Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.
By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:47 PM GMT on July 05, 2005
OK--its got a name, but this one will have no fame. Big brother Dennis is going to steal all the headlines this week. I've been championing Cindy as a beneficial drought-busting tropical storm, but the very real possibility exists that Cindy may dump enough rain over the Centeral Gulf states tomorrow that a direct hit by big brother Dennis next week over the same area would cause much more severe inland flooding problems than it otherwise would.
Dr. Jeff Masters
Entry from Monday, July 4
Tropical Depression Three still looks like its hanging together enough to survive crossing the Yucatan crossing. There is plenty of dry air on the southwest side of the storm, but lots of deep convection on the northeast side, and a large enough circulation that the storm will have plenty of spin to re-energize the inner core convection once the center emerges over water.
As for the Yucatan being a "hurricane killing" traverse, let's look at the stats of those storms the past 10 years that attempted to cross the Yucatan:
Isidore (2002) hit the Yucatan as a Category 3, weakened to a 40 mph tropical storm, then gradually strenthened the next two days before hitting Louisiana as a 65 mph tropical storm.
Keith (2000) hit the Yucatan as a Category 4, weakened to tropical depression, then took 2 days to regain strength in the Gulf after the crossing and hit Mexico south of Brownsville as a Category 1 hurricane.
Katrina (1999) hit the Yucatan as a tropical depression, then died before it made the crossing.
Dolly (1996) hit the Yucatan as a Category 1, weakened to a tropical depression, then stregthened back to a Category 1 hurricane and hit Mexico after re-emerging into the Gulf.
Roxanne (1995) hit the Yucatan as a Category 3 hurricane, weakened to a 65 mph tropical storm, then re-strengthed to a category 1 hurricane once it emerged into the Gulf.
So for these five storms, all were significantly reduced in strength, but only one was actually terminated by its Yucatan crossing. Perhaps we should call the Yucatan "the bane of hurricanes". It is rare indeed that any storm that encounters the Yucatan regains its original strength. TD 3 could very well break this convention if it survives passage today.
Dr. Jeff Masters
Entry from Sunday, July 3
We've got another tropical cyclone in the Atlantic, Tropical Depression Three in the Western Caribbean, continuing our pattern of above-average activity this hurricane season. TD 3 is only the third July tropical depression to form in the Western Caribbean in the past 136 years.
TD 3 has a large circulation envelope, so is likely to survive the crossing over the hurricane-killing Yucatan Peninsula and re-energize over the Gulf of Mexico into Tropical Storm Cindy. Will it make it to hurricane status? It's way too early to speculate, as the storm first has to survive crossing the Yucatan, then reorganize. It typically takes a storm about two days to reorganize once it crosses the Yucatan, which will give Cindy (if it makes it to Cindy-hood) just one more day over the warm Gulf of Mexico waters to intensify before it comes ashore in Texas or Louisiana. In all liklihood, Cindy will be a tropical storm, and be a blessing to drought-parched areas of Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas.
For a more detailed analysis of TD 3 and of all the happenings in the tropics this hurricane season, check out the blog of Steve Gregory, a former forecaster with the National Weather Service with 30 years experience forecasting tropical weather.
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