Hurricane Dean--9th strongest hurricane on record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:46 PM GMT on August 21, 2007

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Hurricane Dean powered ashore in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula this morning as a Category 5 hurricane with 165 mph winds. The pressure of 906 mb measured by the Hurricane Hunters shortly before landfall at 4:30am EDT makes Dean the ninth strongest hurricane on record in the Atlantic. This is the third lowest pressure at landfall behind the 1935 Labor Day hurricane in the Florida Keys and Hurricane Gilbert of 1988 in Cancun Mexico. Dean is also the first Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in the Atlantic Basin since Andrew of 1992.


Figure 1. Dean at landfall, as seen by the Cancun radar. Image credit: Meteorological Service of Mexico.

Radar images at landfall (Figure 1) show that Dean came ashore just north of Chetumal, Mexico, a city of 130,000 people. Dean's center passed about 15 miles north of the city, and Chetumal missed the strongest Category 5 winds of the storm. The strongest winds from Dean were in the right front quadrant on the northern side, since the forward speed of the storm adds to the rotational speed of the winds there. It appears Chetumal was just at the edge of the southern eyewall, and probably experienced sustained winds of Category 3 strength, 115 mph. We don't know, since the weather station stopped reporting data long before the storm arrived. However, a wind analysis done by NOAA's Hurricane Research Division (Figure 2) supports this estimate. The coastal area north of Chetumal where Dean's greatest fury was unleashed has a cruise ship port and a stretch of beach front development, and this region probably suffered near-total destruction.


Figure 2. Dean's winds one hour before landfall. Winds are in knots, multiply by 1.15 to convert to mph. Locations of Chetumal and the Costa Maya Cruise Ship Port are marked. Winds of Category 1 strength (65 kt) are colored yellow, and winds of minimal Category 3 strength (100 knots) are colored pink. Image credit: NOAA/Hurricane Research Division.

Further north, it appears that Cozumel probably got sustained winds near tropical storm force, 39 mph. The weather station there stopped transmitting data before the storm arrived. Cancun's winds topped out at 29 mph, gusting to 54 mph. To the south, Belize City has had top winds of 23 mph, gusting to 35 mph, so far this morning. On the western side of the Yucatan Peninsula, the winds are starting to rise at Campeche. Dean's center will pass south of Campeche, and bring tropical storm or Category 1 hurricane-force winds to the city.

Dean is powerful enough to survive the crossing of the Yucatan as a hurricane, and I expect it will be a Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph winds when it pops out into the Gulf of Mexico later today. Hurricane Janet of 1955, which hit near Chetumal as a Category 5 storm with 170 mph winds, weakened to a Category 2 storm with 105 mph winds when it popped out into the Gulf of Mexico south of Campeche. Janet was moving at about the same speed Dean is, so I expect Dean will behave similarly. Once out over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Dean has time to intensify by perhaps 15 mph before it makes a second landfall near Poza Rica. Dean will finally dissipate in the mountains about 100 miles north of Mexico City, and could bring heavy rains to the Mexican capital. No hurricane has ever survived the crossing from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific over the wide, mountainous portion of Mexico.

Links to follow today:
Campeche, Mexico observations.
Radar from Cancun, Mexico.
Belize City observations.
Morphed microwave animation.

Disturbance 92L
An area of disturbed weather associated with a tropical wave, 92L, is a few hundred miles north of Puerto Rico. This disturbance is less organized than yesterday, despite some rather favorable upper-level winds. There is some dry air to the north that may be interfering with organization, and there is probably not enough turning motion available from this tropical wave to get 92L spinning. I don't expect significant development today given its current state of disorganization, but 92L deserves close scrutiny over the next few days. None of the reliable computer models develop the system.

My live appearance tonight on Internet Partnership Radio
I'll be the guest tonight on the Internet Partnership Radio (http://www.ipr365.com). Tonight's show is called "Center of Circulation", and consists of global severe, winter, and tropical weather news/topics with up to the minute advisories, watches and warnings, safety & preparedness info, and periodic special guests. The host is Charlie Wilson. I hope you can listen in!

I may do a short update this afternoon, and the next full update will be Wednesday morning around 10am EDT.

