Thursday, July 7, 2005


I just heard that Dennis has crossed the Category 2 boundary, with winds of 105 mph. View the the menacing-looking satellite loop. This is a significant development for several reasons:

1. The hurricane appears to be strengthening faster than TPC projections. We will see in the morning discussion an increase in max wind estimates, currently at 105 knots (roughly 115-120 mph). I think it is becoming evident that Dennis has Category 4 potential given this 15 mph jump in speed.

2. A turn to the NW has occurred, and this may indicate the storm will jog around Jamaica to the north, not to the south as originally believed. This could be due to frictional effects of the northeast quadrant interacting with Haiti. As a result, the counter-clockwise wind flow coming around from the southwest and southeast quadrants is stronger. This in turn puts directional imbalance in the movement, with the northern portion slightly weaker and the southern portion stronger. The storm responds by turning more NW. Further evidence of this is a TPC comment from yesterday indicating the western portion of outflow was unusually consistent. Western fringes of westward moving storms can be more ragged and uneven.

3. The most important observation is that slight changes in the track now have major implications 3 and 4 days from now. If Dennis jogs around Jamaica to the north, then could frictional effects temporarily weaken the southern quadrants and allow a more westward track? This small change in movement now could mean the difference between an apocalyptic landfall in New Orleans, or an equally devastating impact on the weary Florida panhandle and surrounding states.


Terpboy said...

Since the NWS began naming hurricanes with men’s names in 1979, there have been four storms named Dennis.

1981- August- TS Dennis struck Florida, passing North through the state, skirting the coast, until it passed out to sea, becoming a Cat 1 hurricane as it moved away from the mouth of the Chesapeake.

1987- September- only reached TS levels, died well out to sea, never reaching 58 degrees W

1993- August- ditto 1987, died at 45 degrees W

1999- August/September- smacked NC twice, first, out to sea as a Cat 1, then it meandered around 74 degrees W for a few days, then it came ashore with 70 mph TS winds and torrential rains. This set the stage for Floyd, which showed up as a Cat 3 11 days later. The Dennis-soaked ground allowed no absorption, and caused tremendous flooding in the Carolinas, as well as other areas.

2005- 6 July-2300 hours- Dennis the fifth has sustained winds of 85 mph.
7 July- 0800- Dennis the V is now a strengthening Cat 2, with sustained winds of 105 mph

To quote Mr F quoting Star Wars:
"I got a bad feeling about this"


E.H. Boston said...

For now weather has taken a back seat, for me anyway.

Still trying to get in touch with several of my relatives living in London...a scary time for all of them over there, no doubt. There is nothing more I think I can say, but hope everyone is okay.

Bob said...

Here in Okaloosa County it's a beautiful summer day - sunny, not too humid. Only problem is that "thang" out there down south of Cuba. And it's headed this way. We had our fun last year with Ivan. Okaloosa and points east fared better than Pensacola, but there are still houses with blue roofs. The beach erosion caused by Opal was just starting to get better when Ivan came along, and even a dinky system like Arlene only made that worse. A hot topic in southeast Okaloosa and southwest Walton counties is beach renourishment, basically dredging sand from the Gulf and piling it up on the beach. There's some contention over this plan because it's going to be paid for by public money, and the built-up area would then be public access beach. This does not please the homeowners along the beach, who don't want the public access. Depending on which way Dennis goes, their wishes may not matter. As eroded as the beach and dunes are, I wouldn't be surprised to see some multi-million dollar beachfront homes plop into the Gulf early next week.

Terpboy said...

To e.h., and any others:

My post was written after 11PM on 6 July, when I saw that the site was "having problems" this morning, I copied and pasted it to today's Forecast on the assumption that maybe somebody would be interested in reading it...

...then I turned around and turned on the TV.

My thoughts and prayers are with those in London, and with anyone, like yourself, who has contacts in harm's way. I hope that your relatives are safe.