Saturday, August 18, 2007

Time Running Out for Jamaica

Hurricane Dean is really starting to get close to making landfall on the small island of Jamaica. I started talking about the possibilities of Dean making landfall or close to landfall on Jamaica yesterday as a Category 4 hurricane, but all indications are that this storm would most likely hit Jamaica as a Category 5 hurricane with winds in the range of 155-160 mph. These kinds of winds would cause catastrophic damage to life and property. Countless lives would be lost in the storm. Jamaica has been preparing today with evacuations set in place and people stalking up on supplies at local grocery markets.

The latest has Hurricane Dean at a strong Category 4 hurricane with winds of 150 mph, gusting to 185 mph. The central pressure is down to 929 mb. One of our models has this storm getting down all the way to 900 mb before making landfall as a strong Category 5 hurricane on the Yucatan very close to the resorts of Cancun, Mexico with winds possibly as high as 165-170 mph. Thats just one computer model and its the outlier so we'll see.

It looks like after Jamaica and the Yucatan, this storm will weaken somewhat to a Category 3 storm over the Yucatan with winds likely near 115 mph. I have seen storms with winds to 145 mph go near Cancun and come out the other side as a Cateogory 1 storm with winds of 90 mph, so that could be the saving grace for the coast of Mexico. Yes, Mexico, not the United States coastline. It looks like the coast of Texas will be spared from any direct hit. It looks like the coast of Mexico in the SW portion of the GOM would see the third and final landfall of Dean, likely as a Category 2 or 3 storm. Thats a long way out and we have to make it through the first and very important landfall with Jamaica.
Landfall for Jamaica will be tomorrow evening around 5-8 ET. May our prayers be with those who will stick through the storm down on their island paradise.
Other than Dean which is eating up the airwaves now, the tropics are in an active phase, but nothing seems to be wanting to develop into anything as of this time. Also, I think that Dean has got much of the attention of forecasters at this time and rightfully so.
Leaving Dean for a second, I want to talk about our weather for a second. If you go out tonight, bring a jacket or nice comfortable sweatshirt because it is going to be getting rather chilly out there tonight with lows getting down into the low to mid 40's in the suburbs, normally cool spots, to mid 50's in the cities, usual warmer spots. Tomorrow will likely not be as cool as it was today with my house not getting out of the low 70's. Highs around 75 will be likely tomorrow, but once that sun goes down temperatures will "plummet" again for another night of 40's and 50's. Up north in the White Mountains, temperatures will be getting very close to that freezing mark with places like Berlin, NH probably dropping down to about 33-35 degrees on Monday morning. Tomorrow morning up north for hikers, lows will likely be in the upper 30's. This cool air may fool some of our weaker trees into changing their colors prematurely as the dry conditions have already fooled some trees around where I live.
Summer is not over though. Signs are that by the end of next week we will warm up all over again with temperatures getting back into the upper 80's and 90's by next weekend.
Next Dean update tomorrow.

No comments: