Hurricane Dolly smashes ashore

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:55 PM GMT on July 23, 2008

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Hurricane Dolly smashed ashore on the South Texas coast on Padre Island early this afternoon, bringing 100 mph winds and a storm surge of 6-8 feet to the coast. The southern edge of the eyewall is now battering Harlingen, where sustained winds of 56 mph, gusting to 74 mph, have been observed. Reports from the Hurricane Hunters show that Dolly's pressure is now rising, and radar imagery out of Brownsville, Texas confirms that the storm is starting to weaken. Visible satellite loops show the eye is starting to deteriorate, though Dolly still looks plenty impressive.


Figure 1. Hurricane Dolly at landfall.

Links to follow:
Brownsville, TX long range radar
Brownsville, TX weather
Harlingen, Texas weather
Corpus Christi, TX weather

Damage expected from Dolly
The southern portion of Dolly's eyewall passed over the town of South Padre Island, located on the coast on a barrier island. Wind damage from Dolly will be heaviest here. The sister cities of Brownsville, Texas, and Matamoros, in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, missed getting the eyewall, but did get gusts near hurricane force. Damage to roofs and mobile homes has already been reported in these regions. Harlingen, located 25 miles inland and 20 miles north of Brownsville, is getting a portion of the southern eyewall, and will suffer more damage than Brownsville. There are a few tiny towns on Laguna Madre, the sound behind Padre Island, that received the full force of Dolly. These towns, Port Mansfield and Arroyo City, will receive heavy wind damage and some storm surge damage. Dolly has already spawned two tornadoes, but neither of these did damage. More tornadoes are expected.


Figure 2. Radar estimated precipitation of Dolly. Amount in excess of 14 inches have already fallen near the coast.

Floods remains a huge concern from Dolly. Rainfall amounts of five inches per hour were observed along the coast, with total rainfall amounts in excess of 14 inches. The real concern is how much rain will fall inland over the Rio Grande River watershed. In 1967, Hurricane Beulah, a huge and powerful Category 3 hurricane, dumped up to 27 inches of rain inland, triggering major flooding throughout South Texas and Northeast Mexico. Beulah did over $1 billion in damage to Texas, according to Wikipedia.

Elsewhere in the tropics
The tropical wave (97L) off the coast of Africa, just west of the Cape Verde Islands, is now over cool water of 25°C. The wave still has a large circulation, but has lost all of its heavy thunderstorm activity. Until this disturbance can find some warmer water (which should happen by Saturday), there is little chance of it developing. None of the reliable computer models show development of this system.

The GFS model is predicting development of a new tropical wave, due to move off the coast of Africa 4-5 days from now.

I'll have an update Thursday.

Jeff Masters

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1153. rareaire
3:24 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
come on sam we all know you guys are just the water break for the great state of Oklahoma. lol
Member Since: August 19, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1601
1152. rareaire
3:22 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
mornin baja
Member Since: August 19, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1601
1151. SamTeam
3:16 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
1097. Corax23 9:01 AM CDT on July 24, 2008

Since you think so little of the blog & think we are such a mess; go play in another sand box, we happen to like this one.

Regarding your statement about knowledge of the Lone Star State, you are correct, most people aren't familiar with areas other than the Met areas, but that's not reason to be critical. Not eveyone is lucky enough to be born and raised in God's Country.
Member Since: September 22, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 213
1150. setfree7
3:09 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
those who quoted Idaba also need to delete their posts to get the pop up to stop.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 3 Comments: 281
1149. setfree7
3:08 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
if we get past this page maybe the pop up will stop, especially since it has now be quoted.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 3 Comments: 281
1148. BajaALemt
2:55 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
I remember when Storm was talking about the MJO last year, someone (can't remember if it was Storm or not) posted this link. It was interesting and helpful.

