20 August 2007

Dean hits Jamaica, heads for Yucatan...

Over the weekend, Dean achived maximum CAT4 intensity (130kts) with a low central pressure of 918mb.  It scraped by Jamaica yesterday afternoon/evening, with the eye remaining offshore but the northern eyewall brushing the island. Jamaica faired rather well, with the primary damage being infrastructure.  Dean has claimed at least 7 lives so far though, in Martinique, St. Lucia, Dominica, and Haiti.

The position at 15Z was 17.9N 82.4W and heading west at 18kts.  Intensity is 130kts and 925mb.  Hurricane warnings are in effect for the Caymans, the Yucatan Peninsula (east and west sides), and Belize.

Dean is in an environment that could barely be more conducive to strengthening.  It is expected to reach CAT5 status in time for landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula and northern Belize Tuesday morning.  SSTs are presently around 29C and expected to increase to 30C by landfall.  Vertical shear is minimal, but should pick up quite a bit in the Bay of Campeche, limiting Dean's intensity for its second Mexican landfall.

http://einstein.atmos.colostate.edu/~mcnoldy/tropics/hovmoller/atlantic/ shows a nice progression of Dean and the waves behind Dean.  The images on there are slices of IR imagery 12 degrees high by 80 degrees wide, every 12 hours for 7 days, with the newest on top.

There's a potent easterly wave trying to get organized in the central Atlantic; it left the African coast back on August 15 and is now located about 2000km east of the Bahamas and is moving west at 18kts.  Most models do not develop it, but the few that do REALLY do... the next name on deck is Felix.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

No comments:

Post a Comment