Dean charges towards Jamaica; Erin returns

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:37 PM GMT on August 19, 2007

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Hurricane Dean continues to pound Haiti and the Dominican Republic with high winds and heavy rain, and is headed for a very close encounter with Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Early this morning, winds at Barahona on the southernmost point of land of the Dominican Republic hit 52 mph, gusting to 104 mph. Sustained hurricane force winds are expected to remain well south of both Haiti and the Dominican Republic, but a major spiral band has brought extremely heavy rain to the south portion of both countries.


Figure 1. Microwave satellite image of Dean taken at 7:17am EDT Sunday August 19. Think of this as a weather radar in space--the red areas show where the most intense thunderstorms in the spiral bands and eyewall are occurring. Note the incomplete double ring of echoes around the dark blue eye. Dean has two eyewalls, concentric around each other.

Jamaica and the Cayman Islands
Jamaica is already receiving high winds and heavy rain from an outer spiral band. How bad will it get? The big question is if the eyewall will move over the island. Unfortunately for Jamaica, Dean has two eyewalls, forming concentric rings (Figure 1). The inner eyewall is 15 miles in diameter, and the outer eyewall is 37 miles in diameter. Winds of Category 3 and 4 strength are blowing in both eyewalls, as seen in the latest data from the SFMR surface winds taken by the Hurricane Hunters. So, Dean's center has to pass more than 25 miles south of Jamaica for the island to be spared the worst of the hurricane. The nation's capital, Kingston, lies on the southern portion of the island, and will be the hardest-hit major city. The tourist city of Montego Bay is on the northern part of Jamaica, and will fare much better.

The same story holds true for the Cayman Islands. Grand Cayman, the southernmost of the islands, it at greatest risk. If Dean passes more than 30 miles south of the island, they will miss seeing the outer eyewall of Dean and will fare relatively well. It's going to be a close call, but it appears that both Jamaica and the Cayman will miss seeing the eyewall of Dean.

Mexico and Texas
Mexico will not be so lucky, and will receive a double beating. Dean is expected to make landfall twice, once near the tourist havens of Cozumel, and then again south of the Texas border. Mexico has to hope that the steering currents will be kind and take Dean south of the most heavily populated regions of the Yucatan. Hurricane Emily of 2005 grazed the southern tip of Cozumel Island as a Category 4 hurricane with 135 mph winds, and Dean may follow a similar path. Mexicans can take heart in the fact that Emily caused no deaths in Mexico, and damage was surprisingly light. Most of the tourist regions were relatively unaffected by Emily--it was Wilma two months later that really punished the Mexican Riviera.

As for Texas, it looks right now like only extreme southern Texas near Brownsville needs to worry about Dean. Hurricane Emily hit 90 miles south of Brownsville as a Category 3 hurricane in 2005, and I expect a similar story will unfold for Dean. Emily brought sustained winds of about 40 mph to extreme south Texas, a 4-5 foot storm surge, eight tornadoes, and heavy rains. Damage was minor.

Links to follow:
Radar in Piln, Cuba.
Radar from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Morphed microwave animation.
Kingston, Jamaica observations.
Montego Bay, Jamaica observations.
Grand Cayman observations.

After Dean, what next?
There is an area of disturbed weather that has formed off the northeast coast of South America, 400 miles southest of Barbados. Wind shear is 20-25 knots in this region, and will stay too high to allow develoment for at least the next two days. None of the reliable computer models are suggesting anything will develop over the coming week. The ITCZ region between Africa and the Lesser Antilles is relatively quiet.

Erin returns
The remains of Tropical Storm Erin re-intensified this morning into a major storm that slammed central Oklahoma with rains up to seven inches and wind gusts of tropical storm strength. The radar presentation of Erin's remains (Figure 2) looks remarkable tropical storm-like. I've saved a long animation of this "landcane". Numerous flood watches, flood warnings, and severe thunderstorm warnings have been posted for Oklahoma today.