Jeff Masters

Dean 2007 (nickmini)
A roof dumped atop another house
Dean 2007

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1218. Neponset
3:41 PM GMT on August 22, 2007
GaleW
Topo maps are produced by a gov. agency - mine are old and were produced by US Geological Survey. Perhaps someone can give an update. There are also tidal surge maps by the army corp (I believe).
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1217. Hernando44
3:11 PM GMT on August 22, 2007
Galeweather: You might check with your property appraiser's office. If they don't have the info., they can probably tell you who to contact.
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1216. PBG00
3:10 PM GMT on August 22, 2007
92L is nothing more than a wave bringing rain to Fla(its pouring here already..)
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1215. Neponset
3:09 PM GMT on August 22, 2007
Galeweather
Get a survey and skip the possible inaccuracies of some internet map. If you insist on relying on maps, get a topographic map of your area. I had a survey done two years ago for $300.
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1214. fire831rescue
2:53 PM GMT on August 22, 2007
Just saw Dr. Lyons on the Weather Channel. According to him, it looks like the middle of January in the tropics... Hmmmm. Maybe he's gone mad... Last I checked, January is a cold month where I'm at... LOL. According to what he's saying, no development in the tropics...
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1213. fire831rescue
2:46 PM GMT on August 22, 2007
Weather456, your pics you are posting aren't showing up...
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1212. fire831rescue
2:39 PM GMT on August 22, 2007
The area of disturbance off the African coast isn't showing up as a tropical wave.. Am I missing something. And the latest position on now-supposedly-dead 92L hasn't been updated... Any ideas? Just wondering why I haven't heard more on some of these systems.
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1211. Weather456
10:40 AM AST on August 22, 2007
just notice this area of t-storms in the southwest caribbean:

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1210. PBG00
2:41 PM GMT on August 22, 2007
Posted By: nash28 at 2:21 PM GMT on August 22, 2007.

WHY ARE THE PORN IMAGES STILL HERE?!?!?!?!?


Unbelievable!!Thank God the kids went back to school today..My oldest loves weather and she usually peeks when I am lookinh at the posts! I hope they banned that idiots ip...
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1209. BahaHurican
10:39 AM EDT on August 22, 2007
NEW BLOG IS UP
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1208. Weather456
10:38 AM AST on August 22, 2007
African Coast

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1207. Weather456
10:36 AM AST on August 22, 2007
Posted By: BeenThereinMiami at 2:31 PM GMT on August 22, 2007.

Weather456 - now I'm a bit confused - not an unfamiliar feeling. :-) my met courses were so long ago that I'm finding I need to relearn some concepts. Do you have a link to more info ? I can always google, but you might have a good link.
Thanks for your posts.


sure

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsoon_trough
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1206. BeenThereinMiami
2:37 PM GMT on August 22, 2007
Don't know if this post showed up before. Here is a link to damage photos from Majahual - ground zero on the Yucatan coast:

Link
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1205. BeenThereinMiami
2:31 PM GMT on August 22, 2007
Weather456 - now I'm a bit confused - not an unfamiliar feeling. :-) my met courses were so long ago that I'm finding I need to relearn some concepts. Do you have a link to more info ? I can always google, but you might have a good link.
Thanks for your posts.
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1204. Weather456
10:19 AM AST on August 22, 2007
for those that are confused with the word "monsoon trough" and "ITCZ" here is quik explanation

The monsoon trough is a convergence zone between the northeast trade winds and the southwesterlies. During summer months this trough moves so far north that the southeast trade winds cross the equator and turn to the southwest hence southwesterlies.

Now the ITCZ is very simple...a convergence zone between the southeast trade winds and the northeast trades.

Look at this Quikscat pass, the monsson trough is easily picked out. Look for the northeasterlies or easterlies then the southwesterlies and where they converge is the monsoon trough.

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1202. nash28
2:17 PM GMT on August 22, 2007
WHY ARE THE PORN IMAGES STILL HERE?!?!?!?!?

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1200. VaSurfer
2:13 PM GMT on August 22, 2007
Thanks weather456, you have to love it when a real expert comes out with an update like that, that's why I love this blog.
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1199. gthsii
2:06 PM GMT on August 22, 2007

Does anyone else see a spin at 13N/74W? Maybe it's my imagination, but I'm a little concerned about it. I hope not. Is that not about the area where Wilma formed???
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1198. Tazmanian
7:13 AM PDT on August 22, 2007
Posted By: weathers4me at 7:00 AM PDT on August 22, 2007.

Taz: Where would the steering patterns take that blob if it were to develop?

they would go W or WNW not sure
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1197. Weather456
9:43 AM AST on August 22, 2007
The Tropics Today

A highly amplified tropical wave is estimated to be near 81-82W south of 30N. The wave shows up well on 700-850 mb vorticity charts, 700-850mb winds, 315K potential vortcity charts, surface observations and quikscat. This wave is so well aplified that the quikscat pass showed an almost closed low. The wave continues to interact with a broad upper low to prodcue scattred showers/isolated thunderstorms over a large area of the Southwest North Atlnatic and Northern Caribbean.

The wave is forecast to continue on its westward course bringing up to rain to the Florida Peninsula.

