Caribbean Hurricane Network
- Updates from the Islands -
Archive of weather discussions and eye witness reports from the Caribbean Islands in the 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Postings are in reverse chronological order (so it might be easier to start reading at the bottom of this page and work your way up to follow the timeline). For current events look here.
2005 Season: Arlene | Bret | Cindy | Dennis | Emily | Franklin | Gert | Harvey | Irene | Jose | Katrina | Lee | Maria | Nate | Ophelia | Philippe | Rita | Stan | Tammy | Vince |
|- - - Tammy - - -|
Wed, 05 Oct 2005 09:31:34 -0400 - TS Tammy
|- - - Stan - - -|
|- - - TD Nineteen - - -|
Tuesday, October 4, 9:50PM - Stan
As was feared not the wind but the rains caused severe problems. This especially in El Salvador where about 50 people died from landslides. Stan made landfall south of Veracruz (Mexico), causing some flooding. Read more at eg: SFGate.com and Google.com-News.
Mon, 03 Oct 2005 19:10:03 -0400 - The Tropics and an Apology!
Saturday, October 1, 1:40PM - TD Twenty
Two tropical depressions. Number Nineteen in the eastern Atlantic is still a depression and hasn't become tropical storm Stan yet. The good news is that it is curving towards the north, and isn't expected to reach the islands (it won't even get closer then 1500 miles).
The twentieth depression of the season formed off the Yucatan Peninsula, about 110 miles southeast of Cozumel. So close to Emily earlier in the season. Luckily this is just a depression, but might just reach tropical storm status before making landfall. Windwise it will be nothing compared to Emily, but be prepared for a lot of rain for the Yucatan and Belize.
For forecasted track, closest point of approach, advisories see the links above.
Fri, 30 Sep 2005 17:49:59 -0400 (AST) - TD#19
Good afternoon! It couldn't have stayed quiet for too long now could it? That would have been too much to ask for, especially THIS season! TD#19 has been classified as of the 5 pm advisories SW of the Cape Verde Islands. While, historically, the Cape Verde season is virtually over, this is not your typical, historical season. All indications, at this time, take it towards the northwest but since it's way early yet, just a cautious, weary yet alert eye will be watching the progress of this storm. Next on the list is Stan. The area of more immediate concern in the Central and Western Caribbean is pretty stretched out across a broad region including Jamaica, the Caymans, Hispaniola, Cuba, and others. If it gets it's act together, this system could wreak more havoc in the Gulf of Mexico where conditions for development are very good. Keep your fingers crossed on this one! Dave
Mon, 26 Sep 2005 18:48:52 -0400 - Baby Stan???
|- - - Rita - - -|
|- - - Philippe - - -|
Thursday, September 22, 11:30PM - TX/LA
Things have changed since yesterday. Now Rita is expected to pass on the east (right) side of Houston, instead of the west side. That means closer to New Orleans and other little towns in Southern Louisiana. Rita was the third strongest storm ever! It was a Cat-5, now luckily back to Cat-4, but still very dangerous. The latest advisories show as well that after making landfall it will actually stall somewhere in northeastern Texas/western Louisiana, and that means extreme large amounts of rainfall. There might be as much as 25 inch (!) of rain in certain areas... This might be even worse then the wind induced damage at time of landfall. You can track how close the storm might get to you with the 'closest point of approach calculator'.
Wednesday, September 21, 12:05PM - Texas...
Luckily Rita didn't cause too much trouble in the Bahamas and the Florida Keys (see some reports by my hurricane correspondents above). Now however Rita is an 'extreme' category 4 hurricane! The warm waters of the Gulf really fuel this system. It might even reach category-5 (the highest) status. It's current path takes it toward Texas where it will make landfall later this week. As it looks right now the center of Rita will stay about 80 miles west of Houston and Galveston, 95 miles east of Corpus Christi (see the tool how close can it get). The 11AM advisory shows that the eye of the storm makes landfall at Matagorda Bay. However, a hurricane is not a point, so we shouldn't focus on where the eye will go too much. Hurricane winds currently expand outward up to 45 miles from the center, and tropical storm winds even 140 miles. And as always, the storm is still 3 days away, these model forecast tracks are not set in stone.
As for Philippe... as it looks right now it will stay safely east of Bermuda.
Monday, September 18, 1:15AM - Rita & Philippe
Two storms... First Philippe. It looks good for the islands, since it appears that Philippe will indeed stay far enough to the east to have any big effect on the Northeastern islands. Hopefully it will stay clear of Bermuda as well (but that is still a long time away).
