Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sunday Storm Update

This morning Hurricane Dean remains a dangerous Category 4 hurricane and is bearing down on Jamaica. Current forecasts indicate that the eye or northeast quadrant of the storm will pass directly over the island sometime this afternoon and evening.

Pasted below is Bulletin No. 14 from the Meteorological Service of Jamaica:

August 19, 2007 @ 8:00 a.m.

BULLETIN No. 14

***HURRICANE DEAN BEGINS TO INFLUENCE WEATHER OVER JAMAICA***

A Hurricane Warning remains posted for Jamaica as weather conditions begin to deteriorate over sections of the country under the influence of Hurricane Dean. The dangerous effects of a hurricane are still expected to affect Jamaica within 24 hours.

At 7:00 a.m. the centre of Hurricane Dean was located near Latitude 16.8 degrees North, Longitude 74.3 degrees West. This is about 225 km (140 miles) east-southeast of Morant Point, Jamaica.

Dean continues to move westward near 30 km/h (18 mph) and this general motion is expected to continue today.

Maximum sustained winds remain near 230 km/h (145 mph), with higher gusts, making Dean a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale; however, fluctuations in strength remain a possibility. Hurricane force winds extend outward approximately 95 km (60 miles), while tropical storm force winds extend 335 km (205 miles) from the centre.

Satellite imagery indicates that spiral bands associated with the hurricane have begun to spread across the island, starting with eastern parishes. Residents can expect increasing rainfall this morning along with gusty winds rapidly reaching tropical-storm strength. Severe flash-flooding and landslides are likely to occur across the country.

Based on the official forecast track, the centre of Hurricane Dean is expected to begin moving over the waters just south of Jamaica early this afternoon and then follow a path adjacent to the coastline throughout the rest of the day. During this period, hurricane-force winds are likely to be experienced by most of the island, generating dangerous storm surges and battering waves along coastal areas of mainly southern parishes.

All interests should continue to monitor subsequent Releases from the Meteorological Service. The next Bulletin on Hurricane Dean will be issued at 11:00 a.m.

-END-

CDJ

Further strengthening after Dean leaves Jamaica and moves into the warm waters of the Caribbean and the Yucatan basin. Fox News reported this morning that that Dean will likely be a Category 5 storm by the time he hits the coast of the Yucatan peninsula.

Over the course of the day yesterday, the storm track was shifted on a more southerly direction across the Bay of Campeche with eventual landfall in northern Mexico. At the moment is certainly looks like Texas will be spared the destructive winds of this fierce storm although we can be certain that at least South Texas will receive heavy rain bringing about the potential for flooding especially after the effects of Tropical Storm Erin and the saturation from earlier heavy rains.

However... we cannot be complacent at this point. Two of the computer models are still showing the potential for this storm to track north once it enters the Gulf. At the current speed, there is still the potential for Dean to be affected by the low pressure system moving west from Florida that we discussed yesterday. At this point we need to wait until Dean enters the Gulf and then watch to see what he will do without dropping our guard.



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