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Dennis hits Cuba

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 10:29 PM GMT on July 09, 2005

Entry from Friday, July 8
Dennis has come ashore on the south coast of Cuba, and it took one of the worst possible landfall trajectories--a 70-mile long track scraping the coast with its right eyewall. The right eyewall contains the hurricane's strongest winds and highest storm surge, and normally only a 5 to 10 mile section of coast suffers it. Cuba just had 70 miles of coast with some of its prime tourist areas suffer a storm surge of at least 13 feet, and probably 20 feet or higher in many places. Add to this the hurricane's sustained winds of 145 - 150 mph, and the result will be a multi-billion dollar destruction of a key part of the island's economy. Dennis has also made a direct hit on Cienfuegos, a city of 200,000, and is now aiming at the Caribbean's largest city, Havana. The destruction occurring in Cuba from this storm must be truly staggering.

Ham radio reports from Cienfuegos indicate that more than 85% of the power lines were down and extensive damage had occurred to the communications infrastructure. Sustained winds of 99 mph and a wind gust of 149 mph was measured in the city at 1:30pm EDT.

Entry from 10am EDT
Yesterday afternoon, Dennis went through an eyewall replacement cycle where the inner eyewall collapsed, and a new eyewall formed with a diameter of about 20 miles. This ended a period of rapid intensification, and the storm stayed roughly constant in intensity as a minimal Category 4 storm (135 mph, 950 mb).

The 8:30am EDT hurricane hunter flight just found a central pressure of 938 mb and winds at 10,000 feet of 155 mph, which means Dennis has recovered from its eyewall replacement cycle, and is now intensifying again. The eye is a healthy 15 miles in diameter, and it is unlikely that another eyewall replacement cycle will happen before the storm hits Cuba tonight. Cuba will probably see Dennis at its peak--and this could very well mean Category 5.

Dennis is now the most intense June or July hurricane on record, beating out Hurricane Audrey of June 1957, which was a Category 4 storm with 145 mph winds and a central pressure of 946 mb at its peak. Audrey killed 390 people in Texas and Louisiana when it came ashore, making it the sixth most deadly U.S. hurricane on record.

Today will be the worst day in Cuba's modern history. Dennis is a worst-case hurricane following a worst-case path for the island. The storm is already punishing Cuba as it moves parallel to the island, subjecting much of the island to hurricane force winds and rainfall totals of 10 - 15 inches, and destroying much of the rich sugar cane fields and other crops. The situation will get much worse tonight when the storm makes landfall, pushing a storm surge of 20 feet or higher onto a long section of the coast. Dennis will pass near Havana, the most heavily populated part of the island. Although loss of life will be low thanks to Cuba's excellent civil defense system, the destruction of buildings will probably be the worst in Cuba's history. Building collapses are common in Cuba without having hurricane winds battering the cities. Dennis will damage or destroy hundreds of thousands of buildings, leaving a large percentage of Cuba's population homeless. Lack of fresh water and electricity will be serious problems, and Cuba's political stability could well be threatened by the scope of what is likely to be its greatest disaster in modern history.

On that cheerful note, let's talk about the plight of the poor people living in Florida's panhandle, which is likely to bear the brunt of yet another major U.S. landfalling hurricane. Dennis will cross Cuba over a realtively flat section of the island, and be reduced in intensity to only a Category 3 or weak Category 4. Once over the Gulf, some intensification is likely, but the amount remains uncertain. The waters get cooler further north, and since we are still early in July, the depth of warm waters is limited. Dennis may stir up enough cool waters from down deep to limit intensification to a Category 4, or perhaps even reduce it to a Category 2. Dennis looks likely to hit within 50 miles of where last year's Category 3 Hurricane Ivan hit, killing 25 and causing $7 billion in damage. Expect a repeat of this performance, although the exact strength of Dennis at landfall could range between Category 2 and Category 4, and will greatly influence how much damage is done. Key West will likely get hurricane force winds tonight, but miss a direct hit by 40 or so miles. The outer bands of Dennis are already affecting the island; a squall with heavy rain and winds to 30 mph passed through the island at 8:30am. The rest of the west coast of Florida is also likely to miss a direct hit, but still get tropical storm force winds of about 40 mph.

Entry from Thursday, July 7
At 3:55pm EDT, the hurricane hunters sent in an eye report of a central pressure of 957 mb, 1mb higher than the previous hour's report. They also reported the eyewall was beginning to break up, with an elliptical shape 9 x 6 nm, and open to the south. Satellite pictures also show the disintegration of the inner eyewall, and the storm should begin a slow weakening period that will last a day or so. It should maintain Category 3 strength until it hits Cuba. NHC is forecasting Dennis to continue intensifying the next 12 hours, which I believe means the winds will continue to come up into equilibrium with the rapid pressure drop we saw. I wouldn't expect much in the way of pressure falls until tomorrow, when the eyewall can re-establish itself.

Entry from 1 hour ago:
At 2:30pm EDT, the hurricane hunters sent in an eye report of a central pressure of 956 mb--an impressive 6 mb drop in just 70 minutes! The eye diameter was a tiny 9 nm (10.5 miles), and the storm is undergoing the rapid shrinkage of the eye and sudden deepening characteristic of an eyewall replacement cycle. I expect that within a few hours, the winds will respond to the sudden pressure drop, and Dennis will be a major Category 3 hurricane, and may make it to Category 4 status (135 mph winds) before the inner eyewall collapses and the storm starts weakening slightly. Dennis will not reach Category 5 status today, though--the pressure would have to be much lower than 956 mb at the beginning of an eyewall replacement cycle to achieve Category 5 status. Nevertheless, Hurricane Dennis has grown into an impressive Cape Verdes-type hurricane, and will be a serious threat to everything in its path. After blasting Haiti and Jamaica, Dennis's next targets will be the Cayman Islands and Cuba--and then the Florida Keys. Today, I will focus on the Caymans, Cuba, and the Florida Keys. Tomorrow--it's time to talk about the mainland U.S.

Florida emergency management officials have ordered a mandatory visitor and nonresident evacuation for the entire Florida Keys beginning at noon Thursday. At 6 pm, all residents of mobile homes are required to evacuate. The rest of the residents of the Keys have not been ordered to evacuate, but likely will be asked to do so Friday. With only one road out of the Keys, this part of the U.S. has the longest lead evacuation time--a full 72 hours is needed to evactuate the entire island chain. Last year, Hurricane Ivan prompted a mandatory evacuation order as well, and 30,00 - 60,000 of the 80,000 residents of the Keys heeded the order. The Keys escaped serious damage from Ivan, and no doubt many Keys residents will try their luck and ignore the evacuation order for Dennis. Like Jamaica and New Orleans, the Keys have had an inordinate amount of luck dodging direct hits from major hurricanes. I think their luck will hold this time around, too, but one of these days, those residents who ignore the evacuation order will wish they hadn't!

Grand Cayman Island is still years away from recovery from last year's Hurricane Ivan, which brought sustained winds of 150 mph, gusts to 170 mph, and a storm surge of 10 - 12'. 95% of all the buildings on the island were damaged or destroyed. Grand Cayman will likely escape the brunt of Dennis, but its sister islands Little Cayman and Cayman Brac, which lie 150 km to the east-northeast, may feel the storm's full force. Cayman Brac escaped Hurricane Ivan's rampage with minimal damage--winds only reached 50 mph there--but Dennis may bring winds of over 100 mph. Loss of life on Cayman Brac is unlikely, though, since the island's population of 1300 generally takes shelter in a large network of natural caves on the west end of the island that provide ideal hurricane protection. Cayman Brac's reefs--ranked by diving enthusiasts as some of the best in the world--are unlikely to be seriously harmed by Hurricane Dennis, though. Ivan, a much stronger storm, did only minimal damage to the reefs near Grand Cayman Island, and did divers a favor by clearing out old algae deposits and opening up new holes in coral walls for divers to explore.

