I am going to assume Mr. Brendan Loy is asleep, so as a guest blogger I will post this for him, from the 5 AM EDT National Hurricane Center discussion on Dean:
DEAN MADE LANDFALL ON THE EAST COAST OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA NEAR THE CRUISE SHIP PORT OF COSTA MAYA AROUND 0830 UTC [4:30 AM EDT]…AND THE EYE IS NOW JUST INLAND. OBSERVATIONS FROM AN AIR FORCE HURRICANE HUNTER PLANE INDICATE THAT THE HURRICANE WAS INTENSIFYING RIGHT UP TO LANDFALL. A PEAK FLIGHT-LEVEL WIND OF 165 KT [190 MPH] WAS MEASURED JUST NORTH OF THE EYE. MAXIMUM SURFACE WINDS FROM THE SFMR WERE 124 KT [143 MPH]…BUT IT IS HIGHLY LIKELY THAT THE MAXIMUM SURFACE WIND SPEED WAS NOT REPORTED BY THE SFMR INSTRUMENT. A GPS DROPSONDE IN THE NORTHERN EYEWALL MEASURED A WIND SPEED OF 178 KT [205 MPH] AVERAGED OVER THE LOWEST 150 METERS OF THE SOUNDING. BASED ON THE DROPSONDE AND THE FLIGHT-LEVEL WINDS…THE INTENSITY IS SET AT 145 KT [165 MPH]. A DROPSONDE IN THE EYE MEASURED A CENTRAL PRESSURE OF 906 MB JUST PRIOR TO LANDFALL.
SOME HISTORIC NOTES ARE IN ORDER HERE. THE 906 MB CENTRAL PRESSURE IS THE NINTH LOWEST ON RECORD FOR AN ATLANTIC BASIN HURRICANE…AND THE THIRD LOWEST AT LANDFALL BEHIND THE 1935 LABOR DAY HURRICANE IN THE FLORIDA KEYS AND HURRICANE GILBERT OF 1988 IN CANCUN MEXICO. DEAN IS ALSO THE FIRST CATEGORY FIVE HURRICANE TO MAKE LANDFALL IN THE ATLANTIC BASIN SINCE ANDREW OF 1992.
You can find more resources here on this site or on mine, WX-Man.com.
UPDATE BY BRENDAN, 7:37 AM: Thanks, Brian. Here’s a satellite image of Dean at landfall:
Here’s what Dean looks like now, at sunrise:
ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s only one way for a hurricane to come ashore at this intensity: it must be approaching the coast quickly at a right angle. If it comes more slowly or more obliquely, land interaction begins before the eye is ashore, and the intensity starts to drop. This happened with Wilma at Cancun. Landfall was painfully slow. Though weakening, the storm was much more prolonged owing to its slow movement, and damage was probably just as severe as it would have been with a Dean.
Fortunately Dean has hit a much less developed area. Costa Maya, mentioned in the report, must have been completely devastated. Though some distance up its estuary, I suspect the city of Chetumal has been hard-hit as well. We will probably hear some sad stories from there. But Chetumal was smashed twice during the 1940Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s and again in 1955. The locals build with concrete now.
Moving rapidly, Dean should be still a hurricane when it emerges on the southern Gulf. It may or may not intensify there, depending on the condition of the core. The steering flow is expected to remain strong, so Dean will not have much time to regenerate before its final landfall. After that it will hit mountains Ã¢â‚¬â€ the corderillas of Mexico. Only clusters of thunderstorms will remain as the pulse of moisture and energy crosses to the Pacific.
Eric Berger has more. And here’s the Wikipedia page on Costa Maya. As Sullivan says, it must have been devastated, especially because it got hit not just by a Cat. 5, but by an intensifying Cat. 5 — the worst-case scenario, as I mentioned before. Those 205 mph winds measured by the dropsonde just above the surface give you an idea of why — those are especially likely, in an intensifying system, to come to the surface in gusts. Yikes.
As I looked for some different views on Hurricane Dean, I saw Eric Berger’s post asking “Has Hurricane Dean been overhyped?” I think it is a very interesting question because I started to wonder that myself from all the news stories I have seen… One of the stories I saw made the comment about “Dean heading straight for Cancun!” Really? To me the forecast track looks considerably to the south of both Cancun and Cozumel. Also Eric, highlights in his post this concern from Texas Lt. Gov David Dewhurst because two models still bring Dean into the state. He points out that these two models, the CLP5 and the LBAR, do not have the track record and in fact the CLP5 is not really a model.
In my opinion, as I see all the stories, reports, watch cable news where CNN has the edge of the screen showing the recent NHC report on Dean and the satellite image there. The promos on FOX News on how they are “Your Official source on Hurricane Dean.” So I asked myself, What would the coverage be like if Dean was actually going to HIT the United States. If this is the standard set for all Hurricanes the rest of the season, it will definitely be interesting.