Tropical Storm Rita is currently north of Mayaguana (Bahamas). A lot of watches and warnings have been posted for the Bahamas/Florida/Keys. See the advisories for more info. It is expected to move over Long Island, Exuma and then (south) Andros Islands (all Bahamas). As it looks right now the center of Rita will pass about 65 miles south of Nassau in 24 hours, a relative safe distance for this tropical storm. If it doesn't blow up all of a sudden (which is not expected) the Bahamas should be doing fine. After the Bahamas it will pass just south of Florida and the Keys. It's closest point of approach with Key West is only 25 miles in 42 hours (from the 11PM advisories). At that time it is expected to be a category-1 hurricane. But since intensities are very hard to predict, the Keys should pay close attention to this potentially dangerous hurricane.
Sat, 17 Sep 2005 10:56:36 -0400 - Too close for comfort!
Wed, 14 Sep 2005 09:19:18 -0400 - Philippe ?
Fri, 9 Sep 2005 18:05:18 -0400 (AST) - What's next?
Good afternoon! And happy Friday to everyone! The Northern Leeward Islands are under another protective(?) coat of Saharan Dust with some Souffriere Hills volcanic ash thrown in for good measure cutting visibilty here in St. Thomas down to about 4 miles. I cannot even see Tortola from the East End of St. Thomas where I live and that's bad! The good side is the dust continues to help supress tropical development as it continues it's after season travels. After season meaning after mid-August as usually, the Saharan dust season is from June till mid-August. This correspondent isn't complaining about low visibility and maybe a cough or two as it's way better than experiencing a Katrina-like hurricane; or any hurricane for that matter. Off to the east, a few light waves are in action. The one around 26W peaks some interest even though, for now, it looks as wimpy as the rest of them at this point. Nate and Maria are whipping it up in the North Central Atlantic with the Azores in potential extra tropical trouble. Ophelia has phoenixed back into a hurricane and could even do the loopty-do and eventually make landfall in Georgia, South Carolina, or even cross the Florida peninsula. Keep your fingers crossed with this gypsy-like storm. Dave
|- - - Ophelia - - -|
|- - - Nate - - -|
|- - - Maria - - -|
Wed, 07 Sep 2005 17:40:37 -0400 - Ophelia, You're Breakin' My Heart!
September 7 5:50PM EDT - National Geographic
I just found a New Orleans hurricane report in National Geographic, written a year ago (!!!): http://www3.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0410/feature5/?fs=www7.nationalgeographic.com
September 7 2:55PM EDT - Three storms
Sorry, I was out of the country attending a conference in the Netherlands and too busy to update the website. Thanks to Dave to provide weather discussions! Lots has happened... the tragedy with Katrina and now we have three storms to track! The first one, Maria, is no threat to anyone. Nate is close to Bermuda, and as it looks right now will pass about 100 miles south of Bermuda in about 32 hours (from the 11AM advisory). At that time it is forecasted to have winds of about 90 miles (category-1 hurricane), so not too bad, unless Nate changes its mind and will pass closer by Bermuda. The last storm, Ophelia, is east of Florida and should stay off-shore for now.
Regarding Katrina, although this is the 'Caribbean' Hurricane Network I will open up some kind of board on the Pleas for Help section. This will probably be mostly links to other, already more established, website. People are of course still trying to check if there family or friends are ok, and I will search for some links to 'people-lists'.
Tue, 6 Sep 2005 18:38:31 -0400 (AST) - Active!
Good evening! Two named storms, one a hurricane, one a possible hurricane, and another trying to make a name for herself! What a week it has started out to be and again, we are not even at the climatological height of hurricane season, which is September 10th! Hurricane Maria is moving fortunately away from land and only a threat to shipping interests; Tropical Storm Nate, possibly Hurricane Nate by tomorrow morning, could pose a serious threat to Bermuda later this week, and TD#16, already dumping heavy rains on the Bahama's and Florida, should be Tropical Storm Ophelia by tthe time it plows into southern Georgia and northern Florida; none of these areas in need of any more rain. Off to the east, a few more hurricane foot soldiers leave the African coast. So far, we have been protected by Saharan dust early in the season and now, strong shearing winds. Is it possible the Caribbean could come through the rest of this season unscathed? I highly doubt it but Mother Nature does provide miracles in small doses. Be prepared, no matter what!! American citizens, not refugees, are having a rough go of it on the mainland. Many did not have the means to evacuate and I'm still perplexed as to why the "powers that be" did not go in with buses, boats, humvees, etc... anything to move the folks out of harms way who had no means or way of getting out under a mandatory evacuation order. I understand the foolish few who wanted to stay no matter what and that is there right. But when the time came for rescue, those who didn't want to stay but were forced to by circumstances, should have been the first to be saved. I guess I'm advocating a tougher type of "tough love". Anyway, another thing to keep in the back of your Caribbean minds and another very good reason to prepare if you haven't already.... Considerable resources of FEMA have been allocated, and quite righteously, to the "Killer Katrina" victims, their families, businesses, and other interests. Nations around the world have offerred assistance although it doesn't seem we are accepting many of those offers. If a Cat 3-5 were to hit the Caribbean, particularly in the poorer countries of the region, assistance would probably be less forthcoming as those resources have been already committed. After all, Hurricane Ivan as it pertains to Grenada is an afterthought now in the minds of most which is tragic still with many without means of a livelihood, a roof on there house, enough food and water, or other basic supplies. As one of my fellow hurricane correspondents said, "If it was reported that Osama Bin Laden had devastated New Orleans, the reaction would have been swift with the full might of the United States". It's highly unlikely the next Cat 3-5 hurricane will have the name "Osama Bin Laden". Dave
Thu, 01 Sep 2005 17:45:19 -0400 - Waiting in the wings?