After whipping the Cayman Islands, Dennis will likey hit western Cuba. This is the same region that was struck by Hurricane Charley on Friday, August 13, 2004 (Fidel Castro's 78th birthday). Charley was a Category 3 storm, with sustained winds of 120 mph and a storm surge of 13 feet when it hit Cuba, passing just 15 miles west of Havana. Charley did over $1 billion in damage to Cuba, and damaged or destroyed over 70,000 buildings. The 13 foot storm surge on the coast south of Havana was particularly devastating. For example, the fishing village of El Cajio on Cuba's south shore lost 290 of its 300 homes to the storm surge.

Charley caused serious problems in Havana and the surrounding areas. 70% of Havana's two million residents had no fresh water four days after the storm, and more than half had no power 2 weeks after the storm. The Cuban government shut down the entire electrical grid in the hours prior to Charley's arrival to prevent damage from power surges and intermittent service, or else the damage to the power grid would have been far worse.

Unfortunately for Cuba, Dennis is likely to bring a replay of the miseries brough by Charley. A storm surge of 12 - 14 feet is likely once again, and since the storm is travelling at more oblique angle to the coast than Charley did, the area of Cuba likely to be seriously affected by hurricane is much greater. Dennis will be another billion dollar hurricane for Cuba, and probably the second most destructive hurricane ever to hit the island, behind 2001's Category 4 Hurricane Michelle, which damaged or destroyed over 110,000 buildings. But thanks to Cuba's phenomenal civil defense plans, loss of life is likely to be low. Only five Cubans died in Hurricane Michelle, and four in Hurricane Charley.

Entry from Wednesday, July 6
Dennis is steadily intensifying, and will likely affect the islands of Hispanolia, Jamaica, and Cuba as a Category 1 or 2 hurricane before coming ashore in the U.S.--who knows where? Since it is way too early to speculate on where in the U.S. Dennis might hit, let's focus on which island will bear the brunt of the storm.

The latest computer model guidance is tightly clustered, bringing Dennis between Jamaica and Hispanolia on Thursday. Dennis could potentially hit either island as a Category 1, 2, or 3 hurricane. Let's consider Jamaica first. In 2004, Category 4 Hurricane Ivan was headed straight for Jamaica, and in the final hours just before landfall, made a sudden jog to the south around the island, largely sparing it from massive destruction. The track looked so suspicious, I suspected at the time that Jamaica somehow deflected the storm by creating some sort of alteration of the steering currents of the hurricane. I couldn't think of a very good mechanism for how this might have happened, though, since Jamaica is a small island, and the tallest mountains on the island are only 7,000 feet high. Steering currents for a hurricane operate at much higher altitudes, centered at an altitude of perhaps 25,000 feet. When I used NOAA's excellent Hurricane Tracking Tool to plot up all Category 2 or higher hurricanes for the past 150 years that passed within 75 miles of Kingston, Jamaica, it revealed that Ivan was the only storm that made a sudden jog around Jamaica, and that in general, hurricanes just ignore the island and blast right over it.

So, don't be surprised if Dennis rips straight across Jamaica like Hurricane Gilbert did in 1988. However, Jamaica is heavily forested and able to handle extreme hurricane rains without major loss of life; furthermore, the hurricane storm surge is usually not a problem, since the storm surge wave can just wrap aorund the island without being forced up on shore. The primary hazard to people are the winds, which easily destroy the tin shacks much of the poor populace live in, but usually don't cause heavy loss of life. A direct hit by Dennis will cause a lot of damage but not much loss of life on Jamaica.

Of greater concern is Haiti. A direct hit by even a Category 1 Hurricane Dennis could easily kill thousands on island, and even a side-swipe could well kill hundreds. The problem on Haiti is that they have chopped down 98.4% of all their trees, leaving the denuded mountains unable to absorb heavy rains. Heavy hurricane rains wash down the mountainsides, sweeping the helpless Haitians to their doom. Last year's Hurricane Jeanne--just a tropical storm when it hit Haiti--killed over 3000 Haitians, making it the 12th most deadly hurricane ever. Dennis' current projected path has it sideswiping Haiti's western tip, which is less populated than the areas of the island that usually suffer extreme devestation, so I am hopeful that Dennis will cause minimal loss of life in Haiti.

Entry from Tuesday, July 5
The newly-formed Tropical Storm Dennis over the eastern Carribbean looks poised to become Hurricane Dennis later this week. The storm has a typical look of a classic Cape Verdes-type hurricane at its formative stages. It has a large circulation covering most of the eastern Caribbeam, plenty of deep convection near the center, spiraling bands of low-level cumulus wrapping into the center, and a decent upper-level outflow pattern of high cirrus clouds. The storm is over warm ocean waters >28C and has a favorable environment with light shear ahead of it. The only strikes against it would seem to be the mountainous terrain of Cuba and Jamaica, plus history--Cape Verdes-type hurricanes are quite rare in July. Dennis is only the 3rd tropical cyclone to form in the eastern Caribbean in July. Despite this history, I will not be surprised if this storm becomes a large and dangerous Cape Verdes-type hurricane later in the week.

In fact, this hurricane season has set the record for the earlist hurricane season with four named storms (records go back to about 1850). The previous record was set in 1959, when there were four named storms by July 7. Does all this activity in June and July portend a record-breaking hurricane season for 2005? Dr. Chris Landsea notes in his excellent Hurricane FAQ that "the overall number of named storms (hurricanes) occurring in June and July (JJ) correlates at an insignificant r = +0.13 (+0.02) versus the whole season activity. In fact, there is a slight negative relationship between early season storms (hurricanes) versus late season (August through November) r = -0.28 (-0.35). Thus, the overall early season activity, be it very active or quite calm, has little bearing on the season as a whole."

Indeed, although four named storms formed by July 7 in 1959, the season turned out to be an ordinary one, with 11 named storms (which is average) and 7 hurricanes (one more than average). However, storms forming early in the season out in the area Dennis formed (south of 22 North Latitude and east of 78 West Longitude) are very often a harbinger of an active hurricane season. For example, take a look at 1933, when a record 21 named storms and 10 hurricanes formed, with four of the five June and July storms forming in this area.

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

Which year has had the most tropical cyclones and how many/
For example, take a look at 1933, when a record 21 named storms and 10 hurricanes formed, with four of the five June and July storms forming in this area.
Thanks but no offense it says that on this page.
Ok,that was harsh.I meant say is there a year that had more than that?
Dennis is poised to be a serious player this year's hurricane history. I noticed that previous hurricanes that started out in the same area as Dennis usually hit the texas coast. However, in hearing of the early discussion about Dennis some people are saying it will make landfall in Florida. Why are they coming to this conclusion??
Didn't the experts say last year that we are in a cycle of storms hitting Florida?
Most recent GFDL model at 18z is very aggressive with Dennis taking it to Cat 4 (941 mb) as it nears Western Cuba, which in the past, is barely noticed by passing systems. Just as Ivan made a detour around Jamaica last year, TC's have a knack for avoiding land. Yet, as a peninsula that is surrounded by tropical waters, Florida is naturally an inviting target. Or similarly, Japan which was hit by ~10 typhoons last year, just happens to be NW of a semi-permanent subtropical high that funnels everything around its periphery.
does this storm look like a serious problem for new orleans? looks like the most recent gfs run on the florida state computer sure says so
The latest run of the GFS which was midnight is showing this storm making landfall almost directly over New Orleans. This is a very scary thought considering this storm is expected to be a CAT 3 for sure...but I think the warm waters of the Gulf could lead to even further strengthening...
The CMC take it further east into about the same location which Arlene made landfall earlier this year. The UKMET takes it even further east into the eastern Panhandle of Florida.
The GFS model actually shifted right quite a bit, and I expect to see a slow but steady change of these models to the right of their current tracks as this storm gains strength. As it gains strength it should start to effect the ridge of high pressure to its north and slip north much sooner then currently expected. I honestly would rather this storm hit anywhere but New Orleans, a storm of this size would devastate that city, and probably the entire state.
Given the uncertainty of forecasting tracks beyond 48hrs it does look like Dennis will become a hurricane within the next 24hrs reaching the SE'rn Gulf of Mexico by the weekend and eventually northward across the central or eastern Gulf as a significant hurricane with peak winds over 100mph. At this point it could end up anywhere between NE TX to western FL.

