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 Pilón, 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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1026. druseljic
9:37 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
Medicroc - open-water-wobble-watcher. LOL!!!
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1025. extreme236
9:36 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
THE SMALL AREA OF LOW PRESSURE LOCATED 300 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST OF
BARBADOS IS EMBEDDED WITHIN A BROAD SURFACE TROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE
ASSOCIATED WITH A TROPICAL WAVE. SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENT OF THE
LOW NEAR BARBADOS APPEARS UNLIKELY. SHOWER ACTIVITY ASSOCIATED
WITH THE WAVE HAS INCREASED SLIGHTLY TODAY...HOWEVER...A FEW
HUNDRED MILES NORTHEAST OF THE LEEWARD ISLANDS...AND SLOW
DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SYSTEM IS POSSIBLE DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF
DAYS AS IT MOVES WEST-NORTHWESTWARD AT 15 TO 20 MPH.

Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
1023. OUFan919
9:35 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
I was just going to post that C2News, I have noticed a little wobble to the north too whish will bring the eyewall closer and closer to Jamiaca. It still could miss it just to the south though.
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1022. weathermanwannabe
5:32 PM EDT on August 19, 2007
As I said this morning, NHC has nailed this forcast and I would not expect it to change much over the next 48 hours....I would guess that the next major issue for Dean will be how much the Yucatan will weaken the storm before is crosses into the Bay of Campeche......BTW, so grateful that the storm is passing to the South of Jamaica (although it looks like the eyewall is going to graze the southernmost part of the island)...
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1021. CosmicEvents
9:33 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
Posted By: medicroc at 9:32 PM GMT on August 19, 2007.

Does it look to anyone that Dean has taken a little wobble north towards the south coast of the island? Please be advised I'm not an open-water-wobble-watcher, but a wobble this close to land can have serious consequences I take it?
.
.Normally not a good idea to be fixated on wobbles...they tend to even out. But wobbles when a cyclone is this close to a strike are critically important.
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1020. extreme236
9:34 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
So JFlorida I dont understand what you are telling me. Are you saying im a fool for believing that the ridge will hold dean southward and keep it away from most of the united states?
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
1019. bluewaterblues
9:33 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
I agree that the North turn is coming late tonight. look for it to brush the yucatan penninsula and the watch out.


It is gonna happen be ready !!!
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1018. samiam1234
9:26 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
why are ppl wishing this things tracks more North then the tracking points.. are they wanting the US land mass to be back in the thick of things.. If this thing goes North and misses the Yucatan we here in Texas are in a heap load of trouble.. I want this thing to hit the least populated areas... but Texas coast in densely populated.. let this thing go where its suppose to.. Mexico.
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1017. iahishome
9:32 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
Hmm, can't say I agree JFlorida... I'm pretty sure that any preparations Texas and/or Louisiana took were not due to a post of 236.

The probability for tropical storm force winds as far up as the Texas/Louisiana border was greater than 10% for a while yesterday, so preparation is prudent and can't really be blamed on a blogger LoL.

We are more useful to individual people than governments, which should always utilize the official forecast as their tool to prepare.
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1016. headshaker
9:27 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
Well, it looks like it's Mexico and Texas is going to get lucky.
Member Since: August 19, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 155
1015. C2News
5:31 PM EDT on August 19, 2007
Posted By: medicroc at 5:32 PM EDT on August 19, 2007.
Does it look to anyone that Dean has taken a little wobble north towards the south coast of the island? Please be advised I'm not an open-water-wobble-watcher, but a wobble this close to land can have serious consequences I take it?


Yes, look at this satellite...LINK
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1014. Fl30258713
9:30 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
extreme236

If I lived anywhere along the Texas coast I would be packed up ready to go and in here trying to figure out when or if I should leave.

Dean still has a long way to go before it is gone. New variables are always in the path.