Elswhere in the tropics...315K PV charts indicate that a tropical wave may have left africa around 0000 UTC today but the TAFB anaylsis does not depict that feature on its 0600 UTC Charts. Quikscat indicate that the African monsoon trough exntends from the African coast to near 30W. This is also reinforce by the cloud patterns which resemble monsoon clusters. These clusters are embedded in rich positve vorticty and low-moderate wind shear which suggest it will not take much for the next possible wave to develop.

by W456
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1196. franck
2:00 PM GMT on August 22, 2007
Beenthereinmiami....something protected the house in Majahual, a small hillside or dense palm jungle, which carried the heavy wind over the house. But the house didn't withstand 200mph gusts, unless it was of a special design, ie. made of several feet of reinforced concrete etc.
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1195. bucsfan0713
2:05 PM GMT on August 22, 2007
thanks for the instructions to delete his post....
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1194. VaSurfer
2:02 PM GMT on August 22, 2007
Few nice pulses coming off African coast, next week could get busy again
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1193. DewyCheatum
1:55 PM GMT on August 22, 2007
for palm beach evac zones go here:
http://gisweb.co.palm-beach.fl.us/surge/default.htm

To check elevation anywhere, Google Earth is good, simply zoom the camera all the way down to your property.
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1192. weathers4me
1:49 PM GMT on August 22, 2007
Taz: Where would the steering patterns take that blob if it were to develop?
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1191. fire831rescue
1:59 PM GMT on August 22, 2007
African Coast

What do you think of this. Any chances?
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1190. ClearH2OFla
9:58 AM EDT on August 22, 2007
Ok all the wife is here got to head to work. Ill be lurking there comment when i can. Have a great day.
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1189. BeenThereinMiami
1:49 PM GMT on August 22, 2007
Xion - this excerpt is from an article on the The Weather Channel web site:

MAJAHUAL, Mexico (AP) -- Hurricane Dean swept across the Yucatan peninsula Tuesday, toppling trees, power lines and houses as it bore down on the heart of Mexico's oil industry. Glitzy resorts on the Mayan Riviera were spared, but vulnerable Mayan villages were exposed to the full fury of one of history's most intense storms.

President Felipe Calderon said no deaths were immediately reported in Mexico, after Dean killed 13 people in the Caribbean. But driving rain, poor communications and impassable roads made it difficult to determine how isolated Mayan communities fared in the sparsely populated jungle where Dean made landfall as a ferocious Category 5 hurricane.

"It wasn't minutes of terror. It was hours," said Catharine Morales, 30, a native of Montreal, Canada, who has lived in Majahual for a year. "The walls felt like they were going to explode."

One of a handful people to ignore military orders to evacuate, she weathered the storm in her new brick-walled house with her husband and 7-month-old baby. Winds of 165 mph - with gusts of 200 mph, faster than the takeoff speed of many passenger jets - blew out windows and pulled pieces from their roof.

Hundreds of homes were collapsed in Majahual when Dean's eye passed almost directly overhead, crumpling steel girders, splintering wooden structures and washing away about half of the immense concrete dock that transformed the sleepy fishing village into Mexico's second-busiest cruise ship destination. The storm surge covered almost the entire town in waist-deep sea water.

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1188. SEFL
1:54 PM GMT on August 22, 2007
"Posted By: GaleWeathers at 1:51 PM GMT on August 22, 2007.

With all this talk of flood insurance, etc. does anyone know where I might find the elevation of my property. I'm located in Palm Beach County, FL. I've tried searching for maps, but I haven't found anything yet."

Try Google. Im in PBC and am at 19' about 6 miles from the ocean.....and I have flood insurance!! :)
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1187. sammo
1:55 PM GMT on August 22, 2007
Taz and everyone else....all your posts are showing up to me. It must be something specific on your end - something with ignore or the 'dislike' button?
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1186. fire831rescue
1:57 PM GMT on August 22, 2007
MY POST! MY PRETTY LITTLE POST..... WHERE HAVE YOU GONE? COME BACK.... LOL.
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1185. weatherbrat
1:55 PM GMT on August 22, 2007
OK!!!! I think we're all up and running again. Therefore.....

Does anyone else see a spin at 13N/74W? Maybe it's my imagination, but I'm a little concerned about it.
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1184. Selu
8:50 AM CDT on August 22, 2007
Bucsfan. Go to a post that the offending person has posted. At the top right of their post, you'll see symbols. First, click the exclamation point to alert on their post. Then click the minus sign to hide their post.