Help... What dou you guys think of 8 of us from Dallas leaving in the am for Cancun, there till Monday. I seem the only one out the bunch concerned. They are saying a little wind/rain, I say much more?

I wonder if the west coast of Florida should be concerned? I live in Sarasota and it hasn't gotten hit for over 150+ years. The worst storm in that time period was probably Tropical storm Gabriele about 4 years ago. I think that is how you spell it. I do know this, anywhere this storm hits it is sure going to do a lot of damage. I think this storm will be very hard to predict where it is going to go exactly.
Would any of you experts cancel a trip to Cancun this weekend? Even if losing air and hotels costs?
I wouldn't since it is not going to hit there.
Here is my non-expert opinion one where I think Dennis is going and what will it hit as.

I believe Dennis will hit the Flordia panhandle 50 miles east of Gulf Shores, Alabama (Ivan hit this location last year). It will hit as a weak Cat 4 storm. Here is my reasoning:

Location Reasoning

First Dennis's track is almost the same plot point for plot point of Ivan's just about 40 - 60 miles east of its plot point when Ivan moved by Jamaica.

Second due to a massive pressue system in the eastern Altanic around Eurpoe (http://weather.unisys.com/hurricane/slp_00.gif)
combined with the high pressue systems in the southwest pushing the stalled cold front in the southeast down will create a corridor that will first slow Dennis down. Then act as a speedway so it slams into the coast.

Size and Wind speed

First water temps are very favoriable for hurricane grow (both in size and power). Althought I don't think Dennis will undergo any rapid intenesification as he speeds up towards shore

Second during the weekend Dennis will slow down due to factors above in the warm Gulf Coast before speeding up.

Lastly I wouldn't be surpised to see the 5th hurricane of the season developing off the coast of Africa (classic Cape Verdes) in the next few days.
Dr. Masters, thank you for a easy and clear presentation of the current situation. I run a weather site as a hobbie in Guatemala (http://weather.ucguate.com) but your blog really makes me understand better all this events.

Thanks again


big debate with dennis and the 12z runs now...

the Canadian global is taking this storm towards Tampa-St Pete in 66-78 hours, and the GFS takes it towards New Orleans by 120-132 hrs, the NAM takes him towards the eastern Florida Keys by 60 hrs then to Naples by 78 hrs, and I'm sure more models yet to roll out as the afternoon progresses.

my analysis attm is that there are a few factors that will determine this system's path: the weakening and departing cindy, the current weak upper-air trough moving through the great lakes, and small differences in the 500hPa/300hPa ht fields.

this is where the mother nature, god, allah, and other mystical dieties conspire against forecast models once again.

oh well. such is the life.
well said HPBEAR!
The CMC is taking this storm way to far Northwest then it's actual direction. Dennis is still moving more westerly. This is the first REAL sign of a model picking up the ridge weakning though. I will be curious to see the next model runs, especially GFS, GFDL, and CMC. There is still little consistency among model runs more then 2 days out. I think this is one of those storms where you tell EVERYONE to be careful and keep close watch, until there is more certainty as to where this storm is going.
Lastly I wouldn't be surpised to see the 5th hurricane of the season developing off the coast of Africa (classic Cape Verdes) in the next few days

I dont know about that. Its very early in the season. Water temps are not quite warm enough deep into the Atlantic. Large waves come off the coast often in July, however they very rarely become anything more than a wave. But then again, tropical storms do not usually develop in the eastern carribean in July either.

The reasoning behind my comment (and remenber I am a novice at best). Is yes the temps are not that warm, however due to the intense high pressue system in the Atlantic will push the current tropical wave coming off the African coast towards the equator where the temps are warm.

Also according to the Wind Shear Forcast (http://www.wunderground.com/data/640x480/atlm_shear.gif)
that whole area is going to be ripe for development.

Lastly the system being pushed as I stated above should give it a "spin" and in theory (a very loose one at that) should help jump start a tropical storm.

Bottom line, I am making a guess (ie playing at hurricane forecaster). And we will find out in a few days if I am correct in all my guesses or not.
Is it just me, or are the last few images moving more north than west?

I think thats generally because the centre of the storm is reorganizing. I still think the storm is moving WNW or towards the eastern tip of Jamaica.

Most of us are novices here, no doubt, and I understand your theory. However, also remember that no storm can cross the Equator. The change in wind directions shear it apart.

Ill stick with my prediction that the wave dissipates in the next 12-24 hours, and we will see who is right. All in good fun. :)

I must of misspoke, I meant it would get pushed near the equator not across it. I didn't know that the wind shear would tear it apart. Althought I did fiqure a system crossing the equator was not a good thing.

And one last prediction (well aleast for now). I predict 18 named storms, 12 hurricanes, 7 major systems.
I understood you, I was just mentioning that crossing the equator is never a good thing for a storm system. Thus, anything close to the equator isnt good either.

Aggressive forecasting there. Now only if it comes true. I love hurricane season.
Storms usually do not develop south of 10N due to the lack of trade winds causing rotation.

...that probably isnt worded too well, though.
HI Jeff, what is latest thinking on Dennis the Menace???? Forecasters here in Tampa are pretty confident that this storm is headed for the Miss/Louisiana coast????

Do you feel the same way? They aslo say this could be cat 3 or 4??????

Thank you

OIC, and the hurricane season forecast if it comes to pass will be interesting since I pulled the fiqures for that one out of the air.
looking at the partially run 18Z GFS, as well as the 12Z ECMWF and the 12Z GFDL, I think I can say the forecast is a bit better for the gulf. Because it looks like the 12Z global-GEM and the 12z NAM are the outliers in the cluster. Now this is all still 2-3 days away until it gets to the gulf and anything can happen (and usually does). But I am a little more confident now than I was earlier that the main part of Florida is looking not as likely, and the northern gulf coast is more likely. But hopefully not the Lake Pontchartrain area, unlike the current general cluster of models.

Ironically, just looking at the GEM-global-00Z, it is in a lot closer agreement with the current cluster than the 12Z.

go figure.
Just plotted the GFS, GFDL, CMC, FSU, UKMET, and NOGAPS models. The outliers are the GFS to the west and the CMC to the east. I am going by a graphic and plotting them by eye. Lousiana looks like a prime target. I sure hope not. I am still sticking to a more easterly track, but considering they are downgrading the strength forecast it is hard to believe that this storm will push its way north through the ridge. Not really sure on this one, I think Thursday Night into Friday morning and we will finally get an idea as to where this storm is actually going to make landfall in the U.S.
Just plotted the GFS, GFDL, CMC, FSU, UKMET, and NOGAPS models. The outliers are the GFS to the west and the CMC to the east. I am going by a graphic and plotting them by eye. Lousiana looks like a prime target. I sure hope not. I am still sticking to a more easterly track, but considering they are downgrading the strength forecast it is hard to believe that this storm will push its way north through the ridge. Not really sure on this one, I think Thursday Night into Friday morning and we will finally get an idea as to where this storm is actually going to make landfall in the U.S.

I hope not as well.

ok we all know that it is going to hit somewhere on the Gulf Coast. Where I live they say get prepared for it now and not wait. Even though we just had Cindy there is no time to play around Dennis will be a strong Cat 3 and could be another Fredrick that hit in 79, taking the same path or as close as it gets anyway...
33. Selu

Where is your plot centering? Which part of Louisiana?

