Saturday, August 18, 2007
Hurricane Dean is continuing along the forecast track with amazing steadiness. That would be good for some and a disaster for others.
The actual speed of advance has slowed somewhat and is now approximately 15 knots (17 mph/28 kmh) although that will change the expected arrivals at various points along its path very little.
Global weather indicates that a low pressure area over Florida will move westward and be replaced by a strong ridge. This should keep Dean tracking in a westerly direction, something with which all computer models agree, except for GFDL which continues to produce a forecast track farther to the north.
As Dean hits even warmer waters, and that could be at any time now, it will probably increase to Category 5. Three hours ago the internal pressure was read at 924 millibars, however a more recent reading showed a slight rise to 929 mb. That is not unexpected as the hurricane goes through several eye wall cycles over the next few days.
Jamaica has issued a Hurricane Warning and the Cayman Islands are now on Hurricane Watch.
The wind speed at data buoy 42059 has reached near 40 knots (46 mph/74 kmh) and the sea surface temperature is starting to show a sudden cooling. The latter is the effect of the hurricane stripping heat off the surface.
The globe's air conditioning system just got switched to high.
Newer information here.