Monday, August 20, 2007

Hurricane Dean to Strike Yucatan as Cat 5 Storm

Hurricane Dean was all it was advertised to be when it passed at the worst possible position to the island, just to its SE. The eyewall was just SE of Kingston, Jamaica at the height of the storm and at that time before their weather instruments failed, Kingston saw a wind gust of 134 mph. That will do quite a bit of damage. Early damage reports are still not detailed and we will not know that true damage that Dean did to Jamaica until probably this weekend or early next week when all the estimates can be tallied up.

Dean is still a strong Cat 4 storm with winds of 150 mph, gusting to 185 mph ATTM. As you can see on the satellite image above, it looks very impressive with a defined eyewall and symmetrical shape overall. Pressures have come down and this is a sign that the storm is strengthening once again over the 85 degree waters of the Carribbean Sea. Some computer models are making this storm a Cat 5 by landfall sometime tomorrow. Winds could be in the 155-160 mph with wind gusts in the 190 to 195 mph range.

It will come south of the major resorts like Cancun, which has pretty much been abandoned by foreign tourists the past couple days. Many have fled the resort city and have cut their trips short to be on the safe side. Smart thinking. Dean will likely give these places minimal hurricane force winds to strong tropical storm force winds and heavy rainfall. It should be minimal damage here. Where it strikes in the central part of the Yucatan, there will likely be CATASTROPHIC damage with all structures likely failing and lives lost.

It should weaken passing over the land to perhaps a Cat 1 storm with winds of 80-90 mph after ravaging the Yucatan. There is an area of disturbed weather north of the islands in the western Atlantic ATTM as well and it will need to be watched as it heads into an area of favorable for development with water temperatures in the 82-90 degree range.

Now to our weather. Tonight will be the coldest night in a while for Northern New England, but not so for Southern New England for the simple fact that here in southern New England, we have lots of clouds and the chance of showers overnight tonight. Lows here in SNE will likely stay above 50.

Northern New England will not be so lucky. They will be still protected by the high pressure system that has kept the train of rain to our south affecting the LLWS in Williamsport the past couple of days. A few showers will move into SNE tonight, mainly south of the Mass Pike. Northern New England is under Frost and Freeze Warnings with temperatures falling below 32 degrees in parts of NW Maine. Low to mid 30's are likely in the Frost areas. Tomorrow will be cool with highs in the 60's. We warm up with a chance of showers and storms later in the week with temperatures in the low 80's.

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