Thanks for the info.
RE systems crossing the equator:
The reason tropical cyclones do not cross the equator has to due with the coriolis force. The force = zero at the equator and any system approaching the equator would fall apart as the air flow would orient directly towards the center and the low pressure area would dissipate. The coriolis force deflects any moving matter (including air) towards the right (in the northern hemisphere) and has the effect of causing air flow from high pressure to low pressure to move in a curved path.... The coriolis force is maximum at the poles and zero at the equator. Somewhere around 10 degrees from the equator the force is significant enough to allow cyclones to develop.

It seems like all the computer models this morning have shift pretty far back to the east. GFDL has the storm almost going right up the west coast of florida about 50 miles out. I guess Sarasota isn't out of the woods quite yet. I had originally predicted Tampa when the computer models said south florida and now I am predicting the big bend area.
Model Guidance and Wobble should put West Florida Pennisula on alert! I am shocked why all the local Central FL Media are saying its not going to affect the pennisula. Dennis has slowed down and that makes forecasting a nightmare and will that NW jog continue? If so, the Florida pennisula needs to be on alert. Again the forecast track should not be fixed in one's mind as anything to the East of that will get hammered by this very intense storm, even if the storm is 70 miles off the coast of Tampa the Pennisula will get hit hard, I agree with the previous poster. I am curious to see the 2pm Computer runs, because if they continue to move East so will the track and hopefully the local media's perception will be more of concern then it has been as of late.
Take a look at the GFS 6z run... Then look back at the 00z and 18z run from yesterday. Quite a difference.

The FSU model has stayed with its course of west of PC Bch all along. It shifted west a little yesterday when all else did, but it's back into the big bend area this morning. If that's the case this storm's eastern edge will just run right up the west gulf coast... that's one of the worst case scenarios for damage to a widespread area isn't it? And the FSU model forecasters will literally need to take cover.
The 06z GFDL shows the storm nailing Key West...Shows it getting a bit disorganized due to Cuba... check it out...

There is another impressive wave that came off the coast of Africa and is about half way between Africa and the islands. From the "S" curvature of the cloud features, this system seems to be destine for tropical development. This is an extremely early start to the Cape Verdes season and could mean a lot more storms than previously forecasted.
Thats what I thought.....but the water temps arent quite high enough out there yet to support a tropical system.

...well I take that back, it may be able to support a weak one, but I doubt it could support the intensification of one currently.
WOAH!!!!!! I dont know if this is a wobble or a subtle movement, but look on the latest infared frames of dennis, either my eyes are playing tricks on me or did I see an movement from NW to N!?
Looks more like NNW to me, but might just be a wobble because of the mountains!
Over the past 6 hours its averaged a NWly motion. It took a westerly wobble about 3-4 hours back, then a more NNWly wobble.
It's definetly going to go well north of the plotting points...
the wobble continues to be nnw, but dont rule out wobbles, they can actually have a HUGE impact when it comes to landfall points....Charley cough cough charley
for all of you who like to make you're own prediction like me...lol..... look at the projected path of it now and the pint it should be at tommorow, now bring on the caribean infared and get a small straight piece of paper and line it up with the current movement...my point...Tommorow it will be further east *about 80 miles east of where it was supposed to be!
Ivan wobbled big time last year (luckily for me.) I was in Jamaica visiting my buddy during that storm. It was supposed to pass right over the island, but wobbled at the last second and ended up staying offshore by 40-60 miles.
Is the area of activity near the west coast of Africa a new depression? It sure looks impressive at this time.
Nah. Not yet. Most waves look impressive when they emerge, but most dissipate. Tis too early to see whatll happen w this one, however, theres a 1014mb low on its east side right now.
And it appears that a bout of rapid deeepening has begun. 6mb drop in 70 minutes.
One thing I am wondering about--looking back in recent decades I cannot find one major hurricane making landfall in the US in July. I am sure this must have happened though, since Audrey slammed Louisiana badly in June 1957. When was the last major hurricane to make landfall in the US in July, and how strong was the strongest landfalling hurricane in July in the US?
Strongest was Audrey in 57 I believe. Cat 4.
This storm has wrecked havoc on our forecasting system, this just goes to show everyone we have a long way to go! Orlando meterologists are very nervously predicting this storm, but the West Coast needs to prepare for this storm. All the models are pushing further East, am I the only one who thinks the Florida Pennisula is in danger? Anyone else have a comment on this?
Audrey was in june, not July however
Which is more intriguing that it was earlier in the year.
yep true. Looking at the history, only 1 major hurricane has been within 300 miles of where Dennis is currently located in July, and it went into Central America. Will Dennis be the first in July in US? ^_^
Possibly. Theres a good possibility that itll hit land as a Cat 2, though.
This is getting to scary for words!
Does the good Doctor know if this storm
is bigger than Charlie in size?
We just got our new roof!
Some rapid intensification is taking place. Wind speeds are now sustained at 130 mph. Some of the computer models have shifted back to the west a little bit but I wouldn't be surprised if they come back east.
Charley was a very small storm - I was less than 8 miles from where everything was destroyed and my neighborhood had no damage at all. I do think we had about 100 - 110 MPH winds but not nearly as strong as a few miles away
I'm planning on staying put in Key Largo and will blog pics and comments.

Any thoughts on how hairy it might get here?
Not Looking the best in Largo probably Tropical Storm winds possibly higher in squalls. This storm is really throwing everyone off on where it will go. People in Southwest FL must be biting their fingers with this one!
me! lol
Does anyone know if that High pressure ridge is weakening yet? I live in Sarasota and it doesn't look like we will be hit but we are still in the cone of uncertainty. I guess there is still a chance for the storm to head north right up along the west coast of Florida.
well can I ask about the high pressure that is in the gulf, is it going to have any affect on the storm?
The High Pressure is weakening rapidly, Cindy actually did this. and the Canadian Model could be a trend the rest follow suit bringing Dennis too close for comfort to the West Coast of Florida. And the motion is now 310-315 as opposed to 305. Stay Tuned!
Whatre the odds that the west coast of FLA could eat this one too?
Very small now that it looks like it is heading more west. Sarasota dodges another one. It has done that the last 150 years or so.
Looking better for us in the Keys. Don't think I'll have dramatics pics or postings for the blog (just fine with me)

Looks like Dennis has tracked a bit more towards the west overnight which is good for the west coast of Florida but not for the Panhandle as the forecast tracks continue to move Dennis towards a landfall (after Cuba) somewhere between New Orleans and Tallahassee. Still will have to wait until it clears Cuba as the interaction of the land mass could alter the track.

Those of us who live "somewhere between New Orleans and Tallahassee" are not thrilled with this westward movement, but I agree that we'll have to wait until this bad boy gets across. I hope this is just Dennis twitching around the Sierra Maestra before he decides to cross Cuba.

Around these parts a FEMA trailer is an just an upgrade for a lot of folks.
Hi Jeff: Thanks for the last update. I am one of those poor folks in the panhandle. Just which side of Ivan's landfall were you pointing to when you said "50" miles from where Ivan hit. I'm 60 miles east, so please don't say east; and what about the UKMET and other models moving further west??
well well well, looks like there must be some convincing info for the ukmet to have such a direct path for the past 2 days. seems like the only model that is willing to stay while the others dance around.
I would like to hear that answer as well. I know tracks so to west towards pensacola, but how accurate is the FSUSE I noticed it has the track way to the east of NH track.
in most instances, the models that we are looking at are not updated reapidly enough. that model could still be from the eastern bias we saw yesterday.
It says current run 2005070800 is that midnight
I hope people living west of the Miss. river delta aren't feeling a false sense of security based on computer models and forecast paths. There are many here on the upper Texas coast who've never felt the effects of a major storm, and for many others the last was Alicia 22 years ago (excluding the Allison flooding 4 years ago).
Right now, it's looking like Ivan all over again...
Based on 938 mb min pressure, this system could support winds up to 150mph !
Okay this is starting to get creepy, ie see a post I made a few days ago and then read what the good Doctor has just posted about Dennis

"...Date: 1:57 PM GMT on July 06, 2005
By: oriondarkwood
Here is my non-expert opinion one where I think Dennis is going and what will it hit as.

