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 , 3:18 PM GMT on August 26, 2007
Disorganized thunderstorm activity continues over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico. This activity is probably too close to land to develop, as it is expected to move westwards over Mexico over the next day. A westward-moving tropical wave is kicking up some disorganized thunderstorm activity in the southern Caribbean near the coast of Columbia. This area is under 10-20 knots of wind shear. The NOGAPS model predicts that this disturbance could develop into a tropical depression on Tuesday as it approaches the Nicaragua/Honduras coast. However, the NOGAPS model has been overly aggressive developing tropical cyclones in this portion of the Caribbean this year, and I don't expect this system will develop.
The four reliable forecast models for forecasting the genesis of tropical cyclones are all indicating possibility of a tropical depression forming off the North Carolina coast or off the coast of Africa late this week. Anything that does develop off the Carolina coast is likely to move northeastwards, out to sea. The greater threat to land would be a development off the coast of Africa. While it is currently quiet in the ITCZ region between Africa and the Lesser Antilles, I expect this activity to pick up late this week as some strong tropical waves move off the coast of Africa. A new tropical depression in this region 5-8 days from now has about a 40% chance of happening.
Wunderground for dial-up users
I did not post a blog yesterday as promised, since I found myself on dial-up as the result of a particularly nasty line of tornadic thunderstorms that swept through Southeast Michigan on Friday night. I posted a few photos of the damage from an EF-2 tornado that hit Fenton, about 8 miles north of my house. The storms knocked out power and high-speed Internet connectivity to tens of thousands of customers, and I am still without my beloved cable modem two days later. If you're in a similar predicament, or simply aren't interested in seeing all the comments for my blog, you can visit the "wunderground lite" version of my blog at http://www.wund.com/blog/JeffMasters/show.html. There is only one ad on the page, and the content is highly stripped down for modem users.
Hurricane Dean damage update
Hurricane Dean hit the Costa Maya Cruise Ship Terminal with full force, and the photos show damage consistent with at least a Category 4 hurricane. Huge chunks of the concrete dock are missing, and it is estimated that this second-busiest cruise ship destination in Mexico will be out of commission for at least six to eight months.
The death toll from Dean now stands at 37, with at least ten deaths now reported from Dean's second Mexican landfall, as a Category 2 hurricane. Remarkably, no deaths have been reported from Dean's landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula as a Category 5 hurricane.
I'll have an update on Monday.
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