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Dean's final landfall

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 2:35 PM GMT on August 22, 2007

Hurricane Dean is hours away from its final landfall--a strike as a Category 1 or 2 hurricane along Mexico's Gulf Coast, near Tuxpan. Dean lost its eyewall and became rather disorganized from its passage over the Yucatan Peninsula, and is only now beginning to increase its winds. With only a few hours left before landfall, Mexico is fortunate that Dean is moving so quickly--20 mph--and does not have time to organize further.


Figure 1. Dean over the Yucatan Peninsula at 3:05pm EDT 8/21/07. Image credit: NASA.

The Mexican coast near the landfall point is the most densely populated area Dean will affect, and damage there will probably exceed $1 billion. Risk Management Solutions has estimated the insured damage to the Yucatan was between $750 million and $1.5 billion. Total damage is typically double the insured damage, so the price tag for Dean will be very steep for Mexico. Oakland Calif.-based EQECAT, Inc. issued a preliminary assessment of the insured losses from Hurricane Dean of between $1.5 and $3 billion. The estimate covers damages incurred by the hurricane's passage through the Lesser Antilles as far as Jamaica.

Dean's core passed just north of Chetumal, Mexico during its landfall as a Category 5 hurricane yesterday, and that city of 150,000 suffered mostly Category 1 and 2 hurricane damage. Power has already been restored, and the governor of the province estimated that the city would be back to normal in two weeks--except for the 3-6 months needed to repair some of the roads washed out. Farther north, about a third of the hotels and cabins in Tulum, and strip of coastal development just south of Cozumel, received damage. Beach erosion was significant all along the Yucatan. The worst damage was reported in Majahual, on the coast 30 miles northeast of Chetumal, where the full Category 5 strength of the storm was felt. According to the Associated Press, "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 on the peninsula. The storm surge covered almost the entire town in waist-deep sea water." For those interested in tracking the effects of the storm, the Hurricane Dean wikipedia page is an excellent source of information.

Once inland, Dean poses a threat to Mexico City due to flooding rains. However, Dean is moving quickly enough that I don't forsee a major flooding disaster, such as occurred in Mexico after Hurricane Gilbert made its final landfall in 1988. Gilbert stalled over the Mexican mountains after landfall, dumping huge quantities of rain that triggered flash floods, killing over 200 Mexicans.

Links to follow today:
Tuxpan, Mexico observations
Radar from Alvarado, Mexico.
Morphed microwave animation.


Figure 1. Flooding on Dominica captured by storm chaser Mike Theiss

Chasing Dean in the Lesser Antilles
Wunderground Ultimate Chase blogger Mike Theiss has just returned from a trip to the Lesser Antilles, where he encountered the fury of Hurricane Dean as it blasted through the islands as a strengthening Category 2 hurricane. He's written a detailed chase account on his experience, complete with some amazing photos.

Elsewhere in the tropics
An area of disturbed weather associated with a tropical wave, 92L, is moving through the Bahama Islands. The upper-level winds over it are not hostile, but this system shows little organization and is not a threat to develop before moving inland over Florida on Thursday. Elsewhere, the tropics are quiet, and none of the reliable computer models show anything developing in the next week.

I'll have an update Thursday morning.

Jeff Masters
Dean 2007
Dean 2007
A roof dumped atop another house
Hurricane Dean Inbound
Hurricane Dean Inbound
On the inbound track we passed some convective bands.

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

1001. guygee
The mostly naked x92L swirl east of FL is about to send some heavy showers towards the E Central FL coast. Our August Bake Sale is ending at noon, so hurry!
mobile.. i think katrina started off the southern east coast of fl..
lol rm706... i thought no one noticed most of my un knowledgable.. but pretty humourous and rule breaking posts LOL
Posted By: gulfcoastdweller at 7:10 AM EDT on August 23, 2007.

This debate will go on for the next 75 to 100 yrs and no longer. Why? Cuz in 100 yrs, N O will be totally under water. I love the city to death and everything it has to offer but no progress is being done there, very little. It should be bulldozed and made into a giant port.


What REALLY should happen is everybody who lives in NOLA should move to like, just south of Vicksburg. Then they should take down all the levees south of the Atchafalaya, remove all the dams they have placed across distributary streams, and let the Mississipi have its way. There's lots of evidence to suggest that within 10 years the new mouth of the river would be near Morgan City, and this is the only way to solve the problems of constant flooding and disappearing wetlands. In other parts of the CONUS, people have begun to get off the flood plains when it comes to residential building. Drastic as it sounds, that's what needs to happen in Louisiana.

Of course, I can't see that kind of drastic action taking place. The water will have to force people out of that area, and by then it will be too late to save what had been NOLA and SE LA . . .
1004. guygee
Posted By: nolesjeff at 3:01 PM GMT on August 23, 2007.

"TWC said this morning if Dean maintained its coc it would remain Dean, Did he, and is that not true?"

No, E. Pac storms ge a new name, and Dean was already pronounced "dead" by the NHC. There is some hint of mid-level cyclonic circulation coming off of the west Mexican coast, but even the ULH over Dean became pretty disorganized, so the remnant of Dean would almost be starting from scratch.
SOUTH A CUBA< WATCH YOU'LL SEE A POP UP STORM TONIGHT, CAT 1 MONDAY MORN FOR FL
going to do a rain dance, be back next week.
ABNT20 KNHC 231501
TWOAT
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
1130 AM EDT THU AUG 23 2007

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$

FORECASTER PASCH

Love that statement....Lets hope it stays that way in the coming weeks.