|- - - Lee - - -|
|- - - Katrina - - -|
Link to Updates from the Bahamas and other islands can be found above
Tue, 30 Aug 2005 17:52:48 -0400 - Killer katrina
Mon, 29 Aug 2005 18:34:07 -0400 (AST) - Katrina and others
Good evening! Hurricane Katrina is still plowing through Mississippi at this time; still a category 1 hurricane! While not a physical factor here in the Caribbean, she is still an economic one as she has disrupted shipping, cargo movements, and will eventually affect gas prices with the shutdown of oil rigs and the suspension of oil refinery operations. The weather does impact alot more than just what you see and experience first hand! The tropical depression formerly known as TD#13 was a twizzler that fizzled. Howeever, it still doesn't look to bad and could regenerate but should only be a threat to shipping lanes if it does. Off to the Far East, a 1008 mb low is around 9n embedded inside a tropical wave south of the Cape Verde Islands which will need careful monitoring as well as the next large "land-wave" at the moment poised to exit the African coast sometime tomorrow. We are reaching the heart of Hurricane season with another 1/2 a season to go so no one is out of the woods by any means. Our hearts and prayers go out to those affected by Katrina from the Caribbean! Dave
August 27 1:20PM EDT - Gulf Coast
For people living on the Gulf Coast who want to find out how close the storm can pass by them check out the following tools: How close can it get? and How close is it?. I have listed some latitude/longitude coordinates of a number of cities on the Gulf Coast. Also, on the 5 day forecast advisory by the Hurricane Center I have included a MPH conversion and a storm classification.
As it looks right now Katrina is heading for New Orleans. At that time it might be a Category-3 hurricane...
Wed, 24 Aug 2005 13:02:54 -0400 (AST) - Katrina
Good afternoon! The former remnants of TD#10 rose like the proverbial phoenix from the ashes today and became Tropical Storm Katrina. As her forecast path takes a turn later for the southern part of Florida, everyone in that neck of the woods who lived there in 1992 remembers today is the anniversary of Hurricane Andrew, the costliest natural disaster on record. Forecast to slow down as well, she is expected to dump enormous amounts or rain on otherwise already ahead of last years rainfall areas. Now all Caribbean Islands could use as much water as they can get but not that much in so short of time. Speaking of rainfall, it is a torrential downpour here in St. Thomas today on and off since 6am. Radar looks to be clearing a bit but more is expected as this wave passes through. Fortunately, upper level winds are not conducive for it to develop over our heads. Looking east, it's pretty quiet with two waves making some noise and not much else but who knows down the road! Dave
|- - - Jose - - -|
Mon, 22 Aug 2005 18:10:57 -0400 (AST) - Ominous
Good afternoon! TD#11 is swirling around the Bay of Capeche but is too close to land to become anything more significant than a major rainfall event for Old Mexico. Old TD#10 is trying to grow up again and needs to be closely watched around the southeastern US and Bahama's. The TCI, I understand, are green which is something the residents are very happy about but they don't need the drenching a TD could drop. Elsewhere, there's ominous rumblings around the Cape Verde Islands at this time with two tropical waves with the imminent potential for devlopment although the first one has died down dramatically from several days ago. It seems like most of the one's before have done that too and it would be wishful thinking that all of them do that. Have to go back to the studio so more tomorrow morning but please, it's getting to the core of hurricane season and if you think your out of the woods, think again! Dave
August 22 1:35PM EDT - Number 11
Another depression. Now in the Bay of Campeche, it might become a tropical storm before it makes landfall. Only the rains might pose a problem.
|- - - Tropical Depression Ten - - -|
Tue, 16 Aug 2005 18:22:22 -0400 - biding time
August 14 12:25PM EDT - Number 10
The tenth tropical depression formed in the Atlantic and is almost gone already... No worries.
|- - - Irene - - -|
Mon, 08 Aug 2005 11:46:45 -0400 - It's quiet again!