Figure 2. The remains of Tropical Storm Erin re-intensified into a remarkably tropical storm-like cyclone today.

Typhoon Sepat
Typhoon Sepat has moved inland over mainland China, after hitting as a Category 1 storm. Earlier, Sepat hit Taiwan as a Category 3 typhoon. No deaths occurred on Taiwan, but at least 15 died in China--11 of them in a tornado spawned by the typhoon.

I'll have a full update Monday morning, and may have a short update later today.

Jeff Masters

Hurricane Dean South coast Antigua (RHLK)
Hurricane Dean South coast Antigua

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1326. pottery2
7:22 PM AST on August 19, 2007
Chicklit, Our friends in the Caymans must be under heavy manners now. My nephew flew in there yesterday, ( Foolish ) to play in a rugby tournament starting Monday. Apparently, they all managed to get out today, back to Miami. ( crazy )
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1325. bluewaterblues
11:21 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
I will say again !!!

The latest movement to the North is not a wobble. It is the jog to the North that I predicted tonight. This movement will continue as the ULL is now getting a definate pull on this system. Expect the continued Northwest movement until the brush with the Yucatan penninsula and then all bets are off.

People along the Texas coast remain on guard and do not buy into the consensus of the models. This system is still to hard to call and to many variables can come into play. The turn has begun get ready!!!!
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1324. flibinite
11:20 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
Unless the Cuban radar shot is not north-south aligned, Dean appears to be moving due west at the moment. And Chicklit, no one responded to my comment that the FSU-5 (is that the super-ensemble?) still has it moving through Cancun up into Brownsville-Corpus Christi. Again, I don't think that's right at all, but it was still showing that as of the 12Z run.

Jo
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1323. rainraingoaway
5:21 PM CST on August 19, 2007
hello again...just the mouse in the corner lurking....lol

posted 2x but nobody answered the first and the second never appeared..

could dean just follow the ULL in the GOM nw? it looks to be going towards corpus. also, could the ULL develop into anything? didnt erin start off that way? i live southwest of houston near the coast and sure dont want dean (or more rain) to come our way.

thanks, all & hagn
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1322. Spoon
11:23 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
I must have missed the link... where are you all getting current wind speeds for Kingston?
1321. sflhurricane
11:23 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
Is the CMC on crack.. that area to the NE of the Leewards is getting sheared apart... Way too hostile of an environment for anything to develop
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1320. Chicklit
11:22 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
Link

Jamaica Radio Link to Nationwide News Network
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1318. Stormy2day
7:23 PM EDT on August 19, 2007
900mb

I've been listening via
http://www.wrbn.net/

no streaming issues or static
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1317. 900MB
11:23 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
Link for Kingson radio..anyone, please...
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1316. katadman
11:22 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
Thought youmight be a Russ M that I know from Humble.
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1314. SWFLdrob
11:20 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
Posted By: MTCseadrifter at 11:16 PM GMT on August 19, 2007.

AAARRGHH! Doesn't continual "jogging" to one direction indicate that a turn towards the direction of the jog is possible? example: Rita was forecasted to track to the Middle Texas Coast while moving wnw then came a period of jogging to the nw then eventually a turn to the nw and into TX/LA border. Also, I agree that the NHC has had this storm "pegged" for a while now and that is what bothers me because it is rare for the NHC to keep these scwewy wittle wabbits under thier gun for so long..... Just a thought :(


Powerful storms (or storms in general) do not always move in a straight line. They wobble around...which Dean has done for 3-4 days now.
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1313. littlefish
11:15 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
ULL ot the N of the 50-55W wave looks like it got obliterated but there's still shear on ystem as if ULL is stillthere (southerly shear). Other weird thing is the water vapor loop almost show a little rotation out in front of the wave around 22N 57W. Any idea what that is? It aint a ULL I don't think (wasn't there before). Maybe just part of the upper wave feature picking up on WV loop?
1312. sflhurricane
11:20 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
Taz, obviously you dont know much about weather.. stop scaring people... There is a BUILDING area of High Pressure that is shielding Dean from ever being a threat to the US
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1311. NOWORRIES
7:21 PM EDT on August 19, 2007
There does not appear to be any other storms forming within the next 10 days...and after that it would be at least 5 days before nearing the US mainland...you will go back to school:-)
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1310. seafarer459
11:18 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
Roman ,