Plan for the worst and hope for the best is always the smartest plan.
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1013. whipster
3:32 PM CST on August 19, 2007
medicroc I see it too
Member Since: August 14, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 439
1011. medicroc
9:29 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
Does it look to anyone that Dean has taken a little wobble north towards the south coast of the island? Please be advised I'm not an open-water-wobble-watcher, but a wobble this close to land can have serious consequences I take it?
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1009. CosmicEvents
9:28 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
For future reference....keep in mind the innacurate alarmist forecast from Accuweather that as usual aimed the cyclone towards the place of greatest calamity....first SFla, then Houston.
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1008. BahaHurican
5:21 PM EDT on August 19, 2007
Mrgreen,

which islands are u trying to give a break again? the only way for Dean to get out of the caribbean to the north is to hit an island - Cuba, The Bahamas - u get the drift.

Once it's in the caribbean, nary a storm gets out without affecting SOMEBODY.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22736
1007. extreme236
9:27 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
Posted By: JFLORIDA at 9:26 PM GMT on August 19, 2007.

extreme236 and since the ridge didn't build in till last night you look a fool or are at least grossly misrepresenting as the entire state of Texas was preparing for a disaster - as was Louisiana.


?
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
1006. whipster
3:28 PM CST on August 19, 2007
He's growing another arm to the NW.
Member Since: August 14, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 439
1005. snowboy
9:23 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
the NHC has done very well with this storm, as has Jamaica.. Original NHC track had Dean running right over the length of the island, and as we can see that has not come to pass. This is great news!
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1004. georgia325
9:27 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
Anyone have a clue when the ridge is supposed to back off the southeast us? I live in Atlanta and I'm sick of the intense heat
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1003. Fl30258713
9:24 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
JFLORIDA,

On every projected track for Dean I think the NHC has done a great job in locating where Dean is and where to start the new track.

everytime,lol. ;-)
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1002. madmattforhurricanes
9:27 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
guys one question,,, if the rdge formed so fast could it also dissipate??? i am asking please don't jump me i am trying to learn here..thankyoufor any answer
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1001. setfree7
4:27 PM CDT on August 19, 2007
I knew Erin wasn't moving south. don't remember who said that, but NOT!
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1000. orion45
9:27 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
extreme236. Bad wording on my part. Did not mean to imply a decrease to a CAT 3, just some disruption because of contact with land.
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999. OUFan919
9:24 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
According to the Norman, Oklahoma page, Erin isn't moving South. Erin is currently in NE Oklahoma and moving NE into SW Missouri.
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997. extreme236
9:25 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
The only way Florida could be hit and all of the north wishcasters would be happy is if Jim Cantore went there lol
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
996. moonlightcowboy
9:24 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
Cancun Cantore!
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995. extreme236
9:24 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
Posted By: KnowYourRole at 9:23 PM GMT on August 19, 2007.

Posted By: extreme236 at 5:21 PM EDT on August 19, 2007.

Nope, the ridge of high pressure will stop it. storms dont just break through ridges like that

that's not true extreme. they can break through on this blog ***sarcasm***


LOL
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
994. sturmvogel
9:16 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
To: KnowYourRole

Thanks for your reply. In trusting the models, I think and hope that you are right. I wonder how they factor it all in?

Thanks
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993. extreme236
9:23 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
Posted By: JFLORIDA at 9:23 PM GMT on August 19, 2007.

extreme236 who said that?


1million said that
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
992. KnowYourRole
5:23 PM EDT on August 19, 2007
Posted By: extreme236 at 5:21 PM EDT on August 19, 2007.

Nope, the ridge of high pressure will stop it. storms dont just break through ridges like that


that's not true extreme. they can break through on this blog ***sarcasm***
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991. TxBjn
9:22 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
80 mph sustained Kingston
METAR MKJP 192100Z 14070KT 1000 BKN010 SCT016 OVC080 XX/XX Q0992

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989. KnowYourRole
5:20 PM EDT on August 19, 2007
Posted By: mgreen91 at 5:19 PM EDT on August 19, 2007.
I hope Dean heads North and give the Islands a beak.


Considering they just shifted the official track further south at the 5:00pm update, it's not going to turn North.