August 4 10:05PM EDT - Number Nine
While Harvey didn't do too much in Bermuda (see local reports) a new one is on the horizon. I shouldn't repeat myself again... number nine... and it's only the first week of August, well before the 'real peak' of the season... This is more or less one of the first 'Cape Verde' storms (see this graph of past storms at unisys), those with a potential to become very strong. Luckily it looks like it will go nicely north of the islands. Lets hope the models are doing a fine job this time :-).
|- - - Harvey - - -|
August 3 11:55AM EDT - Harvey
The eighth named storm of the season! Luckily no hurricane. It is heading for Bermuda, but not too much problems are expected. Above you can find the reports from the special correspondents on Bermuda as they come in.
There is also something brewing in the Atlantic... it is nothing yet, but we have to keep an eye on those things.
Tue, 2 Aug 2005 18:04:31 -0400 (AST) - TD#8
Good evening! While I was waiting to go on set with tonight's weather, I thought I would send a quick missive as I cannot send one from home at the moment due to a tremendous thunder and lightning show we had late Friday night. Yes, even I fell victim to the last two bolts of lightning which struck the pole up on top of the hill I live on; they took out my modem and my digital receiver for cable. Stupid me left the phone line plugged into the back of my computer and not the UPS! Fortunately, everything else is on UPS or surge protector. The power was out in my area for 3 hours and cable itself all day. Then power went out again Sunday morning from 7:30 am-9:30 am and again for another hour before noon. I'm really sympathizing with Ms. Mermaid on Tortola right now!! TD#8 has been declared this afternoon and tropical storm warnings are up for Bermuda with 3-5 estimated inches of rain possible. Should it be named Harvey, it will be the earliest 8th named storm on record. And it's only August 2nd! The rest of the Atlantic is looking fairly quiet. Several weak waves are out there but nothing of any significance, at this time. Saharan dust is still all along the Atlantic hurricane basis and is helping to suppress potential convection. Don't count on this happening all the time though. If NOAA's just released forecast holds up, we are in for an unimaginable year, especially if they are land-falling. Named storm # 22 would be Alpha! Dave
Fri, 29 Jul 2005 11:46:00 -0400 (AST) - UH OH!
Good morning! Well, at least the morning was good but it looks like it will take a turn for the worse this afternoon and tonight. The first attack came this morning with St. Croix taking a quick, early morning beating with one peak wind gust at 51 mph! They have since been on the receiving end of several more downpours. The East end of St. Croix is pretty dry so I'm sure the rain was welcome there but heavy rains and flooding are synonymous with some areas of the island and have been for many years due to government inaction and some peoples stubborness in building in flood prone areas and then, not buying flood insurance. St. Thomas and St. John, along with the BVI's are starting to get heavier rains as well and there is a flash flood watch out until 10:30 pm tonight but I believe that will have to be extended uless this system pulls more to the north. Under flood watch are the US Virgin Islands, Culebra, Vieques, and most of East and Central Puerto Rico. I'm sure the BVI's have one as well. A tropical depression is likely but there are some shearing winds aloft so it shouldn't develop very quickly so islands down the road westward should take heed. If it pulls more to the west northwest, the shearing is greater which would be good news! The rest of the Atlantic, with the exception of grandfather Franklin still swilling Atlantic waters and taking a lunch bite out of Nova Scotia, is pretty quiet with those other two waves taking a break for now. Dave
Thu, 28 Jul 2005 13:58:07 -0400 (AST) - that wasn't long
Good afternoon! So much for a lull in the action! I was looking (hoping) for a few weeks respite but alas, it's not to be. Yes, we could use the rain but nothing else. The large wave to the east of the northern Lesser Antilles has blossomed today with a good potential to become TD#7 by tonight with hurricane hunters tentatively scheduled for a flight into the system tomorrow. The good news is that it is moving west-northwest pretty rapidly and that should keep the heaviest rains to the north of the islands but still close enough for some tropical downpours here in the Virgin Islands (both US and BVI) and Puerto Rico, Culebra and Vieques. Fortunately, a high pressure system which was sitting around the Bahama's has moved farther east into more of the Central Atlantic so the steering wind flow from "Hurricane Alley" starts to steer these waves more to the west-northwest as opposed to just west like they have been doing which is good news for now. Now, while most eye's are on this system, we should really watch the one behind it closely as well. I believe this one is going to try to sneak up on us! Dave
Wed, 27 Jul 2005 09:26:16 -0400 - short lull
Mon, 25 Jul 2005 09:40:11 -0400 (AST) - Dust