I believe Dennis will hit the Flordia panhandle 50 miles east of Gulf Shores, Alabama (Ivan hit this location last year). It will hit as a weak Cat 4 storm..."
This has been creepy since I woke up this morning! I live 60 miles east of Gulf Shores.
I just want to say that let us pray for the people of Cuba.

Dios proteja la pueblo cubano.

Norman Avila
150 mph winds now. cuba is really in a bad spot. i kinda wish i was there. . .
This things a monster.
If cuba gets eny where that eye of dennis there in alot of trouble!Cuba might expirence winds up to 140 mph!Lets just hope they will be okay!Its now a strong category 4 storm!Leaping from 135 to 150 mph.Just itching to get to a category 5!
God Bless Cuba!
God Bless Cuba....
me too punkasshans.
I have been close to a couple of Cat 1 and 2 hurricanes. Personal I rather not see a Cat 5 up close and personal
Ive seen a 4/5 up close. Craziest thing ever. Greatest experience ever.
It's hard to tell those who know what they're talking about and those who do not in the comments section. WARNING: those who are looking for actual news, read the blogs, not the comments. Florida weather buffs are saying it is headed their way, while Mississippi weather buffs have it headed their way. Anyone in Texas want to join the mix? It's going to hit, and we should all pray for those who actually witness the wrath of this storm.

Everyone is wrong its not going to hit Florida, Mississippi or Texas its going to hit NY
Rodrigo, take a hike. And buy yourself a sense of humor while you are at it. This isn't a guestbook for a funeral, it's a place for weather buffs to have fun chatting, and yes, cracking a few jokes to lighten things up.
Astro, I too am a man of science. A laboratory director "Labboy". But I am first and foremost a Christian. I want to understand, but I know that I must beleave first.
There is nothing funny about death. BUT I agree sometimes a little humor as morbid as it may be is necessary to keep sanity in the face of danger. Now lets get back to the storm... the next update is due.
I agree Hawk. If we lose humor, we lose it all. Forgive my prostelizication earlier. Just don't like seeing people ridiculed for their faith and good-will.

Here's a funny one regarding Dennis...my wife's parents (modern day rednecks) are evacuating from Houston!!!! They think they're going to be blown away. How she came out of that situation with sense and class is beyond me.
One more thing, I didn't joke about the deaths, I joked about the way the sentence was written.
I hope that high pressure ridge weakens and moves to the south east so that it will spare Pensacola and hit the big bend area. Sorry for the people in the big bend area but they barely got anything last year.
I don't care who you are but that was funny!!!! HOUSTON????
Yes...they are leaving Houston. They do not believe in forecasts or even common sense. They are going inland to Austin. The only thing that would make it funnier would be if they were rolling their home with them, but it's stationary. I laughed so hard I couldn't breath. You gotta love it.
no matter what happens it will impact the lives of millions of people. It is going to be catastrophic (open to intepretation). just like they say "one mans trash is another treasure" Only time will tell. Can I think of another cliche? I'll try.
Humor is absolutely necessary. Our home flooded with salt water in Opal in 1995. It was the best thing that happend in my (then) 5-year marriage. I was able to get rid of all of the "ex-wife furniture" (even though she never lived here)as it was ALL destoryed (!!!) and make this house my own. Happily married ever since. My DH doesn't know, but this time I am planning the new layout of the house (in case we flood again). I want to push the garage far down our 40 ft driveway and enlarge the dining room and kitchen. I want to totally move the laundry room closer to the bedrooms, make my son's room and the guest rooms larger, and maybe even add a second story. Gallows humor, but soooo necessary......I will be very, very grateful if our house is not destroyed by a tornado (my worst fear).
Cuba Deaths are at 10 not 4. The movement seems to have taken a path more to the West. So now is it going to pass Havana over directly to the East or to the West? Opinions?
I think it will stay East of Havana.
LOL Hawk!

I reccomend anyone in the areas look for a local TV station that uses the VIPIR radar system. It is a radar with some type of extrapolation like these computor models..Last year when Ivan was bearing down on MS coast we we're hunkered down in a house that survived Camille in '69. I had read that VIPIR predicted the hook into Punta Gorda first with Charlie(i think it was Charlie). Late that nite the local fox 8 station in New Orleans said VIPIR predicted a hook East into AL/FL line, before the models did. Sure enough , it hooked right and slammed into Perdido key area. VIPIR is now predicting a last minute hook into the Destin/Panama area away from Pensacola. Cuba may skew this but I'll follow VIPIR all the way in, Its batting 1000
ok now this is what I think. all week long I have said Biloxi or even Gulf Port MS for Dennis to hit as a Cat 3 or 4. If you have noticed it has moved more to the west than east. I live in Mobile and the latest info we were given was between Pascagoula MS to Pensacola FL and Mobile Bay as center for land fall. Now it still looks like the same path as Fredrick or close anyway and it went up the state line of AL and MS. I have to ride this thing out b/c I work for the city and I have to be ready to work, I do hate that part and I wish this thing on no one...
VIPIR is fantastic. Our local NBC affiliate had some kind of enhanced VIPIR system (the VIPIR people gave it to them for the storm, I don't know if they purchased later or what), but VIPIR was FANTASTIC in predicting where the tornadoes were and where they were going. The tv simulcast on local radio. The metoerologists were able to tell exactly which streets/roads/highways were in danger and to tell people to take cover immediately. It was fantastic.
Any chance Dennis will spend so much time over Cuba (meandering more west than north) that it will have a hard time ever recovering in the Gulf?
I think the eye will start to "breathe" again when it gets close to the warm water and resume the forcast path of NW. The land has definitely interupted the NW quad of the storm though.
no doubt itll reform....look at cindy passing over the Yucatan peninsula, much harser terrain their............
The longer it stays over Cuba, the weaker it will become, BUT, it WILL recover...and quite quickly with the extreme warm water temps and favorable atmospheric conditions.
Hurricane Humor (sort of)

I grew up in NC about 100 miles from the coast, one year a tropical system came on shore and me and my step-brother deciding to go adventuring during it (20 - 40 MPH winds, lots of rain, flooding). Being country boy kids we where use to be wet muddy and living by our wits. Any how I was walking around when a cottonmouth (for those know in the know a cottonmouth aka Water Moccasin - http://www.wf.net/~snake/moccasin.htm ) bit me on my shoe. I thought I was a goner I was so scared I soiled myself and then I realized I felt no pain, no vemon in my system. I looked down to see the snake with its fangs stuck in my boot. Which spooked me some more so I was running around with the snake in my shoe (LOL). Also I know a off-color hurricane joke I can't tell here (its R rated)
Any chance Dennis will spend so much time over Cuba ....

It may skew the tracking but it is too big to not recover
Remember Hurricane George several years back? It made landfall on the southeast tip of Hispaniola at about 965 mb. It then traversed the entire highly mountainous length of that island, then also went over half of Cuba including the mountains in the eastern part. Needless to say, the low level circulation was torn to shreds, but because it still had a real nice mid and upper level structure it was able to recover just fine in the Gulf. It ended up hitting around Biloxi at about 960 mb. Dennis should be able to recover quite fast as soon as its inner core gets back out into the water.
As a way of quantifying the amount of "fuel" avaiable for tropical cyclones, please note the use and development of MPI (Maximum Potential Intensity). While not by any means a clear indicator of future storm intensity (w/o regard to shear, i.e), locating areas of high-MPI are considered very favorable for supporting major hurricanes. The current maps show a very hospitable Gulf of Mexico using the MPI metric.
The MPI is found here:
Well, it sounds like you guys are dead on... Latest update just out from the NHC. Dennis is definitely losing steam, but will at least be a Cat 2 (perhaps weak) when he emerges...
Hawk is that thing slipping more West than expected..? I was looking at NEXRAD/Key West/animated and I can't tell if that is an optical illusion because of the shape of this banana(republic) shaped country or what.
Thanks RyanFSU,
thats a cool site.