I also have to ask, does Dean want to be a Category 5? I mean how many days are we going to report, “Dean is forecasted to become a category 5 in the next 24 to 36 hours.” Like I mentioned on my Weather Blog, I understand why we all forecast Dean to reach Category 5 strength, all the conditions are favorable for category 5 strength. It just doesn’t seem like Dean wants to take advantage of it. I am still going to agree with the current forecast, I just won’t be surprised if it stays a category 4.
Over at Dr. Jeff Master’s blog, it looks like he too is watching the potential proto-Felix.
An area of disturbed weather associated with a tropical wave a few hundred miles northeast of the Lesser Antilles Islands, “Invest 92L”, has changed little in organization today. Wind shear is about 5-10 knots in this region, and an upper-level anticyclone has formed over 92L. This is a very favorable environment for intensification, should 92L start to get organized. The disturbance has the potential to develop into a tropical depression by Wednesday. It is moving west to west-northwest at 15-20 mph, and will be near the central Bahamas by Wednesday, and the east coast of Florida by Friday. It does not appear that any troughs strong enough to recurve 92L will swing by until Saturday at the earliest.
Brendan, hope your seminar is going well
(This is another double post between my weather blog WX-Man.com and Brendan’s)
Dr. Jeff Masters showed this Microwave satellite image of Hurricane Dean from around 7 AM EDT, or as Dr. Masters described it as “Think of this as a weather radar in space.” Like in the enhanced infrared satellite that has been shown here the red areas indicate the thunderstorm convection in the spiral bands and the eyewall. He then points out the the “incomplete double ring of echoes around the dark blue eye. Dean has two eyewalls, concentric around each other.”
This is very interesting to me and I will be the first to admit when I learn something new. I am a meteorologist, but I will be the first to admit that my weakest area in meteorology is Tropical Weather. He has a great discussion on what this “Double Eye” means for Jamaica and the Cayman Islands:
Jamaica is already receiving high winds and heavy rain from an outer spiral band. How bad will it get? The big question is if the eyewall will move over the island. Unfortunately for Jamaica, Dean has two eyewalls, forming concentric rings (Figure 1). The inner eyewall is 15 miles in diameter, and the outer eyewall is 37 miles in diameter. Winds of Category 3 and 4 strength are blowing in both eyewalls, as seen in the latest data from the SFMR surface winds taken by the Hurricane Hunters. So, Dean’s center has to pass more than 25 miles south of Jamaica for the island to be spared the worst of the hurricane. The nation’s capital, Kingston, lies on the southern portion of the island, and will be the hardest-hit major city. The tourist city of Montego Bay is on the northern part of Jamaica, and will fare much better.
The same story holds true for the Cayman Islands. Grand Cayman, the southernmost of the islands, it at greatest risk. If Dean passes more than 30 miles south of the island, they will miss seeing the outer eyewall of Dean and will fare relatively well. It’s going to be a close call, but it appears that both Jamaica and the Cayman will miss seeing the eyewall of Dean.
At the end of this post he gives his thoughts on Dean’s hits on the Yucatan near Cozumel and then south of the Texas/Mexico boarder and how this could be similar to Hurricane Emily.
Also this morning Eric Berger (SciGuy) isn’t ready to clear Texas from being threatened by Dean, but seems to agree a lot with Dr. Jeff Masters:
I’m also not ready to clear Texas yet as possibly being threatened by Dean, although all of the models, at a minimum, now bring the storm in for a final landfall nearly 200 miles south of the border. The models also are beginning to predict some weakening for this final landfall as Dean spends more time over the Yucatan.
(Editor Note: Since I was still up and Brendan asked for some help posting while he sleeps and shops, I am posting the exact same post that is on my site WX-Man.com)
The newest advisory and most important the forecast discussion from the National Hurricane Center is out at 5am. Virtually no change to what was discussed 3 hours ago, but there was verification that Dean did appeared to have weaken slightly based on the overall look and structure…
SATELLITE IMAGERY SHOWS A LESS DISTINCT EYE WITH SOME WARMING OF THE SURROUNDING CLOUD TOPS…ALTHOUGH THE CLOUD PATTERN REMAINS VERY IMPRESSIVE WITH GOOD SYMMETRY AND STRONG OUTFLOW OVER ALL QUADRANTS. THE INITIAL INTENSITY ESTIMATE IS KEPT AT 125 KT FOR THIS ADVISORY…WHICH MAY BE A LITTLE ON THE HIGH SIDE. IF INDEED DEAN HAS WEAKENED…THIS IS LIKELY THE RESULT OF INNER CORE PROCESSES…AND IS PROBABLY ONLY A SHORT-TERM CHANGE. THE LARGE-SCALE ATMOSPHERIC AND OCEANIC ENVIRONMENT STILL APPEAR TO BE VERY FAVORABLE FOR STRENGTHENING…SO….ASIDE FROM INNER-CORE-RELATED FLUCTUATIONS…DEAN HAS THE POTENTIAL TO ATTAIN CATEGORY FIVE HURRICANE STATUS OVER THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA. THIS IS SUPPORTED BY THE GFDL…SHIPS…LGEM…AND FSSE GUIDANCE.