Good morning to all! First, I'd like to take a moment to thank everyone for your generous compliments regarding my writing contributions to this website. They really are very much appreciated! While TS Franklin is slowly falling apart to the west of Bermuda (not far enough though as a good rain event is expected), and TD Gert is still chasing Hurricane Emily's skirt through Mexico, the big story at the moment is Saharan Dust! I've lived here on St. Thomas for almost 16 years and I have never seen it this thick before. It's definitely raised the Allergy Index around the Caribbean and even Florida is expected to feel some effects. Granted, the brilliant sunrises and sunsets are something to behold but this stuff has to go! In addition, the dust does not do anything good for our beautiful coral reefs. The good news is the dust helps to suppress tropical storm formation and that is where the real benefit comes in. Right now there are several tropical waves with good potential for development if the dust wasn't drying them out. However, as we wind down a record first two months already, nothing can be taken for granted. As the dust pulls away, those tropical disturbances may want to play! Currently, the US Virgin Islands is experiencing a slight break in the dust action (yes I can see some blue sky!) with a temp. of 87 degrees, a heat index of 95 degrees and humidity of 65%. Scattered showers will be expected tonight into Tuesday but nothing big. Dave
|- - - Gert - - -|
July 25 5:45PM EDT - Nothing personal I hope...
From the latests advisories :-)
THIS IS THE LAST PUBLIC ADVISORY ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER ON GERT.
July 24 3:55PM EDT - Gert (the other one)
And here we have the seventh named storm... and it's only July! Hopefully this means that the rest of the season will be very quiet! Tropical Storm Gert is in the Bay of Campeche almost making landfall in Mexico. It is a bit disorganized at the moment without a clear center. The main threat of this storm will be the rainfall and possible flooding/mudslides, especially since Gert will pass over some of the same area where Emily did her thing last week! I am glad though that especially this storm is not the season's 'big one'! :-)
|- - - Franklin - - -|
July 25 2:10PM EDT - Weak Franklin
Franklin is just a weak tropical storm. It should pass a safe distance to the west of Bermuda in 2 days or so. Shouldn't be a problem!
I found this very cool picture of Hurricane Emily taken from the International Space Station on NASA's Earth Observatory Website.
Fri, 22 Jul 2005 21:25:22 -0400 (AST) - Getting UnQuiet!
Good evening to all and hope everyone has a great weekend! Tropical Storm Franklin is hopefully continuing his getaway towards the north and eventually northeast with the most danger only affecting shipping interests although, Bermuda could see a little action. For a change this season, an introverted storm. The Yuacatan Peninsula and Belize are the unwanting hosts of another invasive tropical wave which is a persistent rainmaker over an area which just kicked Hurricane Emily out as "persona non-grata". Unfortunately, it looks like this system will develop over the Bay of Campeche. Time will tell. Time will also tell on several waves marching across the Atlantic Basin. The most interesting could arrive here in the territory and the Caribbean in general, depending on speed, by Saturday as something more impressive. A wave just starting to exit the African coast also looks impressive at this time. (And once again, IT'S ONLY JULY!!!) Another characteristic of tropical waves is the usual trailing companion of Saharan dust which is showing up on satellite images in dense amounts. This airborne feature is very bad for the coral reefs here in the Caribbean but surprisingly, good for the rain forest, El Yuque, in eastern Puerto Rico. Every ying has it's yang! Dave
Fri, 22 Jul 2005 08:06:58 -0400 (AST) - Next!!
Good morning! With Emily having "left the building", another pretender to the throne has arisen although Franklin appears to be a "weakling prince"! Hopefully, it will do what forecasters believe and that will be to recurve towards the northeast and speed out to sea. The possibility does exist for it to turn west and plod into the Florida Space Coast or further north but it should get picked up by a passing trough. Another pretender in the wings is a disturbance that is set to cross the Yucatan Peninsula and bring gusty winds and showers to Cuba, The Caymans and a rain soaked Yucatan. Looked impressive, even better than Franklin last night but has since tapered off some. Still, once it crosses land and enters the southern Gulf of Mexico, anything's possible. Emily didn't steal all of the very warm sea surface water which is a necesary component for development. Off to the East, a couple areas of interest but right now things are pretty quiet. Too bad we can't send that Saharan dust back to Africa as this stuff is brutal for visibility conditions and those with allergies. And there is alot of it still headed towards the Caribbean. Yuk! Looking like a nice day today with a weak wave passing mainly south but we should still see a couple showers late. Dave
|- - - Emily - - -|
Tue, 19 Jul 2005 15:32:44 -0400 (AST) - Quiet!