It ended up hitting around Biloxi at about 960 mb.

I was there!
Looks like about ~42 miles more to traverse before the eye emerges off the coast..so it should be in 2.5 - 3 hours.
Looks to be tracking just north of West....definitely WNW vice NW. I find that the zoom feature helps if you are running a java loop.....
Paul from Pass Christian...I'm in Diamondhead.
It may go west for a bit then stall and then go north northwest and eventually north east.
Impact site will depend in large part in how long it keeps going more westerly, before it takes the big hook...
Big thunderstorms moving into the sarsota area. Wind is starting to pick up. We got .20 inches of rain from the first squall line.
i agree Astrophysics. There may be some shifts in the "projected path" but I actually feel that the path will eventually shift more to the east. From my experience when storms get that far north they will become subject to the corriolis (sp) effect and spin off to the NNE the NE.
Timber ridge WX;
Dennis has definitely made a more westerly track than I thought it would. This is a pretty narrow strip of land, but Dennis is doing its best to stay over it.
Impact on New Orleans if west shift is true and arrive as a cat5???????
P.A. says 115MPH. Dennis stop for Tequila?
Yeah...at first he didn't want to come ashore...now, he does not want to go back to sea.
The new SHIPS intensity model(data located on the wunderground models page) now keeps Dennis at about 110 miles per hour all the way through the Gulf and then even weakens it to about 100 mph at landfall.
Actually BRDinShalimarFL, the Corilois force was responsible for the WNW movement of Dennis and most storms in the deep tropics when there is little synoptic-scale forcing to redirect. This "Beta effect" deals with the increase of the Corolis parameter as one travels northward. Your experience more aptly describes recurvature which is largely a result of an upstream trough or rounding the periphery of the Bermuda high. The Coriolis effect is overrated for TC development, with a prime example being the famous near-equatorial development of Typhoon Vamei 12/27/01 (at 1.5deg N).
That will decrease the devastaion zone considerably if it pans out.
Does anyone notice that the storm is starting to slow down in its forward speed?
Thank you RyanFSU, I guess thats why I chose accounting as a career. I am a weather buff and enjoy learning about our atmosphere. Again thanks for the correction.
yes, it does appear to be slowing... Dennis is doing the equivalent of digging his fingernails into the land so he doesn't have to go back into the water
probably met a woman!
git her done Dennis!!!
I was on a ship that traversed that Typhoon, 15 nm to the south of the eye. 70kts sustained with a gust to 89...a sister ship just to our north had a gust to 109 kt. I would not say that Coriolis is overrated as a cyclogenesis mechanism; rather I would say it is not the only effect that can create enough rotation to induce a Tropical Cyclone to form. Typhoon Vamei was a very interesting event. The monsoon trof was situated E-W along the equator with a large swath of general convection and thounderstorms. A surge of air came down the South China sea from the Northeast(the Taiwan straghts and the Luzon gap...while southerly flow was coming up from the southern hemisphere through the gap between Sumatra and Borneo. This created enough shear to cause rotation and boom...mini Typhoon Vamei formed.
OK we need a good loop for the last few hours..whos got a good link?
I was looking at the WV loop on the TPC site and is the movement decepting us?
Intellicast isn't bad for loops. Well, I live in Panama City Beach. It looks like Dennis has it eyes are on us. I hope Cuba saps it's energy. Good luck to all in the panhandle. Pray this thing withers the closer it gets to the US.
WX -Looks like it is still going N of NW on that one!

BRD is that what your seeing?
It is now moving more Northwest now...its continuing in wobble mode...kinda like a drunk staggering down the street...he ends up going down the street...but crosses back and forth heading first one direction then the other.
NW still w/ jogs to the W and N to avg NW
Here is your loop.. http://www.srh.noaa.gov/radar/loop/DS.p19r0/si.kbyx.shtml
According to the radar, the center will go directly over Havana, and when Dennis first hit Cuba I thought there was no way it would make it far enough west to hit Havana.
I think its overall NW or NNW; the WNW slant of Cuba made me think it was a steady WNW. It's getting hammered though; It's got a cigar and taking a break; Any predictions on model changes for daybreak?
Now Due S of Key West, and still ashore Cuba. Good news for the Keys, and the SW Florida coast.
If Dennis is a drunk, he eyes are blurry, but Havanna looks like a big fat beer tap.
Explains the wobble
I tend to wobble after a few beers and a good cigar.
I might be wobbling while my house is wobbling while Dennis is wobbling above PCB
We are getting hammered here in key largo. It must be terrible in cuba (140 miles away.) We have flooding power outages and the hurrinane shutters are shuttering! Sitting with a lap top hoping the battery lasts. How long before it starts to ease?
Parents have condo in Perdido; whacked during Ivan; Only started renting again 6 weeks ago. not happy campers right now
Sh&t KEY Largo!

I thought you we're evaced. It's still going to get a bit closer. How are you typing anyway?!
Sorry, How do you have access to the net?
I hope Dennis doesn't wobble your house! My Sister, husband, and newborn just bought their first house over there and hope that they are unaffected by Dennis. I dont want anyone's house a' rockin. Again I hope that Dennis will show mercy on where he decides to make landfall. I hope Castro castrates Dennis.
Phone lines are still working for dial up! And we have battery power for the Lap top and modem.
Ha! Castro is probably choking on a Cigar right now. I will likely evac to Georgia. I have some friends getting together at a place up there. Problem is, I have to leave my dog in my bathroom w/ lots of food and water:(

I'm so depressed.
I am sure that it will be awhile till you get some relief in KW. I am sure you are getting hammered. Keep Safe. I look forward to chatting with you in future storms.
KEY check out Nexrad/KeyWest/animated on this site. That will give you an Idea
w3atlsu what is your location? That is such a tuff decision. I just won't leave my animals. You got to do what you got to do. Good luck.
Panama City Beach - close to Pier Park (way out of flood zone). I don't want to, but no pets allowed where I can go. Believe me, I am not happy about this at all.
Wow -- Mandatory evacuation ordered in Mobile County, AL -- the ENTIRE county --well for me here in Biloxi, I'm taking that road trip to Texas tomorrow. God bless you all.
I wish you were closer. What kind of dog do you have? If you were closer to fort walton beach area I would be happy to drive by your place to ensure (post-storm) safety. Can you get a friend there to ensure post-storm integrity of your place?
I appreciate your thoughtfulness. I do have a neighbor that should stay in town (he works for public works). But, if it jumps to a mid 4 or 5 he will evac. Good news is, he has a critical situation pass that will allow him to return early because of his job. So, everything should work out, unless this thing gets really big after Cuba. I'm putting the dog (mix of manchester terrier and min Pinscher - small dog) in my bathroom with lots of food and water. She'll have a mat to go to the bathroom on in the shower. I hope it works out. I hate leaving her. But, I have things covered as best as I can. Thanks again
dang, it will take another 2.5 hours for Dennis' center to fully move offshore
Dang? Yahoo! (I know what you meant)
Watch millions of poeple along the Gulf coast evacuate, then Dennis will struggle to recover after being over land for so long, then it will encounter shear in the northern Gulf and hit land with no wind reports higher than 80 mph. That may not be likely, but my jaw wouldn't drop if it did happen that way.
There seems to be a lull in the in the wind. I'm going to take a quick look outside.
At 9:50 EDT, Havana had a pressure of 997 mb and wind of 30 w/ gusts to 48. Should go up fast over the next two hours.
Hawkeye, I agree. When I get prepared for the worst, it turns into a good fishing weekend. If I half-#$@ around, the whole town gets blown off the map.
I'v been away for a while moving things inside... I'm in Destin.. Question: Should I go inland 70 miles (Jackson Co.) and be in the NE quad (if it comes into PC or Apalach.) OR should I go pick my mom up there and bring her back to Destin (especially if Destin is west of the storm). And, can I start relying on the models first thing in the am to make this decision. Last year we evacuated from Destin to Jackson Co. during Ivan to be with me mom (elderly) and we dodged the F2s for four hours. The VIPIR was excellent. That was Jason Kelly with channel 7 in PC. Excellent coverage, but very scarey. The formations were just one after another and they followed all of them through with street by street coverage if you were in the path. I don't want to be in that scenario again (7 people died as a result of the tornadoes)... would have rather stayed in Destin. (hindsight 20/20) Comments please!!!
Dennis downgraded to cat 2!

