Dean Strikes Mexico…Makes Top Ten List

Hurricane Dean hit the Yucatan coast of Mexico in the predawn hours Tuesday. The picture below shows that the powerful storm had a well defined eye as it was making landfall this morning.

The following is taken from the National Hurricane Center discussion overnight…..

“…..SOME HISTORIC NOTES ARE IN ORDER HERE. THE 906 MB CENTRAL PRESSURE IS THE NINTH LOWEST ON RECORD FOR AN ATLANTIC BASIN HURRICANE…AND THE THIRD LOWEST AT LANDFALL BEHIND THE 1935 LABOR DAY HURRICANE IN THE FLORIDA KEYS AND HURRICANE GILBERT OF 1988 IN CANCUN MEXICO. DEAN IS ALSO THE FIRST CATEGORY FIVE HURRICANE TO MAKE LANDFALL IN THE ATLANTIC BASIN SINCE ANDREW OF 1992.”

The reference to the 906 mb pressure reading is the barometric pressure low point the storm hit just before landfall between 4:30 and 5:00am EDT. That translates to 26.75 inches of mercury, the scale commonly used in U.S. general public weather reports. Hurricane hunter aircraft took that measurement while flying through the storm. Maximum sustained winds were clocked at 165 mph. As if this time no readings have been reported from ground based weather stations near the center of the storm. The part of the Yucatan that was struck by the storm is fairly remote. It is really hard to imagine what it would be like to be on the ground when Dean hit the beach.

At midday Dean was still over the Yucatan as a category 2 storm, meaning winds were in the 96-110 mph range.

As Dean moves back out over water some intensification is expected but likely no greater than category 3 before going inland for the second time. The storm will not be over open water for a long enough period of time to regain its’ former force.

The storm is tracking far enough south that the threat to south Texas for extreme winds is minimal.

In fact, the storm is so far south that the outer rain bands may not even reach Texas.

Check in with Tom this evening at 5, 6 and 11pm for more on the storm. Of course you can check on the storm at any time on wbaltv.com and on InstaWeather Plus on WBAL DT 11-2, Comcast Digital 208, Verizon FiOS 860 and streamed live on wbaltv.com.

John Collins

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