Good afternoon! While Emily makes her final landmass plunge into the Southern Texas, Old Mexico border, the weather has finally quieted down in the Atlantic Basin, other than a few weak waves with not much development potential (at this time. The Yucatan took it's blows from Emily and fared better than most had pondered. I do believe the Mexican Government, unlike some other's, has learned from past storms and taken precautions and safety to a higher level. The US Virgin Islands are currently feeling the effects of one of those weak waves with periodic showers. A thunderstorm with an attitude lasting about 30 minutes this morning took out power for almost an hour on St. Thomas and St. John with serious cloud to ground lighting. Interesting how power can stay up during a Cat 3 hurricane in some arena's yet a simple thunderstorm can take down several islands. I'm no electrical engineer by any means but I definitely sympathize with my fellow correspondent in Tortola, Miss Mermaid, on the power issue. By the way, the BVI Electrical Company just received numerous new electrical poles so maybe that problem wil be abated soon! Time to go put a suit on and go give the weather. Take care and be safe! Dave
Mon, 18 Jul 2005 13:29:45 -0400 (AST) - Yucatan Emily
Good afternoon! If the only fortunate thing which could be said about the strongest hurricane ever in the month of July, Hurricane Emily, other than she has spent alot of time over open water which has been very fortuitous to the islands of the Caribbean, is that she is still in "speeding-ticket mode"! This hurricane is still motivating along at 17 mph even after encountering landfall. Too bad the Yucatan doesn't have any high mountains like Cuba and the Dominican Republic. This "fast forward" moving hurricane could have caused serious damage and injury to the islands of Jamaica and the Caymans if it hadn't been traveling so fast. By being slower by 3-8 mph, it could have curved a bit more northward hitting both places alot closer to the core-wind wise, not to mention the devastating rains which would have lingered longer causing catastrophic flooding. Cancun, Cozumel, and the rest of the Yucatan, at this moment, doesn't seem to have encountered serious damage although reports are still coming in. One item to keep in mind: It struck as a Category 4 hurricane which is capable of extreme damage. Just because Emily appears to have not done that doesn't mean the next Cat 4 storm will take it so easy. The fact that Emily was moving in "hyper-space" for a hurricane and the residents and Government of Mexico took the storm seriously were definitely the saving factors. Next up, Old Mexico and quite possibly the southern Texas city of Brownsville which is currently under a hurricane watch. It's been a while since a hurricane hit this area. Hopefully, Emily will not have the time to rev back up again to Cat 3 status although that is what she is forecasted to do with light wind shear ahead of her, very warm Gulf waters, and nothing to steer her away. Other than Emily, the Atlantic is quiet with a non-organized tropical wave approaching the Windward Islands and not much else behind all the way to Africa except that African Dust and some Soufrierre Hills volcanic ash live from Montserrat! Dave
July 17, 2005 20:50EDT - Yucatan...
Just a short update from me... I actually made it to Grand Cayman today. Don't ask how :-). All is fine on Cayman. Driving from the Airport to East End I couldn't really notice anything Emily related. Cayman and Jamaica were very lucky!
Unfortunately this is different for Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The center of Emily is more or less going over Cozumel. Emily is an 'extreme' Category 4 Hurricane, packing 135 mph winds... Luckily for Cancun the center will stay about 65 miles away. But it will still have a big impact on Cancun, although not as devastating as on Cozumel. Above some updates from my local hurricane correspondents can be found. Also, I just set up a dedicated Pleas for Help board for Mexico (help.stormcarib.com).
Sun, 17 Jul 2005 14:46:10 -0400 (AST) - Close Call!