Link
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
1147. Indaba
2:50 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
Thakns Ike - deleted now I hope. Trying to share a really good sat image with everyone! Some of the sites I use are user ID.
1146. Nolehead
2:49 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
morning surfmom....been 2 great days of surf that's for sure....now just gotta wait for the next swell!!
Member Since: June 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1932
1145. IKE
2:49 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
NEW BLOG!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1144. BajaALemt
2:48 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
Morning folks (Been sitting here sipping my morning coffee....great conversation!)
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
1143. setfree7
2:44 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
1115 Lakeshadow. thank you for the link. great info.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 3 Comments: 281
1142. fire831rescue
2:43 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
STOP QUOTING INANDBA!!! HIS PIC FORCES A LOGON SCREEN TO COME UP!!! VERY ANNOYING!!!
Member Since: August 18, 2007 Posts: 5 Comments: 1807
1141. IKE
2:42 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
Indaba....

Hit modify comment.....it may take 2 or 3 times to get to the correct screen....then delete it and click submit.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1139. Indaba
2:40 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
Sorry about the post - it is fact for a very high quality sat pic and unfortunately it requires a user name ID. How do I delete the earlier?
1138. surfmom
2:38 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
extreme, I keep getting that too???

Also getting some thunder -- hope it clears out - got some office work to do for "el Captaino" and then I wanted to get some waves ( I am so exhausted 3 days in a row -- got to go for it though)
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
1137. turnandburn
2:36 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
Has anyone seen any recent video or pics of the damage in Texas? Helicopter video? Everything I can find is from yesterday. Thanks.
1136. fire831rescue
2:36 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
Good morning, bloggers. How is 97L fairing. Haven't really taken a look at the tropics, yet. Any new info on what's going on? I see Dolly is giving Texas a taste of what happens in a hurricane. I turned on the news this morning and the first thing I saw was a woman complainig about no power for 24 hours. Wow. I remember being without power for about three weeks after Katrina. Where are the generaters? LOL. Well, sorry to bash but it just seems funny and kinda makes me boil. I'm not mean, but I guess I've been through worse.
Member Since: August 18, 2007 Posts: 5 Comments: 1807
1135. IKE
2:36 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
Quoting extreme236:
Where is this login thing that keeps popping up coming from?


From Indaba's previous post...#1114.


Indaba...can you please delete post #1114...it's causing a pop-up window to come up when I hit refresh.

Thanks......
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1134. newt3d
2:35 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
Quoting 69Viking:
1120. newt3d

I think the blog is just fine the way it is. Those that keep complaining about seem to be the ones out of touch. Blogs are such that if you don't like them you don't need to join them. Find another one that you like and stop complaining about this one, why you here if you don't like it?


Don't get me wrong, I like the blog just the way it is as well. At the same time, I could see how people who are in storm-affected areas might get frustrated and annoyed with the rest of us. Aside from here, where would somebody go to get the most up-to-date data, with several quasi-expert opinions?
Member Since: October 6, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 90
1133. extreme236
2:34 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
Where is this login thing that keeps popping up coming from?
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
1132. Indaba
2:33 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
Tickertape

We are 17m. Just joined the site and pic now uploaded. Am Hurricane corespondent for Guadeloupe on Storm Carib - traveel up and down all year from BVI to Venezuela. Bounced around on FELIX an DEAN last year and will comment on anything we "experinece" on this site in future.
1131. IKE
2:31 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
Quoting surfmom:
I remember when I confused MJO w/ MOJO (from the Austin powers movies) What a ditz I can be -

gomex surfers: the last of Dolly - 2-3ft WSW filling in today at the right spots - presently knee high and clean - condtions shld be better late afternoon..get out if you can cause with Dolly gone...we're back to flat (PUN intended!!)


Had to throw in one last jab....lol.......
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1130. hulakai
2:30 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/retirednames.shtml

This is NHC's info on retired names.

Dolly 2008????
Member Since: August 5, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 98
1129. 69Viking
2:29 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
1120. newt3d

I think the blog is just fine the way it is. Those that keep complaining about seem to be the ones out of touch. Blogs are such that if you don't like them you don't need to join them. Find another one that you like and stop complaining about this one, why you here if you don't like it?
Member Since: August 25, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 3055
1128. OSUWXGUY
2:29 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
Quoting Canesinlowplaces:
Wow, thanks again extreme and OSU. I like this so much better than the soap operas I've seen lately.

