On the afternoon of July 3, aircraft recon investigated a broad area of disturbed weather just off the eastern Yucatan coast and located a closed low-level circulation, warranting an upgrade to TD3. It tracked right over the Yucatan peninsula, limiting any chance for immediate development. By the morning of the 4th, it had entered the southern Gulf of Mexico and by the morning of the 5th (today) was upgraded to TS Cindy. Cindy is not very well organized, and most of the deep convection and banding are on the eastern half. As of 15Z, the storm was located at 27.0N 90.4W and tracking N at 12kts. Intensity is 45kts and 1002mb. No significant changes in intensity are forecast before it makes landfall on southern Louisiana (near the Mississippi River delta) later tonight. Although it's a weak storm, southern LA is extremely flood-prone because much of it is at or below sea level. This track would actually be tragic for New Orleans if this were a major hurricane. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from Intracoastal City, LA eastward to Destin, FL. At 03Z today, a strong tropical wave in the eastern Caribbean Sea was upgraded to TD4. At 15Z it was upgraded to TS Dennis, and the satellite presentation continues to improve. This is extremely rare for three reasons: 1) this is the forth named storm and it's only July 5, 2) all four named storms have had purely tropical origins, and 3) the central Caribbean is climatologically hostile for development in July. All signs point to Dennis becoming a hurricane within about 24 hours... very warm SSTs, low shear, and a robust circulation already in place. As of 15Z, Dennis was located at 13.3N 66.6W and tracking WNW at 16kts. Yes, 16kts is very fast motion, but the easterlies are deep, so the vertical shear is still kept at a minimum. The maximum sustained winds are 35kts and the MSLP is 1006mb. The forecast track takes it between Cuba and Jamaica, then over western Cuba, then into the Gulf by early this weekend. All residents of the northern Gulf coast (LA, MS, AL, FL panhandle) should be watching this very closely... landfall as a hurricane is quite possible on Sunday/Monday.Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.
05 July 2005
Cindy and Dennis form in a very active early season...
Posted by at 1:31 PM