Northern eyewall on shore???
Did not look that way to me on the floater..
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1309. sngalla
7:21 PM EDT on August 19, 2007
Masterforecaster the CMC has it hitting South Florida in 144 hours or about 6 days.
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1308. katadman
11:14 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
If you notice in this wide loop:
Link

Dean is heading almost exactly toward the center of the ULL. I would expect that as the ULL moves to the west, any shift to the north in Dean's track is unlikely.
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1307. 900MB
11:19 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
dang it, lost my kingston radio stream..anyone have a good link, please?
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1305. presslord
7:19 PM EDT on August 19, 2007
Any of you 'forecasters' have any thoughts on what the market is gonna do tomorrow?
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1304. Xion
11:20 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
Check out this frame of the satellite.

HERE

The slightest jog north or northwest will put most of southern Jamaica into the northeastern eyewall.

It is already skimming the coast.
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1303. bobcane
11:17 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
Even the GFDL has given up on the northern turn as have I. It is west. It will be west. The ULL has moved far enough away that has no influence any longer and that closes the door on a north turn.
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1302. nola70119
11:19 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
I agree with Taz, its slightly north of the models, whether this means anything I have no idea, but the path appears to be on the northern edge of the NHC cones.
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1301. Chicklit
11:19 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
I agree Pottery...Jamaica is taking a beating and will keep having to withstand 140+ winds for another eight or nine hours until Dean leaves for the open waters and then pounds the Caymans.
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1300. Tazmanian
4:18 PM PDT on August 19, 2007
Posted By: Chicklit at 4:17 PM PDT on August 19, 2007.

http://www.weatherunderground.com/tropical/tracking/at200704_model.html
Link
Do ANY of these models show a northward turn?
(The answer is NO...)



thats be come they are worth less now if it dos not strat turn mor W in to mx if it keeps going WNW then it will run in to the gulf of mx
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1299. saltydog1111
11:18 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
So is the general consensus around Tampico, MX then? Plus/Minus 30-50 miles....???
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1298. MasterForecaster
11:11 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
i just wish the "Blob" soon to be FELIX would hurry up. i dont want to go back to school. haha. (joke)

whats the earliest anyone sees this storm becomeing any trouble for us floridians?
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1296. cantoriesnumber1fan
11:10 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
It seems like a lot of people think Kingston was spared the brunt of the storm and while I can somewhat agree (could have tracked 30 miles more north)...they experienced close to the worst possible scenerio for them being in the NE quadrant.
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1295. NOWORRIES
7:17 PM EDT on August 19, 2007
At current track, Texas will get little more than alot more rain. Granted it is not needed there, but hurricane winds and surge will not be seen in Texas.
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1294. Xion
11:17 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
The latest satellite frame puts the entire southern part of Jamaica in the eyewall it seems...or right near it.
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1293. Stormy2day
7:14 PM EDT on August 19, 2007
Looking at the currents, water vapor images, etc. - I would be more apt to argue that Dean is going to go south of the existing track vs. a northern turn. It looks to me like Dean is going to have to fight hard to make it to the GOM after crossing the Yucatan.
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1292. pottery2
7:14 PM AST on August 19, 2007
The wind and heavy seas will be going directly into Kingston city and the harbour., now, ,and for the past hour or so.
This is a bad one for Jamaica. Not Irie atall at all.
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1291. Chicklit
11:17 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
http://www.weatherunderground.com/tropical/tracking/at200704_model.html
Link
Do ANY of these models show a northward turn?
(The answer is NO...)
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1290. russm1
11:13 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
Posted By: katadman at 11:11 PM GMT on August 19, 2007.

