Wednesday, August 15, 2007

1 comment:
"SADDLE UP YOUR HORSES,
WE GOT A TRAIL TO BLAZE..."
- Steve Curtis Chapman

Open waters = stronger hurricane

FIRST DISCUSSION - posted Tue 8/14. The trail to blaze in this case is configuring an accurate landfall forecast for this storm, and whether or not those in the Gulf or Southeast should be concerned. While this map looks ominous for the southern and eastern Caribbean, a lot can change over the next 5 days. My expectation is that influence from the Atlantic Ridge continues to nudge Dean's projected track under the islands. Were that to occur within 5 days, then risk as a landfalling strong hurricane in the Yucatan or central/western Gulf rises considerably. Whether or not that becomes a possibility will be more clear by the time we get to late in the weekend. I've been adding new links and revising the tropical section. Be sure to review The Weather Underground's improved tropical links, they've added a variety of features that give you an almost real-time view of approaching systems. As always, if you have encountered a reputable and quality website for tracking the tropics, please consider posting your info in the comments. Here's an example satellite image showing storm data:

Outflow developing in 3 quadrants

If Dean threatens to fulfill the projection shown above, you can expect this to rattle oil markets somewhat. Futures traders are no doubt already nervously watching to see how shipping companies and Gulf Coast refineries are going to deal with the potential disruptions caused by platform evacuations and facility shutdowns, as reported today by Bloomberg.com.

For at least a day or two, we're going to have two storms to follow, as Tropical Storm Erin, though likely to have a shorter lifespan than Dean, will make landfall along the south Texas coast late in the week.