22 October 2005

Wilma STILL pounding the Yucatan, and TS Alpha forms...

Since Friday morning, Cozumel, Cancun, and the entire tip of the Yucatan peninsula have been pummeled by a major hurricane, including 100-130mph sustained winds and over 5 FEET of rain.  This could be a catastrophic blow to these populated resort areas.  Once again, the latest radar image from Cancun can be found at
and there is a growing (now pretty large) radar loop at http://einstein.atmos.colostate.edu/~mcnoldy/tropics/wilma/Wilma_Radar.gif
The radar imagery still shows a very well-defined and large eyewall 75 miles across.

Wilma is now located right on the northern coast of the Yucatan and creeping north at 2kts.  Intensity is down to 85kts and 957mb.  As it drifts off the coast and enters the Gulf, it could re-intensify a bit.
The hurricane force winds extend out 75 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend out about 160 miles from the center. A Hurricane Watch has been issued for all of southern Florida, basically south of Tampa and Cape Canaveral.  US landfall is expected midday Monday as a CAT2 hurricane near Fort Myers.  The Florida Keys are under a mandatory evacuation as well.

This morning at 15Z, the first advisory was written on TD25, which formed in the eastern Caribbean.  Even more amazing is that this came from an African wave about 10-11 days ago.  Then at 21Z, it was upgraded to Tropical Storm Alpha, the 22nd named storm of the season.  This now sets the record for the highest number of named storms ever in the Atlantic.  The plan in place was to use the Greek alpha bet once the English alphabet is used up (and only 21 of 26 letters are used).

It has become much better organized throughout the day, showing healthy banding features and outflow.  It is just a few miles south of the Dominican Republic and is headed north toward it, hindering any chances for development, but still will cause heavy rain thoughout Hispaniola. A Tropical Storm Warning is in place for Hispaniola and the eastern Bahama islands.  The forecast is to head north then northeast into the open ocean, and probably not making it to hurricane intensity.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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