Good afternoon! The sigh of relief from Jamaica and the Cayman's could be heard all the way here to St. Thomas as Hurricane Emily relentlessly plows through the western Caribbean. Unfortunately, somewhere on the eastern side of the Yucatan Peninsula, people, homes, and lives will not be so lucky. It is better to be safe than sorry as I was always told growing up although, if you don't take a few risks, you will never know what you could have had or experienced. Let me tell you, you do not want to experience a direct hit from a hurricane. I hope and pray those who live in the paths of Emily take the appropriate precautions and the one's who were going to be visitors had the common sense to stay away out of potential harms way. While Emily did not make a direct hit on Jamaica or the Cayman's, some areas of those islands suffered tremendously. Emily's persistence in forward speed (I think she listened to that old hit, "Hot Rod Lincoln", was a blessing as she didn't linger over anybody with pounding winds and torrential downpours. Still...... The Yucatan, from Cancun down should really be ready for this storm. Emily may drop down to a strong Cat 3 before landfall as she will probably undergo some eyewall re-organization but that should not be interpreted as as less dangerous. There is nothing to indicate wind shear, the very warm sea surface temperatures are definitely fuel for the engine, and there is nothing to steer Emily away. After crossing the Yucatan, she will be weak but should regenerate back into a strong Cat 2 or minimal Cat 3 hurricane before striking the Mexican coast. Southern Texas, at this time, while not expecting a direct hit, should still prepare, especially for heavy rains and flash flooding. Those correspondents in Jamaica and the Caymans, please send in your reports when you are able to as the world is watching and waiting! Meanwhile, the rest of the Atlantic Basin is finally quiet for a change this season and, it's only mid-July! The calm before the storm??
Sat, 16 Jul 2005 18:12:03 -0400 (AST) - WOW!
Good Evening! Hurricane Emily is now a borderline Category 5 Hurricane based on the Safford-Simpson scale and what an impressive satellite image she presents! The present forecast path shows Emily just south of Grand Cayman Island, where our "Fearless Leader Gert" and his classy wife Annemariek (sp?)was supposed to be this weekend. Being a small and tightly-wound hurricane, the most severe winds should not affect Grand Cayman but there is still time for Emily to wobble north which would be a devastating development for them. As it is, Tropical storm force winds stretch out almost 150 miles so severe winds wil be inevitable unless a miracle intervenes. Some computer models develop some shear which should weaken Emily during the next 24-36 hours but that has not developed as of yet. The very warm waters of the Western Caribbean, the absence of significant landmasses, and a lack (currently) of wind shear do not bode well for Grand Cayman, the Isle of Youth (West and south of Cuba)and the Yucatan peninsula in general. Long-term computer model tracks, which were in very good agreement for the last week or so are starting to vary, impact-wise on the Yucatan as to the tip of the peninsula down almost to the base. Once again, time will tell! Hopefully, if you are in the potential path of this storm, you have made the appropriate preparations as this is a very dangerous storm. Do not let the small venture of hurricane force winds (currently 60 miles) fool you! For those of you who experienced any severe hurricane's impact and the terrible aftermath, you will have a definite understanding of what I am saying. I personally went through 3 months without power, a year without a telephone, and two years without TV after Hurricane Marilyn here in the Virgin Islands in Sept, 1995. You learn the value of a hot shower, an ice cube, a fan, and a cold beer! (Not necessarily in that order!) Dave
Fri, 15 Jul 2005 11:09:21 -0400 (AST) - Emily's path
Good morning! I was working in Tortola yesterday so could not post. Hurricane Warning in effect for Jamaica. Hurricane Watch in effect for the Cayman Islands. For those of you who have e-mailed me or intend to about going to Jamaica or the Cayman Islands, my advice "Don't even think about it!" until next week to see what damage has been done by a slightly weaker but still dangerous Category 3 Emily. Her current track as of the 11:00 am advisory shows Emily just south of both islands over the next few days. However, the northern windfield of tropical storm force winds stretches up to 140 miles and both islands will see at minimum, strong tropical force winds with hurricane force gusts, but I believe they will get more than that as Emily really doesn't have anything to steer her much farther south. Current hurricane force winds are a relatively small 40 miles out. The other major problem you would encounter would be torrential rains with Jamaica forecast to get 5-10 inches with higher amounts in the mountains resulting in flash flooding. Not good! And if Emily was to slow down from her current forward speed of 20 mph, then there would be even more rain, flooding, and damage. Once again, not good! For damage reports on other islands in the Caribbean, check out my fellow hurricane correspondents reports. Some islands fared well and a few did not! Looking ahead, Brownsville, Texas looks to be a "homing beacon" of sorts. The Yucatan peninsula and the poor Isle of Youth (they always seem to get hit)are targets as well. I guess the fortunate part is most people remember Ivan and Mitch so there were and will be better preparations this time. If you don't learn from one, you never will as these storms tend to leave an indelible imprint on your mind. You don't forget! Dave
