Saturday, August 18, 2007

Hurricane Dean Update (2007/08/18 - 120:00 UTC)

An update on Dean, now a strong category 4 hurricane, using the last forecasts available (12:00 UTC). From, Dr. Jeff Masters' WunderBlog:

Texas and Louisiana
Things are looking much brighter for Louisiana, as the GFDL model has come in line with all of the other models in predicting a landfall in Southern Texas or Northern Mexico. It now appears likely that Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula will knock Dean down a category or two before it can approach the Texas coast. The upper level low that was forecast by the GFDL to potentially steer Dean northwards appears to be weakening and moving westwards, out of the way of Dean. You can watch this upper level low on water vapor satellite loops. It is the counter-clockwise spinning region that has moved west off the Florida coast into the eastern Gulf of Mexico. If this low continues to weaken and move westwards, it will not be able to swing Dean northwestwards towards northeast Texas and Louisiana.

The green bars are representing 2005 oil production (blue bars for gas production, see here for more explanations). The yellow track is the GFDL hurricane model which had the best tracking performance on Rita/Katrina. Click to Enlarge

Same as above but with an overlay of the potential wind impact (analysis performed by Chuck Watson ). Click to Enlarge

Zoom in on the GFDL model and associated wind impacts. Click to Enlarge

These images were obtained using Google Earth using the tools given here.

Update (1007/08/18 - 11:30 UTC):

The new forecast is almost a perfect straight line running through Jamaica and the Yucatan peninsula:

Click to Enlarge