09 July 2005

Dennis strengthening as it heads toward US coast...

Dennis spent several hours over Cuba, causing tremendous damage to the island, but also to the storm.  The intensity had dropped to 80kts and 972mb upon exiting, but since making an appearance over the Gulf of Mexico, is now back up to 100kts and 947mb.  Location is 25.7N 84.6W and motion is NW at 12kts.

The appearance on satellite is VERY impressive now (arguably the most impressive thus far), with a warm open eye, and symmetric cold cloud tops over the eyewall.  Dennis is forecast to re-intensify to a CAT4 hurricane by the time it makes US landfall.  US landfall is still expected on Sunday afternoon between Pensacola and Mobile as a CAT4. Short term intensity fluctuations are always possible, and the damaging wind and rain will affect a much larger area than just the landfall point.

You can track the progress of the storm via radar at http://weather.gov/radar/latest/DS.p20-r/si.kevx.shtml or via infrared satellite at http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/DATA/RT/FLOAT2/IR4/20.jpg

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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