To completely ignore anything the person is posting, follow directions HERE
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1183. ClearH2OFla
9:54 AM EDT on August 22, 2007
Gale check your electric bill it will tell you what evac zone your in. Also maybe their site might have the elevations. I think that is what the evac zones are based on
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1182. Skyepony (Mod)
1:53 PM GMT on August 22, 2007
Gale~ you can get a general idea by putting your zip code in the find your weather on the upper left. It will say the elevation for your area on the page that comes up.
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1181. weatherbrat
1:52 PM GMT on August 22, 2007
Seems we all are...for the moment!
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1180. KnowYourRole
9:53 AM EDT on August 22, 2007
Posted By: GaleWeathers at 9:51 AM EDT on August 22, 2007.
With all this talk of flood insurance, etc. does anyone know where I might find the elevation of my property. I'm located in Palm Beach County, FL. I've tried searching for maps, but I haven't found anything yet.


check your county property appraiser site.
1179. Tazmanian
6:51 AM PDT on August 22, 2007
by the way is any one haveing a vary hard time posting today?
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1178. dixiegal1
1:53 PM GMT on August 22, 2007
why aren't my posts showing up???
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1177. weatherbrat
1:52 PM GMT on August 22, 2007
What's up with posting this morning? Can't seem to get my comments to show....

If this is a duplicate, please forgive me...I'm going to try again.

Does anyone else see the spin at 13N/74W? Or is this my imagination. I'm a little worried about it.
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1176. NoNamePub
1:51 PM GMT on August 22, 2007
Gale - You are in a flood zone....
Pretty much all of TRI county is...
Are you east or west of 95?
Are there any canals near you?
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1175. GaleWeathers
9:51 AM EDT on August 22, 2007
With all this talk of flood insurance, etc. does anyone know where I might find the elevation of my property. I'm located in Palm Beach County, FL. I've tried searching for maps, but I haven't found anything yet.
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1174. NoNamePub
1:49 PM GMT on August 22, 2007
Bucsfan - Click the minus Sign....
Taz - Mine aren't either
Member Since: July 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 530
1173. Tazmanian
6:49 AM PDT on August 22, 2007
hello all we have some in to watch now

look down to the SW Caribbean

here is what the nhc said on it

CARIBBEAN SEA...
WITH DEAN NOW WELL W OF THE AREA...THE MOST SIGNIFICANT AREA OF
WEATHER IN THE CARIBBEAN HAS SHIFTED TO THE SRN PORTION OFF THE
COAST OF COLOMBIA AND PANAMA. THE CONVECTION IN THIS VICINITY
MAY IN PART BE DUE TO THE TROPICAL WAVE ALONG 72W AS DESCRIBED
ABOVE...BUT IS ALSO BEING SUPPORTED BY DIFFLUENT FLOW ALOFT.
MOISTURE WITH THIS WAVE...AND THE WAVE NEARING THE WINDWARD
ISLANDS...WILL PUSH W THROUGH THE BASIN OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF
DAYS. ELSEWHERE AT THE SFC LIGHT TO MODERATE TRADES ARE IN PLACE
AND GENERALLY EXPECTED TO PERSIST THROUGH THU. THE UPPER PATTERN
IS DOMINATED BY THE LARGE AND ELONGATED UPPER LOW JUST S OF
CUBA...AND THE SRN PERIPHERY OF AN UPPER RIDGE OVER THE ERN
PORTION.

and th its trying to get ORGANIZED this some in too watch

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1172. Tazmanian
6:48 AM PDT on August 22, 2007
hello all we have some in to watch now

look down to the SW Caribbean

here is what the nhc said on it

CARIBBEAN SEA...
WITH DEAN NOW WELL W OF THE AREA...THE MOST SIGNIFICANT AREA OF
WEATHER IN THE CARIBBEAN HAS SHIFTED TO THE SRN PORTION OFF THE
COAST OF COLOMBIA AND PANAMA. THE CONVECTION IN THIS VICINITY
MAY IN PART BE DUE TO THE TROPICAL WAVE ALONG 72W AS DESCRIBED
ABOVE...BUT IS ALSO BEING SUPPORTED BY DIFFLUENT FLOW ALOFT.
MOISTURE WITH THIS WAVE...AND THE WAVE NEARING THE WINDWARD
ISLANDS...WILL PUSH W THROUGH THE BASIN OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF
DAYS. ELSEWHERE AT THE SFC LIGHT TO MODERATE TRADES ARE IN PLACE
AND GENERALLY EXPECTED TO PERSIST THROUGH THU. THE UPPER PATTERN
IS DOMINATED BY THE LARGE AND ELONGATED UPPER LOW JUST S OF
CUBA...AND THE SRN PERIPHERY OF AN UPPER RIDGE OVER THE ERN
PORTION.

and th its trying to get ORGANIZED this some in too watch





why wont this dam thing show up on the blog
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1171. bucsfan0713
1:46 PM GMT on August 22, 2007
Newbie here how do I ignore a poster, quickest way please
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1170. Tazmanian
6:46 AM PDT on August 22, 2007
my post are not showing up vary well in dr m blog today
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1168. Xion
1:36 PM GMT on August 22, 2007
Anyone know about the damage at ground zero for Dean?

I haven't heard much out of that area.
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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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