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July 10, 2005

Hurricane Dennis still Cat. 4, pressure down slightly

Hurricane Dennis has slightly strengthened again to 931 mb and 145 mph. Significant additional strengthening is not likely before landfall because the water in the northern Gulf of Mexico is just not that warm. The storm is looking a little more ragged in the latest satellite shots. This is likely due to a combination of increased shear from the west, cooler water temperatures, and eyewall replacement cycles. Storms of this magnitude often undergo fluctuations in intensity related to eyewall replacement cycles that are not actual signs of weakening. Major hurricanes like Dennis also tend to wander and wobble like the village drunk. At this point landfall seems to be around Mobile, the same point as Hurricane Ivan. Please remember that this storm is more powerful than Ivan and will rival Hurricanes Donna and Andrew. This will be one of the costliest hurricanes in history.The time to evacuate is over. Find a safe spot locally and stay there. The storm is moving in as I right this message. Be prepared to stay where you are for at least the next 24 hours. You can see on the radar image below that the eye is showing on the radar already. This is very significant because the radar beam gets much higher above the surface as the Earth's surface curves.
Tracking God's Fury:
Tropical Storm Maria
Tropical Storm Nate
Hurricane Ophelia
  • None
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    Ask Bryan:
    What steers hurricanes?
    What is eyewall replacement?
    Jordan Golson
    Bryan Woods