Fast Start to the Hurricane Season

July 7, 2005 at 1:02 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It’s just the first week of July, and already our fourth named storm of the season has developed. That is a record for the earliest we have ever seen four tropical storms in the Atlantic/Caribbean basin.

But Dennis isn’t just a tropical storm. Wednesday afternoon, it reached hurricane strength. And it looks like there is a lot more strengthening still to come. Tropical Storm Cindy never got above 70 mph winds before it moved onshore in SE Louisiana and Mississippi Wednesday morning. But Dennis has already reached 80 mph. And it is forecast to grow to a a Category 3 hurricane, with winds between 110 and 130 mph before it reaches the US coast. First, it will strike Jamaica on Thursday, and then Cuba Friday. There is still a lot of uncertainty this far out. But by Sunday or Monday, Dennis will likely move ashore somewhere from Louisiana to the Florida panhandle. And it will be a major hurricane by then.

If the hurricane moves along the westernmost portion of the forecast track, and moves into coastal Louisiana, then there is a possibility that it could bring some much-needed soaking rains to parts of eastern Texas. But it is probably more likely that Dennis will strike the coast somewhere farther east, between New Orleans and Pensacola. Needless to say, Dennis will be watched very closely in the coming days.

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