In the past 24 hours, Dennis' sustained winds have increased by 30kts and the central pressure has dropped 23mb. Now a CAT2 storm, it is heading toward Jamaica and as of this update is just 70 miles from it. At 15Z, Dennis was located at 18.0N 75.6W and tracking NW at 11kts. Intensity as measured by aircraft is 90kts and 968mb. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the Florida Keys and extreme western Cuba. Hurricane Warnings are in place for southern Haiti, all of Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and the remainder of Cuba. The forecast track takes Dennis between Jamaica and eastern Cuba, then over western Cuba, into the Gulf of Mexico by late Friday night, then possibly making landfall late Sunday or early Monday on the northern Gulf coast. The computer models and the official forecast have consistently shown the area around Mobile, AL to Pensacola, FL as the most likely target for landfall, but remember that a) forecast errors do exist and b) the storm will affect a much larger area than where the exact center of the eye passes over. Intensity is of course also important, and all skilled models and forecasters expect that landfall will occur as a major hurricane... Category 3 or 4. What this means to coastal residents in eastern LA, MS, AL, and the FL panhandle is that now is the time to begin preparing your house and yourself for evacuation. Elsewhere, a very large and impressive tropical wave exited the African coast a couple days ago and continues to show signs of an organizing broad circulation. There's a 1014mb Low embedded within the wave, and it's moving west at about 12kts. Several computer models do favor development of this wave. It would be TD5, or TS Emily if named eventually.Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.
07 July 2005
Dennis now a Category 2 hurricane...
Posted by at 11:39 AM