Saturday, August 18, 2007


Sandals resort in Ocho Rios
Looking north from a Sandals resort in Ocho Rios.

Category 5 for 48 hours? Incredible.

SATURDAY 8/18 UPDATE: In retrospect to Friday's post, I believe it was/is insensitive to overlook the potential catastrophe that looms before Jamaica. While southern Texas is almost certain to feel the effects from this storm, it will pale in comparison to the wickedness to descend on the island nation starting tomorrow. Although millons of residents from the Houston region all the way down to Brownsville are no doubt becoming anxious, we should keep in mind that anyone in this storm's path has a family just like you and me. I also remind myself that the wrong approach to take is by thinking, "well, at least parts of Mexico will absorb the worst, sparing the U.S." Anywhere this storm lands will experience catastrophic loss of property, but hopefully advance preparation and improved forecasting will prevent loss of life. Regarding the projected path, the best scenario is that peripheral interaction with the southern part of Hispanola could produce some frictional effects, thus changing the storm's course temporarily. Several previous hurricanes, most notably Ivan, ended up curving around Jamaica somewhat, sparing the island from widespread destruction that a Category 5 direct hit would produce. The downside to this outcome is that a track north of the island may increase the probability of a U.S. landfall. As the weekend progresses, I will add information, maps and analysis. The best thing we can all do is pray strongly and frequently for the safety of those in the storm's path, and hope they are taking all the precautions they can.

Building into a buzzsaw

View the latest satellite loop, radar and tracking maps here.

Jamaica: Tall mountains and beautiful beaches

Looking north from near Kingston's University of West Indies.

Northern view near Kingston's University of West Indies

Jamaica is a beautiful country, but it's more than just beachfront resorts. There's 3 million people with families, jobs, homes and children. They are no stranger to hurricanes, but they definitely don't need a Category 5 to remind them of the importance of being prepared.

Jamaican residents stocking up on kerosene

Model projections as of 7AM on 8-18.

Model projections as of 7AM 8-18


Texas Gulf Coast 1

Computer model projection as of Friday afternoon. Changes in the 5-day track will continue.

The GFDL is an outlier, so hope it's just out "lying"

Category 3, 125 mph. If another round of explosive strengthening occurs, we could be knocking on the door of Category 5 with a day or two. This has been observed several times in recent memory, most notably with Opal in 1995, and Wilma in October 2005. That storm surprised everyone overnight, screaming all the way from 85 mph up to 150 mph in less than 6 hours. That strengthening occured in generally the same area of high ocean heat content that Dean is about to cross in the next 48 hours.

Where this beast goes is the 100 billion dollar question


TQ said...

I suspect the storm would contribute ridging to its north and force the track toward the W vice WNW should such intensification occur.

Just keep it away from me. We lived in HOU for several years and never had to deal with tropical cyclones.

Mr. Brisko said...

I am hopping, for some rain around these parts. Dean is looking mighty fine.