Thursday, August 16, 2007
This is Tropical Storm DEAN. Updated to Hurricane.
Clicking on the link will give you a loop of about 4 hours of satellite imagery condensed into a few seconds.
This is not a monster, but it's located east of the Antilles and Virgin Islands and tracking west at 20 knots (23 mph/37 kmh).
Maximum sustained winds are 73 mph/110 kph with gusts to 86 mph/139 kmh. The minimum central pressure is 991 millibars. That's pretty low and that means this thing will probably become a hurricane by Thursday afternoon.
If it stays on track at the same speed of advance, it will hit Jamaica on Sunday evening, well after it has gained strength.If it continues on a straight track, (and there is no guarantee of that), it will pick up warm water from the southern edge of the Loop Current in the Gulf of Mexico. If that happens, and it doesn't cause cold water to upwell, it could explode.
It may weaken as it tracks west, if there is enough cold water.
This one is worth watching.
Update: 5 a.m. EDT. DEAN has now been upgraded to a hurricane, the first of the season. I continues to track west and has increased in speed to 21 knots (24 mph/44 kmh). Sustained winds are now 75 mph/121 kmh. Central minimum pressure has dropped to 987 millibars. It is currently tracking on a path which would have it make landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula. A deep layer ridge has formed to the north which will probably not interact with the cyclone. For the latest satellite image go here.