pressure estimated at 962
moving nw at 13, a bit slower than last hour again
newest track moved west to fla/al border
I am sure she will be fine. I have a taco bell dog (can't spell Chi--whatever). They do very well but are definitely awaiting your return. Good luck.
Hawkeye...that would actually be worst case this early in the season....particularly for those west of Pensacola...who did not have to bear the brunt last season. They will be frustrated after bailing out and then nothing happens.
Ha! She looks alot like a chiuhuah=whatever. Thanks for the concern, good luck, keep blowing this thing west
and be in the NE quad
I wouldn't be in the NE quad of any storm

There is some damage here! Roofs etc....

Will the wind start to ease by morning?
By morn it should. u will be out of the NE quad. you still have quite a few hours of impact. but dont forget the possibility of tornatic activity. never let your guard down.
KeyLargo where ya at? Been outside a while, hope everything is allright.
NHC discussion says they expect Dennis to emerge into the Gulf shortly and there is a recon plane flying along the coast waiting for it. They expect Dennis could strengthen to 125 mph and remain at that intensity until landfall. They say intensification beyond 125 mph is not out of the question.
Hi, I'm back in, safe behind hurricane shutters. My roof is starting to go...
Just the soffits blown out so far, but now the wind can get up in there and try and lift the roof. Even if the roof goes... I've got concrete between me and the sky. Should be fine as far as safty goes... its just property.
Basically didnt say anything that we all didnt already have put together. Biggest item of interest i saw was that they got off of the GFS centric solution and moved to match the consenus a little more.
That Joe guy on Accuweather says its going west to LA. We are about ready to leave. Any tips? Live on West Beach in Gulf Shores.
Good luck Key Largo...you are right, it's just "stuff". Many more things much more important in life. Grin and bear it, good luck. Keep us updated
237. Selu

Do NOT leave your dog. Call the city to which you will be traveling in Georgia, and make arrangements for him to stay at a kennel.

I can't imagine leaving any of my pets.

I am volunteering here to care for anyone's pets who needs me to, if they are staying in a shelter or hotel that won't allow pets. Surely there are volunteers in the area of Georgia, or at least some vets with kennels. I can't imagine how terrified your dog will be, alone in a house for god knows how long, not knowing what is happening. PLEASE make some kind of arrangement for the dog. Please.

I was just watching the WV loop on NOAA and what is up w/ the convection in the NE gulf. It seems to be blow'n to the NE from the trough coming from the NW what impact will this have on the forecast track?
I am at a loss as to where this Hurricane is going. It keeps wobbling and until it is out in the water again I think it is almost senseless to try and predict and exact landfall...just everyone beware and check in tomorrow morning. I still feel once it gets off the coast it will shoot NNW and stay much closer to the West coast of Florida, but if it keeps going west it will stay off...I think it really depends on where it spits back off of Cuba.
Okay, it's time. I have tried every reason to try to put this off but my wife and the governor win. We are leaving.

We are headed north to stay with neighbors parents. Wife, three little kids and a dog.

Hopefully we will be back Sunday and things will still be here.
for any who haven't noticed yet, Steve has a new update
ed2800: wish you had spoken up sooner and saved me a lot of time on the tracking. Model ed2800... Good Luck!
Alright, alright. All letters are off limits.
Well, it depends a bit in the Gulf where one is -- but generally the temps are near normal -- see the link below... The bigger issue is the depth of the warm water, which remains a bit shallow at this point.

OK WTF This is BS
Glad that's out of the system... {smirk}
I see what you are saying. I must have heard an overall not a specific. Could it be sensationalism? Probably. Thanks for the link
Thanks Muffinanne, I just found this site. but 4 in 10 months is getting old here. I keep thinking they can't come back, but it seems to be forming a pattern.
Latest update from NHC is in...

Still 110mph; 962 mb

Now the wait begins -- to see what Dennis can bring to the table on a rebound...
Another seemly unrelated problem, is there a connection between the recent shark attacks along the gulf stream and warmer waters? What do you think? Or is this just an anomaly or result of the previous years canes?
One theory on the shark attacks... The population continues to grow year by year -- especially in FL where the population growth is rampant. More people in the water; great chance of more shark attacks.
Similar concept for hurricanes and insurance... The population continues to surge in FL; the hurricanes keep coming; the damage amounts continue to explode. At what point do the insurance agencies simply say that FL is uninsurable...?
Okay...Dan (my neighbor) and I let the girls head out. We are leaving in the AM after boarding windows and slugging some brews. It has satisfied two things: her need to go and my need to stand and guard the home...at least for a bit. So I will continue to read what you smart folks write and every now and then Dan and I will go out on the deck and blow toward the south.

In fact...all those left in West Beach go out and blow. I bet we can make a difference.

Better yet, everyone in Texas go outside and inhale!
Hotels are full in Tallahassee, so if you are evacuating, please drive on through. Since the panhandle is fairly flat up to about I-10 in the Big Bend area, storm surge is a major problem. For Tally area, the following is a map of the expected storm surge http://www.tallytown.com/redcross/graphics/ssm-map-002.jpg Similar maps exist for the rest of the Florida coasts and show that Cat 3 strength reaches 20 miles inland.
What about Z? That's not used much
I agree.
But we have "feeding" sharks for years. the density of people in the water hasn't increased that much. Either the beach is packed or its not. I see something more here. I am by no means an expert on weather or marine biology but see these storms alterating the environment that these preditors live in. Either by changes in the water flow or temp or by changing the flow of food for these preditors. Could Erin and Opal have altered the underwater topography to increase certain risks; even the way that TCs maintain themselves
Maybe the word has just been passed around among all the sharks that surfers taste good.
Just don't be in the water for "supper"
I currently reside in a CAT 4-5 storm surge area. What do you think STAY or GO?
Thats is. I don't feel like being a snack for a bull shark. Isn't that what tourists are for? (*just kidding; more sick humor).
So in the past 48 hours I have become this fanatic weather fan...in reality I'm an OB/GYN. But with a new house being threatened, here I am.

Some of you more seasoned weather guys go look at the water vapor loop over the gulf of Mexico. If this pattern holds, it seems to me it might "shear" the storm?

What say you?

Isn't that what tourists are for? (*just kidding; more sick humor).

Just thinning the herd. LOL
have become this fanatic weather fan...in reality I'm an OB/GYN

Come on BRD! Those letters are popping up again!
It will shear the storm some
Camille surge data:


For any interested, especially other MS Gulf Coasters.

Me: 30d.19'.15.95" N 89d.14'.38.08" W Elev 10'

PS: Do what you have to do to take your pets.

Peace until morn.

Everyone notice the new convection firing on the south and east quadrants of Dennis' core and it is attempting to wrap around.
Hawk...just finished supper...where are you seeing this? (Meaning satellite, IR, etc.)
paul next time I go through PC I need to buy you a beer.

I hope that you, your family, and your property will come through this...
BUT remember we can't change what will happen. Please protect the thing that is most important... LIFE. But you know that.

Make the best of it.

As long as I have lived on the gulf coast, the one thing that I learned is not to stress out about things that I can't change. You may be right about shear or not. Just protect the things you love. do not get stressed about.

It drives me crazy to see someone "flip out" about something that they have absolutely no control over. Just keep going and move on from the things that may stand in the way you wish to be.

