Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Hello Dean

Within two days, we may have our first hurricane of the season. Overnight, Tropical Storm Dean formed in the east Atlantic Ocean. Current models show the storm hitting Puerto Rico or Hispaniola as a category 2 then turning north.

As good as models are, they are only accurate for about two or three days. We need to hope they are correct and this storm will turn north into the Atlantic. Why? Because the Gulf of Mexico is hot. Boiling hot. Crawfish boil hot. Heat is to storms as jet fuel is to an afterburner.

Last year, much was made of no major hurricanes hitting the mainland U.S. The fact that is usually ignored is although their were plenty of hurricanes, due to various atmospheric factors, none reached the Gulf. And it is in the Gulf with its hot water where the bombs are created.

Current Gulf temperatures are between 85 and 90.

Go away Dean. We don't want your business down here.


Sara said...

Andrew didn't go through the Gulf before hitting Homestead though, did it?

griftdrift said...

No, but Andrew was a very unusual storm. It was an Azores storm, as is Dean. Most Azores because of the distance they travel and normal weather patterns either lose their strength and/or turn north before hitting land.

Andrew both retained his track and strength all the way across the ocean. But here are two things which are usually forgotten.

It didn't reach category 5 until right before the Bahamas. It caught a warm swirl off the Gulf Stream which caused the storm to explode i.e. a bomb.

Secondly, Andrew believe it or not was a pretty small storm. Although it was category 5 the wind swath was only about 60 miles wide. For comparison, Katrina's wind swath was 120 miles wide.

So although the damage was equivalent to the wrath of God, it was limited to the Homestead area.

Could Dean be an Andrew? Possibly but not likely. However, if he gets in the gulf, the chances of him being a Katrina, Charlie or Wilma is much more likely.

Sara said...

Looking at that track so far is certainly bringing back memories of Andrew. First day of my senior year of high school. Right around this time of year, 15 years ago. Eek.

Well at least this gives me an even better reason to reject a recent offer that I go visit someone in Miami.