Why does it seem like hurricanes didn't exist before Katrina? Why does NOLA get all of the media attention? Why does such a poorly lead city government continue to endanger its citizens? They should designate NOLA as a Federal Common Wealth until their leaders can do their jobs correctly and protect the people.
Thanks Guygee, so much for THE AUTHORITY?
BahaHurican, I think I will stay where I am, I will have beach front property. lol
Folks might be have another number four hitter here. Sebastian what you see down there?
1012. funeeeg
weatherwannabe wrote: It will be an interestng finish to the season...The CV season is not over, we are nearing the peak, but we are looking at blobs around Florida and the Caribbean for possible development which we normally look at during the very beggining of the season, and, the end in terms of frontal remnants as the troughs start dropping down......On that note I have a question I've been wondering about; it is usually stated that CV storms, or their remnants, are the strongest storms historically. What are examples of very strong storms (Cats 3-5) which formed "locally" around the Caribbean and Florida as opposed to from the CV 'crossing"?.............Thanks...

I can think of Wilma that formed in the North Western Carribean, Katrina that formed from the remnants of TD10 in the western Atlantic, and Rita that formed from the interaction between a remnant tropical wave and a low that spun off a stationary front east of Florida they merged north of Pueto Rico to kick of a TD. ref the NHC seasonal archive.
Hey everybody..im back! The move to Nashville is complete and i have internet again. So..what did i miss? (covers head and runs away)
The NHC has Dean as TDDean so that would mean they are keeping his name
1016. quante
From NWS Miami as of 10:00 A.M.:

THE TROPICAL WAVE OVER THE BAHAMA ISLANDS HAVE WEAKENED THIS
MORNING...BUT IT ALSO HAS DEVELOPED A WEAK LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM
JUST NORTH OF GRAND BAHAMA ISLAND. THIS LOW HELPED TO KEEP THE CWA
MAINLY DRY OVER THE CWA LAST NIGHT AND EARLY THIS MORNING...DUE TO
THE SINKING AIR AHEAD OF THE LOW. THE LOW ALSO HELPED TO SET UP A
LAND BREEZE ALONG THE EAST COAST AREAS THIS MORNING WHERE A FEW
SHOWERS WHERE OCCURRING OVER THE NEAR-SHORE ATLANTIC WATERS THIS
MORNING.

THE LOW WILL MOVE SLOWLY TO THE SOUTHWEST TO WEST DIRECTION
THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON TOWARDS THE CWA...AS THE STEERING FLOW IS
FROM THE EASTERLY DIRECTION. THIS WILL HELP TO BRING IN TROPICAL
MOISTURE TO THE CWA FROM THE ATLANTIC WATERS FOR THIS AFTERNOON
INTO THIS EVENING. THE WINDS AROUND THIS LOW IS ALSO LESS THAN 10
MPH...THEREFORE BOTH THE EAST AND WEST COAST SEA BREEZES SHOULD
SET UP THIS AFTERNOON WITH THE EAST COAST SEA BREEZE BEING

I think what was left of 92L came through yesterday. This is the next wave.
Opal wan't a Cape storm either, formed by the Yucatan, I think.

For those of u interested in reading a synopsis of the case of New Orleans, here is an interesting article.

The Lost City of New Orleans?

The writer subtlely suggests that saving NOLA might cost more than it's worth to pay, and might be impossible anyway.
Hurricane Camille formed just south of Cuba.
"TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.
FORECASTER PASCH
Love that statement....Lets hope it stays that way in the coming weeks."

Rob Peter to pay Paul.
Two tropical waves came off of Africa. By the time what-would-become-Dean had been designated an Invest, the tropical wave behind it had been suppressed by an African dust storm. I think it's been that way ever since.
Lack of tropical storms in the Americas comes at the cost of drought and famine in Africa.
1021. gthsii
>>comes out of self imposed ban<< just wanted to say "whoopsie!" to hurricane 23
Louisiana isn't the only place losing its wetlands/shoreline. A neighbor was telling my son stories about walking through the grass beds way out into Mobile Bay to throw a cast net with his grandfather. Grass Bed, in Mobile Bay, not in the Delta, I can't even imagine.
got agree the area south of cuba should be watch closely today and tonight
Aspectre...While that's generally true, I rememver seeing that Africa had recieved normal or above-avg rainfall this year. I could be wrong though.
What is up with that long post from hurricane23?
1026. NRAamy
Ok, so another blogger told me that Dean is going to pick up speed again and hit San Diego, California, like a bat out of hell....

?????
Posted By: 7daysnopowerfrancis at 2:52 PM GMT on August 23, 2007.
Hey cane whisperer....does the former 92L have the potential to become a depression? I remember Tropical Storm Jerry of 95, that was a rainstorm and developed into a storm right as it crossed Florida (it was my first day of teaching ever, and I never saw my afternoon classes because the rain was so intense.)

Sue;0


Most likey no but, as with any low swirl right off our coast, I like to keep an eye on it.
Jesus 23....Hit the wrong button I guess?...Slowed down the Blog so will have to wait for Dr. M to clear it out.....But, thanks for the answers on the "local" major storms and I will check the hurricane archive...BBL
NRAamy...While anything is possible, it's very unlikely. It's uncertain if it will reform, let alone where it will go after that.
1030. IKE
Here's the tropical weather outlook for earth...

"Tropical cyclone formation is not expected during the next 48 hours."
Dd M has a new blog up
23, that is the funniest thing I saw on a blog.

He selected the entire blog to copy and paste instead of just a few posts.
What about developing NO into a Venice like new city that would allow for water inflow & outflow as part of it's setting-surely we have the technical ability to accomplish the idea
Hey all at work. Anthing i need to know about out there