Sorry I am tired and going to catch a nap so I may not be making a whole lot of sense.

I will say a prayer for you and everyone... may Dennis show mercy.
On both the key west radar and satellite
BRD- Hold you to that..Almost out now!

I hope everyone here tonite gets a pass on this cigar-smoking Dennis POC.(sorry BRD)
Hawk...I saw it. Having never really watched one of these before, it is awesome. Not like child-birth, but simply amazing in it's strength and power. Almost as if it has a personality. I find it the most tantilizing natural event of all.
OK WTF This is BS unless you are a OB/GYN. (its history man). Talk to ya'll tomorrow.
Wow, new RECON report just in and this thing is real weak!!!

974 mb pressure
max flight level wind 80 mph, so even less at the surface
The system may have weakened but the IR Sat shows cloud tops again building around the center so it should begin to build in strength soon.
Enough suds. Enough reading. I'm bleary eyed. Good night all. I will wake up in GS tomorrow and make a decision about what to do next. Let's hope Dennis continues his downward trend and gets sheared to death.

Thanks for having me.
Has anyone noticed that the 2 am EDT BAMM shifted west over South Alabama?
OK WTF This is BS unless you are a OB/GYN. (its history man). Talk to ya'll tomorrow.

SOAB! I wish I had of said that!

Thankfully Dennis may turn out to be a P! I haven't used that one yet BRD!

and gets sheared to death

I hate when that happens
Yeah, and notice how the SHIPS intensity model now predicts Dennis to be about an 85 mph category 1 storm at landfall. Man, Cuba really ripped Dennis a new one, much worse than any of the experts predicted. Most thought it would still be a cat 3 coming off of Cuba.
Enough suds

Oxy Moron..

Good Luck Thunder! keep in touch
New recon report says the pressure has dropped by 1 mb to 973 and the wind has increased by 2 mph. Dennis is really bombing out now ;)
Im looking at 2am report still showing 100 mph ?
i hope your info is latest..
For a nice comparsion to Charely from last year and its trek across Cuba, go into the NRL TC archive and pop up a few IR satellite pics. The lat/lon and pressure fixes are appended to the file names when you click on the links.


look at 08/13 06z and 08/13 12z, very similar to the upcoming convective max for Dennis.
Morning in the keys! We are still here, some roof damage but it held so far. Lots of minor wind damage and some major damage.
Hey Key Largo! Glad your doing well. Cuba really took the brunt of that monster for us.... hopefully not going to intensifiy to that level again pre landfall up here in the panhandle. W and bro Jeb need to get some aid down there and fast.
Any one there? Looks like the GFS has shifted west off the florabama bar and into MS/AL.
No....make that the tip of LA and MS!!!!
Man I went to bed at 1am it has down graded to a 1 now it has exploded back to a cat 2 and will be a strong cat 3 by the time it gets here in Mobile. I want everybody to be careful and play it SAFE.
What website are you using for the GFS run?
No....make that the tip of LA and MS!!!!

That can't be right. Dennis is south of Cuba in that graphic!
Yup, just got in from a walk... it could have been alot worse. We have 1/2 power. Lights, TV, but no AC, hot water, or cooking. Could be alot worse, cuba sure took it in the teeth.

Last night with winds in the 6o mile range the water in the toilet bowl was swirling round and round, I'm guessing that ment the building was moving???
It's showing up on the wunderground computer models. Unless I can't see sraight (which could be).
It's showing up on the wunderground computer models. Unless I can't see sraight (which could be).

I see it too, but look at the initial position of Dennis in that plot. Except for the BAMM, the rest have an initial position for Dennis way south of Cuba.

Agree, so that may be the error that they diclaim!!! Very interesting. GFDL isn't showing up on wunderground right now. Wonder what's up with that ....adjusting further west????
It's showing up on the wunderground computer models. Unless I can't see sraight (which could be).

I saw an earlier plot this morning, before this one showed up. Most of the models have it between Mobile and Pensacola, with the GFDL (if I recall correctly) just east of Mobile.
Yup, the models other than BAM are screwed up at the moment. The starting point is we off.
Yea. They better get that straightened out quickly, b/c if I were in NO and saw that I'de be tres concerned (if not already)!
It's straightened out, one of our image creation machines picked a bad time to cough out a glitched computer models map.
What did look like a New Orleans landfall is now back to the Mobile landfall.

Dr. Jeff Masters
Okay kids. I'm outta here. Got my car gassed up early and Dan and I are headed to meet our wives. What should be a 1.5 hour drive will probably take 7 or 8 days.

Best wishes to all of you. Even though it's heading to Fla, it's a little too close for comfort.


What kind of winds can I expect in Destin 60 to 80 miles east of the eye if it goes in around Mobile or Florabama, and it's a weak 3 at 111mph? Also, how much smaller is this storm compared to Ivan? Thanks for the input.

This isn't over yet in the Keys. We just had a tremendous gust in Key Largo that emptied the last of some coconuts from a tree I've been watching all night.

BTW when a coconut hits a car window at 50 mph.... the coconut wins!
Is it just me or has Dennis slowed down?
The forecaster from channel 7 news in Miami just said "good news, it looks like Dennis will drop to a tropical storm before it makes landfall in the panhandle" I don't see that.
Tropical Storm??? NHC new update says cat 2 at landfall with the storm only very slowly reorganizing and some less favorable conditions as it approaches the coast. Cuba sure did the coastal residents a favor by ripping Dennis to shreds.
Actually, the NHC didn't mention anything about less favorable conditions toward the coast, but Steve Lyons of TWC did.
it looks like Dennis will drop to a tropical storm before it makes landfall in the

Somebody needs to tell Dennis
New recon report is pathetic. The pressure over the last four hours has only dropped 1 mb to 966 mb. The max flight level wind is a very low 64 kts. The temp difference between the inside and outside of the eye is only 2 degrees. All of this says that Dennis is weak and shows no signs of changing.
Like I said, just West of Pensacola...Florabama area...Cat 2...'nuff said...get off the beach, folks!
It seems like the eye is heading more north northwest in the last half hour or so on the radar. Probably just another wobble. Hopefully it will continue though so we can get more rain and wind. I went surfing earlier this morning and the surf is starting to really pick up here in Sarasota.
The latest visible satellite images do look better, so we'll have to wait and see if this is the beginning of a successful attempt to get some convection wrapped around the west side of the eye.
Latest recon shows strengthening Dennis with 962 mb and 90 kt flight level winds.
We are safe at my neighbor's parents house near Talledega? My wife is threatening divorce because I am now officially addicted to weather blogging.

Interesting find. Go check on the Weather Channel web site. Plug in Houston, Texas and then watch the radar loop. It looks like a low pressure circulation just off the coast of Houston or Galveston. Does anyone else see this and is there any hope it might help yank Dennis further west?

Let me know. Gotta go play comforting husband for a bit.
New pressure down to 958 mb. Dennis didnt't behave at all like I thought; I thought it would maintain more of its strength over Cuba, and after its pressure rose over 970 mb I did not think its internal organization would recover much. My guess yesterday of 953 mb for landfalling pressure may not be far wrong, although it looks like pcola instead of Panama City
Sometimes, I wonder how many more major hurricanes would landfall on the US if Cuba and Hispanolia did not exist.
Yeah, really...here in Tampa, we're sure glad we have Cuba as a "shield" of sorts.
well, looks like channel 7 and TWC were wrong. . NHC predicts the storm could possibly reach cat 4 again.
Residents of Mobile and Pensacola had better hope this thing weakens at the last minute.
Dr. Masters, may I make the suggestion that you start a fresh comments section? This is getting rather long.
Dr. Masters, may I make the suggestion that you start a fresh comments section? This is getting rather long.

I agree..1 hr download for a dial-up!
347. sarty
Frightening (I live in Pensacola). Will the slightly cooler water directly south of Pensacola have any effect in steering the storm away (east or west) towards slightly warmer waters?