So, if I am understanding your diagram correctly regarding the Hadley Cell, it looks like moisture tends to move towards the equator at the lower levels which produces a lot of rain as the heat at the equator causes the moist air to rise. Afterwards, there is dryer air left in the upper levels which moves poleward leaving dryer air around the 30 north region. Maybe this is over-simplified, but is that close?


Definitely close! The moisture in the air is fairly high at the surface due to evaporation form the ocean in the winds that come together at the ITCZ. The convergence of the northeasterly trade winds from north of the equator and the southeasterly trade wind from south of the equator leaves nowhere for the air to go but up...and with the moist, unstable air you get storms.

The return flow or sinking air you speak of is the only area I think your description is a little off. The air flowing north (in the northern hemispher) at upper levels is relatively moist for that high in the atmoshper...however...when air descends it is heated diabatically - essentially the pressure is higher as you go down in the atmoshpere and so this added pressure causes the air to warm. There is no moisture added to this sinking air...and as it warms the relative humidity drops.
1127. surfmom
2:29 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
I remember when I confused MJO w/ MOJO (from the Austin powers movies) What a ditz I can be -

gomex surfers: the last of Dolly - 2-3ft WSW filling in today at the right spots - presently knee high and clean - condtions shld be better late afternoon..get out if you can cause with Dolly gone...we're back to flat (PUN intended!!)
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
1125. IKE
2:28 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
Quoting melwerle:
i keep getting the pop up too...


I reported to Admin and removed his quote. He needs to edit it.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1124. melwerle
2:27 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
i keep getting the pop up too...
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 12 Comments: 1837
1123. Patrap
2:25 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
Flag the post and ADMIN will remove it..

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128668
1121. 69Viking
2:25 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
Dr. Patrap is in the house!
Member Since: August 25, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 3055
1120. newt3d
2:24 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
1097. It seems like this blog has 3 different types of people that browse it.
1. People in storm affected areas who want the most up-to-date information they can get
2. People who are learning about tropical weather and attempt to apply their newly found knowledge to the current situation. (x-casters)
3. People who just like to chat.

I guess you could say this blog might have an identity crisis. Some people expect things out of it, some people expect others. Maybe this blog needs a mission statement!
Member Since: October 6, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 90
1118. Patrap
2:22 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
GOES-12 WV Loop of the Basin with DRY air shaded..Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128668
1117. Thundercloud01221991
2:22 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
remove whatever sat image you just posted now I get a login screen everytime I refresh
Member Since: August 1, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 3716
1115. LakeShadow
2:20 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
1105. OSUWXGUY

thanks!!

I am currently brushing up on some reading here about the atmosphere in one of the links from StormJunkie's weather learning page. In case anyone is also learning with me, check this out!

Link
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
1113. extreme236
2:19 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
The environment around this African wave is mixed. Wind shear is about 20 knots (marginal) however I can't tell whether or not wind shear is on a downward trend of not...SSTs however are sufficiently warm (27C)...the environment is fairly moist as well.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
1112. Patrap
2:19 PM GMT on July 24, 2008

Mental Health

The days and weeks after a hurricane are going to be rough. In addition to your physical health, you need to take some time to consider your mental health as well. Remember that some sleeplessness, anxiety, anger, hyperactivity, mild depression, or lethargy are normal, and may go away with time. If you feel any of these symptoms acutely, seek counseling. Remember that children need extra care and attention before, during, and after the storm. Be sure to locate a favorite toy or game for your child before the storm arrives to help maintain his/her sense of security. Your state and local health departments will help you find the local resources, including hospitals or health care providers, that you may need.

Seeking Assistance after a Hurricane

SEEKING DISASTER ASSISTANCE: Throughout the recovery period, it is important to monitor local radio or television reports and other media sources for information about where to get emergency housing, food, first aid, clothing, and financial assistance. The following section provides general information about the kinds of assistance that may be available.