I agree Dean is probably going to gain Category 5 strength here in the next 24 hours. As it is said above all the conditions seem to be favorable, plus as the northwest quadrant of Dean leaves the influence of Hispaniola and is tapping into warm water with out friction you can see the convection beginning to return around the eye of Dean. I also think that just because the eye of Dean doesn’t directly “Hit” Jamaica it won’t be just as bad if it goes as forecast to the south. Just think of Mississippi and the brunt of the storm surge it got with Katrina. Let’s just pray that people took warnings serious and made all the precautions necessary for this storm. Mainly those who were visiting and could leave.
The report that was compiled by a team from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration sent to investigate the festering mistrust of Bill Proenza by many of the hurricane forecasters that work for him was released today:
“The current TPC director should be reassigned and not be allowed to return to his position at the center. This should be done due to his failure to demonstrate leadership within the TPC,” according to the report obtained by ABC News.
The report harshly criticizes Proenza and notes the rift between him and his staff compromised the work being done at the center — a potential public safety issue.
“The short term ability of the TPC to provide accurate and timely information was put at risk due to the TPC director’s disruptive conduct and the lack of trust between many staff and the director,” according to the report. “The negative work environment, exacerbated by the director, has had — and is likely to continue to have — a major deleterious impact on the center’s ability to fulfill its mission, if he is allowed to return to his position.”
Despite the reports findings Proenza told congress he wants his job back. (More after the jump.)
Today, ousted National Hurricane Center director Bill Proenza told his side of the story before two congressional subcommittees. From 10am until 12pm EDT, the House Committee on Science and Technology held a hearing called, “Tracking the Storm at the National Hurricane Center”. You can check out some of the press releases and listen to a webcast of the hearing at the Committee web site.
Dr. Jeff Masters lists all those who are testifying in todays hearings and points out that it appears to be a little one sided:
The list of people testifying include Bill Proenza; QuikSCAT expert Dr. Robert Atlas; emergency management officials who worked with Proenza; and the head of NOAA, Admiral Lautenbacher. With the exception of Lautenbacher, all these witnesses are likely to be allies of Proenza. Also testifying will be Dr. Jim Turner, deputy director of the federal agency NTIS (National Technical Information Service), who led the inspection team that showed up at NHC without notice on July 2. Dr. Turner’s report was scheduled to be completed this Friday, July 20, but is now scheduled to be released to the Congressional panel today. Notably absent from the list of people called to testify is anyone from the National Hurricane Center. Also absent is a QuikSCAT science expert besides Dr. Atlas, who has thus far not addressed in his public comments, that I have seen, the very high uncertainties surrounding the impact of QuikSCAT data on track forecasts of landfalling hurricanes. In fact, in comments published in the Orlando Sentinel, Dr. Atlas claimed that Proenza’s statement that loss of the loss of QuikSCAT could reduce the accuracy of hurricane-track forecasts by as much as 16 percent represents “the consensus of the scientific community.” Well, that is not the case, as myself and senior hurricane specialists at the National Hurricane Center will attest to.
First off, I want to thank Brendan for this opportunity, and introduce myself. I am Brian Neudorff, I am the weekend meteorologist for WJET-TV in Erie, Pennsylvania (You may have seen my blog on Brendan’s Hurricane Blog Roll) At this point you may be asking yourself “what insight does a weatherman have on election coverage?” Since I am the weekend meteorologist when I am not covering the weather I am one of the stations IT Techs. On election night it is my responsibility to get the election returns into our system so it can scroll across the bottom of the screen and of course since this is a TV station it is important that our numbers are first.
For many in the television business, this may be more true at the local level, but Election Night is like our “Super Bowl” A lot of things happen in a short amount of time. There is that competitive spirit trying to out do the other guys.
As far as Election problems go, there haven’t been many. A few complaints about privacy, people not completing their ballots.
In PA, the machines make you hit a red oval “VOTE” button when you are done, then you have to wait 2 to 3 seconds then you get a “confirm” page on the touch screen. What was happening was people would vote, hit the red “VOTE” button then leave. The poll workers would try to get the voter before they left but if they couldn’t then they would have to void their ballot and it was as if they never voted. Also we had rain today, they may or may not have an impact on election turn out. I posted a study on who bad weather effects more if it rains on Election Day…
We have roughly an hour until the polls closed. Here in our newsroom it is the calm before the election storm. All of our troops are out and in place. Locally nothing of much excitement is expected but the overall feel for the state races is that Santorum is done and Bob Casey Jr. will be the next senator from Pennsylvania and Ed Rendell will easily beat Lynn Swann.
More than likely I will not be updating until after I leave work. My wife Trisha, will keep you all informed.
Here is a good site for Pennsylvania Election Returns…