Friday, August 17, 2007
To Me, Dean is a Major Now
I have been watching the Recon reports on Dean all morning as the Hurricane Hunters have been flying thru the system. After seeing the latest zoomed in visible image above and the small closed out eyewall, I have to say Dean looks like a major Hurricane to me now. This is a situation that looks to be worsening for Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Cancun, and the Gulf Coast by the hour. Dean is a monster that is quickly expanding its moisture field, shows excellent outflow, and has nothing but deep warm waters and little to no shear in the upper atmosphere ahead. This is the same area where Wilma bombed out to the strongest hurricane in the Atlantic basin history. Only time will tell how strong Dean will get, but I think all signs point to this becoming one of the most dangerous hurricanes on record and I surely wouldn't want to be in his path.
Jamaica has a long history of having major hurricanes avoid the island by moving at the last second. Some say this is divine intervention, many Jamaicans deeply believe this is true. When I spent a week in Negril after Ivan went through in 2004, many of the locals I talked to have a deep faith that Jah will protect the island from a major storm. I sure hope this is true. Dean is set to move directly over the island at this time, which would be a devastating blow.
The upcoming weekend will find me watching this very closely as the storm heads towards the US Coastline. My gut prediction on where this storm is going to end up is Western Louisiana as a Category 4 Hurricane. Think Rita. If it does head into the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico, one thing is for certain. The oil rigs will take serious damage and gas will go to close to 4$ a gallon. Fill up today before the price hikes start. It's a certainty if Dean gets into the Gulf as a Major Hurricane. That will be an impact we will all feel.