THE INITIAL MOTION IS 280/17. THERE IS NO MAJOR CHANGE TO THE
FORECAST THINKING...ALTHOUGH MODEL GUIDANCE HAS BEEN TRENDING
SOUTHWARD...WITH NEARLY ALL OF THE LARGE-SCALE MODELS BUILDING THE
SUBTROPICAL RIDGE WESTWARD IN TANDEM WITH DEAN. THE UPPER LOW IN
THE GULF OF MEXICO CONTINUES WESTWARD AND IS NOT EXPECTED TO BE A
MAJOR PLAYER IN THE FUTURE TRACK OF THE HURRICANE. THE OFFICIAL
FORECAST HAS BEEN SHIFTED A LITTLE TO THE SOUTH...BUT STILL LIES TO
THE NORTH OF ALL THE MAJOR MODELS EXCEPT FOR THE HWRF. ALTHOUGH I
CANNOT EXPLAIN WHY...THE DETERMINISTIC RUN OF THE GFS IS ALONG THE
SOUTHERN END OF THE GUIDANCE ENVELOPE...WHILE THE GFS ENSEMBLE
MEMBERS ARE ALMOST UNIFORMLY ALONG THE NORTHERN EDGE. BECAUSE MOST
OF THE GUIDANCE MODELS LIE TO THE SOUTH OF THE OFFICIAL FORECAST...
SOME ADDITIONAL SOUTHWARD ADJUSTMENTS TO THE TRACK ARE POSSIBLE.
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988. extreme236
9:21 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
YES IT IT! Watch... by tonight - big JOG NORTH! It will go north of the current points for the storm... even by 8 to 10 pm tonight... watch :)

Nope, the ridge of high pressure will stop it. storms dont just break through ridges like that
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
987. 7544
9:20 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
hey with ewin moving south what effect will this have on dean
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985. BahaHurican
5:16 PM EDT on August 19, 2007
Hey, jamnkats,

I think your friends are right to say wait and see. The 5 pm update on Dean seems to be shifting south - AGAIN - and it's looking more and more like south would be a bad way to go. At this rate, Corazol/Chetumal area might end up near the center of landfall!

By 5 am tomorrow morning u should have a clearer idea of the storm's path through the peninsula, but still with enough time to get away.

STAY SAFE!
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22736
984. nola70119
9:20 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
Shouldn't be that bad in any case....sounds like they are really not getting too much, even in the NW quadrant. Main point is they missed the eyewall by the 30 miles that Dr. Masters quotes in his blog,..
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983. extreme236
9:19 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
Posted By: orion45 at 9:18 PM GMT on August 19, 2007.

H2PV. Category 2 or 1 after Jamaica? Small island, albeit with a 7000 ft+ mountain, high SST, eye over water. Will loose some intensity but not that much. Also, expect rapid intensification back to a CAT 4.


It wont become a cat 3 lol. the eye and eyewall remain over water. expect strengthening if anything lol, otherwise it may just sustain itself.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
982. mgreen91
9:18 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
I hope Dean heads North and give the Islands a beak.
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981. wederwatcher555
9:18 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
the gfs was dead on with this storm. but also the NOGAPS. NOGAPS was well south of all other models the whole time which is amazing considering it initially had trouble even recognizing a system existed.
980. OUFan919
9:15 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
I have to agree CosmicEvents. The NHC has had a great track on this storm for the past couple of days. Congrats to them, they do a great job as always!
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979. orion45
9:18 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
H2PV. Category 2 or 1 after Jamaica? Small island, albeit with a 7000 ft+ mountain, high SST, eye over water. Will loose some intensity but not that much. Also, expect rapid intensification back to a CAT 4.
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978. KnowYourRole
5:16 PM EDT on August 19, 2007
I heard one elderly lady is dead and another person is missing in Oklahoma as a result of the remains of TS Erin. Anybody hear of any other deaths?
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977. 1million
9:15 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
Posted By: sturmvogel at 5:11 PM EDT on August 19, 2007.
Now it is test time for my theory that the island of Jamaca might slow the top of the storm down if the eye went south of it allowing the eye and other three quadrants to move forward with their momentum unimpeded thus bending the storm track to the north...

After Dean passes Jamacas landmass and gets over the warm slow moving waters west of the island will it strengthen and bend to the north because of the north quadrant slowing and eddy effect?

Time will tell...


the storm is not going to track north.



YES IT IT! Watch... by tonight - big JOG NORTH! It will go north of the current points for the storm... even by 8 to 10 pm tonight... watch :)



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976. extreme236
9:16 PM GMT on August 19, 2007
recon will be in dean in about 2.5 hrs or so
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234

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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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