DIRECT ASSISTANCE: Direct assistance to individuals and families may come from any number of organizations, including: the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and other volunteer organizations. These organizations provide food, shelter, supplies and assist in clean-up efforts.

THE FEDERAL ROLE: In the most severe disasters, the federal government is also called in to help individuals and families with temporary housing, counseling (for post-disaster trauma), low-interest loans and grants, and other assistance. The federal government also has programs that help small businesses and farmers.

Most federal assistance becomes available when the President of the United States declares a �Major Disaster� for the affected area at the request of a state governor. FEMA will provide information through the media and community outreach about federal assistance and how to apply.

Coping after a Hurricane Everyone who sees or experiences a hurricane is affected by it in some way. It is normal to feel anxious about your own safety and that of your family and close friends. Profound sadness, grief, and anger are normal reactions to an abnormal event. Acknowledging your feelings helps you recover. Focusing on your strengths and abilities helps you heal. Accepting help from community programs and resources is healthy. Everyone has different needs and different ways of coping. It is common to want to strike back at people who have caused great pain. Children and older adults are of special concern in the aftermath of disasters. Even individuals who experience a disaster second hand through exposure to extensive media coverage can be affected.

Contact local faith-based organizations, voluntary agencies, or professional counselors for counseling. Additionally, FEMA and state and local governments of the affected area may provide crisis counseling assistance.

Minimize this emotional and traumatic experience by being prepared, not scared and therefore you and your family will stay in control and survive a major hurricane.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128668
1111. OSUWXGUY
2:17 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
Quoting setfree7:
thank you for the graphic. even though i don't completely understand it, it helped me understand more than i did before. question, why do thay call them the Horse latitudes? the Doldrums?



Can't remember the story behind the Horse Latitudes...but the Doldrums are found along the ITCZ where there is a general lack of wind. This absence of "trade winds" caused merchant sailing ships back in the old days to stall out for long periods of time in the Doldrums causing serious problems to those on board (i.e. scurvy and starvation)
1110. presslord
2:17 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
I'm gonna beat this dead horse a little more...there are plenty of tools on this site which convey timely, accurate information which one can use as one sees fit...but this blog is a place for amateurs and hobbyists to discuss tropical weather...with the exception of Dr. masters posts (and stormw's, as Masters features him)...everything else here is just someone's opinion...very interesting, I'll concede...but if anyone makes personal safety decisions based on something they pick up here, I'd seriously question their judgement...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
1109. stormdude77
2:17 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
One thing 97L is doing is creating a more moist environment for the system behind to ''work with''...
1107. stormdude77
2:14 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
Morning everyone!

I see we have a new Twave off the African coast to watch. Conditions are marginal for develop now, so I would't look for development until it gets in the CATL (30W and westward)...JMO

1106. Chiggy007
2:13 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
The new African wave is likely to stay just south of 10N in the next few days as it is currently around 7N (in my guesstimation!!). SSTs are above average around 10N all the way to the South-America so lot of things going for this wave...however as of yet NHC has nothing to say about this!?
1105. OSUWXGUY
2:12 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
Quoting LakeShadow:
<
How does that Hadley Cell form and why?


The Hadley Cell is driven largely by convection along the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). As the rising air within storms hits the tropopause (boundary between the tropopshere and the very stable stratosphere) it cannot rise anymore and therefore spreads out in all directions. The northward and southward moving components of the this eventually sink in the subtropics.

Note from the diagram, also the low and high pressure. The ITCZ is an area of low pressure (convergence and rising motion) whereas the sinking air in the subtropics is high pressre (like the Bermuda High).
1104. setfree7
2:10 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
1099 Cane, Thank you for that explanation, that is helping me understand this graph better.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 3 Comments: 281
1103. IKE
2:10 PM GMT on July 24, 2008
1097...sorry for folks suffering from Dolly.

This blog has a ton of useful information. You just have to sift through the bad stuff. It's well worth the money.......
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858

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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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