RussM1. Where are you from?


Fort Worth, Tx.
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1289. MTCseadrifter
11:05 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
AAARRGHH! Doesn't continual "jogging" to one direction indicate that a turn towards the direction of the jog is possible? example: Rita was forecasted to track to the Middle Texas Coast while moving wnw then came a period of jogging to the nw then eventually a turn to the nw and into TX/LA border. Also, I agree that the NHC has had this storm "pegged" for a while now and that is what bothers me because it is rare for the NHC to keep these scwewy wittle wabbits under thier gun for so long..... Just a thought :(
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1288. HurricaneRoman
11:15 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
The northern eyewall went onshore thats why kingston is seeing cat 3 winds
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1287. jake436
5:11 PM CST on August 19, 2007
Posted By: taco2me61 at 5:09 PM CST on August 19, 2007.

Mobilebayrat,
The answer is yes.... With the way the storm is coming in, the storm surge will be high from Corpus Christy Tx to Brownsville Tx



Not exactly...Of course it would depend on how far south of the border it hit. But the main thing is...and I would think that someone with MobileBay in their screenname would know this...is that the MS and Mobile Bay areas are more susceptible to surge than anywhere else along the Gulf Coast...due to the shallow shelf. Also, Mobile Bay is situated so that the mouth of it acts as a funnel for northward moving surge...which is what Katrina brought. Also, Dean...as impressive as he is...isn't nearly the physical size of Katrina...so the affected area won't be as large. Of course, there is plenty of time for Dean to grow...both in strength and size...but it's unlikely he will attain the physical size of Katrina.
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1286. extreme236
11:14 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
well with all the TCHP in the area in a few hours dean could start to strengthen when it begins to move a bit farther away
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1285. russh46
11:13 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
Don't forget that the NHC re-positions the track as Dean passes them whether to the north or south of the projected line.
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1284. ThePainkiller
11:13 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
Posted By: CFL at 11:12 PM GMT on August 19, 2007.

TWC says Dean is tied for the 4th strongest eastern carribean hurricane on record


They showed 924 mb on their graphic but I think it was actually down to 918 mb at one point last night, not sure if that was east of 70W, though.
1283. SWFLdrob
11:13 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
here ya go mg

Link
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1282. Stormy2day
7:11 PM EDT on August 19, 2007
Moving north? That isn't what I see. I see it moving WNW. It seems to be moving along the NHC track. Taz, do you have something that shows the north turn/direction you reference?
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1281. listenerVT
11:12 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
And now for a word to our sponsor...
Note to advertisers: I'm getting really tired of that cruel Rosie photo. How about something positive for a change?

Just getting back home.
Is the pressure rising a sign of weakening or just a pause as Dean passes near and over a bit of land?
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1280. Tazmanian
4:12 PM PDT on August 19, 2007
sorry for the miss up evere one its going WNW i hop this dos not keep going or it will be in the gulf of mx here soon then mode runs that was point it to mx will be worth less
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5092 Comments: 115683
1279. SWFLdrob
11:12 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
Posted By: mgreen91 at 11:11 PM GMT on August 19, 2007.

Posted By: Tazmanian at 11:09 PM GMT on August 19, 2007.

mgreen91 yes its moveing N right now and that would take in in to the hot waters of the gulf of mx if that keeps up
Is taz right about this?

my answer is no. Seems to be chugging along the NHC points to me. wobbles a bit more north every once in a while, but is then answered with a more due west wobble...hence the average, around WNW.
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1278. mgreen91
11:11 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
Posted By: russm1 at 11:10 PM GMT on August 19, 2007.

Posted By: SWFLdrob at 11:08 PM GMT on August 19, 2007.

seems to be chugging along WNW to me.


Thats what I'm seeing....
Post the link you are looking at, no time for games
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1276. extreme236
11:12 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
once dean begins to move away from jamaica in a few hours the HH's might find some strengthening
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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