-northwest. Located about 400 miles from Cape Hatteras on the outer banks of North Carolina on the late afternoon of October 6th, 2002, Kyle finally made up its mind to head toward land as it seemed to get tired of being in the water for so long.
Nevertheless, at this point, Kyle entered the top ten for longest lasting Atlantic Storms on record as it entered its 18th day of activity. Kyle didn't stop there as it fluctuated between tropical storm and depression strength. It closed to within about a few miles of the Carolina coast, Kyle turned to the Northeast. Kyle would soon brush the Outer Banks, and then head out to sea where it became extratropical.
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