Wed, 13 Jul 2005 11:47:12 -0400 (AST) - SPLIT EMILY
Good morning! Well, TS Emily doesn't LOOK THAT impressive on the latest short loop satellite as she seems to have a split personality. Part of her wants to stay far, far south and the other wants to wander. Even so, conditions will be at least soaking and breezy to terrible at worst depending on which island you are on (by terrible I mean Grenada who has been having a long hard road to haul trying to recover from Hurricane Ivan last year). About the only good news for Grenada is Emily is significantly weaker (Tropical storm as opposed to a Category 4)and she is moving rapidly (19 mph) so she shouldn't dally over the island long. At this time, Emily is still forecast to become a Category 3 by the end of 72 hours and be in the Central Caribbean. However, it is possible she could be much weaker at that time (thinking positive here!)because she persists in staying very low where there is drier air which would inhibit significant strengthening. As always, time will tell. Here in the territory, the US Coast Guard out of the San Juan, Puerto Rico district has issued a special "Weather Watch X" for our ports. One cruise ship, the Mariner of the Seas, has cancelled her visit tomorrow although the ships due in today did come in. Current weather shows mostly sunny skies with a few light showers around and a temp of 88 degrees. Dave
Tue, 12 Jul 2005 11:25:08 -0400 (AST) - Emily
Good morning! Another ominous sign has developed for the southern islands of the Windwards below Guadaloupe: Emily has decided a more southern approach would be her best entry into the Caribbean. Not only are these islands in more of a situation but further down the road, The Caymans, Jamaica, Cuba, the D.R., and Haiti all have to monitor this storm closely. Computer models are in very good agreement as to the forecast track which is good in some ways and not so good others. TS Emily is forecast to be a major hurricane (Cat 3) in 72 hours. On this track, the Northeastern Caribbean islands would appear to get some heavy wind gusts and some showers and thunderstorms. But, do not let your guards down yet. Emily is still aways from land and we all know how fickle they can be. A couple of northern wobbles would be all it takes. Take precautions now if you haven't started. This storm is moving fast and going to grow fast. You do not want to get caught with your pants down!! Dave
Mon, 11 Jul 2005 10:36:39 -0400 (AST) - TD#5
Good morning to all! It's good to be back although I really didn't expect it to be so soon in the season but it was forecasted to be quite active and what activity we have had already. Fortunately for the Gulf Coast Dennis weakened significantly before slamming ashore but still, a Category 4 in July?? Our prayers go out to Cuba, Jamaica, the Keys (which were really lucky this time, and the gulf coasts residents; some who haven't even recovered fully from Hurricane Ivan 10 months ago. Now comes TD#5, soon to become Hurricane Emily. Latest tracks take her south of Guadeloupe and, 96 hrs from 5 am this morning, just south of the Esatern end of Puerto Rico as a minimal hurricane. Here in St. Thomas, where there's never a dull moment(sometimes we call it St. Trauma), a small mention was made in the local newspaper this morning, but there wasn't much information at presstime. My long term outlook is that Emily will curl slightly more to the north, even with high pressure in the Atlantic and dry air in front which would put her more on a collision course with the Northern Antilles Islands. The earths rotation must be accounted for, even in a slight way. Time will tell and hopefully Emily will bring needed rains but no destruction, especially to those already weary this season. More later. Dave McDermott
|- - - Dennis - - -|
July 7 5:30PM EDT - Cat. 3...
Indeed, the eye of Dennis is not going to touch Jamaica but past over 50 miles to the north. The closest point of approach (CPA) for Monego Bay on the western side of the island is 81.3 miles, which will be reached in about 3 hours. For the eastern side things should start to improve soon. Although it is upgraded to a category 3 (or extreme) hurricane, this has turned out to be no Ivan at all for Jamaica. We still have to see how the rain is going to affect Jamaica, but windwise they are fine.
For Cayman Brac it looks better now as well. The CPA is up to 92 miles (in about 14 hours). For Cuba things look worse unfortunately. I am trying to get some reports from my local hurricane correspondents there.
July 7 12:30PM EDT - Jamaica
Dennis is now a Category 2 hurricane. The outskirts of the storm have reached Jamaica, a little later then expected since the storm has slowed down a bit. The good news for Jamaica is that the center will stay a little more to the north, and shouldn't make landfall on the island. On the other hand, the slower forward motion will give more time for dumping rain on the island, causing dangerous flash floods and mud-slides. Also, there will be significant storm surge flooding.
The more northernly path of Dennis is also good news for the Caymans. The closest point of approach (CPA) for Cayman Brac is now 78 miles (in about 20 hours), yesterday it looked like the center of the storm would pass within 40 miles. The same counts for Cayman Brac (CPA: 96 miles) and Grand Cayman (CPA: 171 miles). So they all should be fine. However, the storm path is always a bit unpredictable. It could very well wobble a little more to the west. Also, tropical storm force winds at that time extend outward of the center up to about 140 miles, so don't focus on the center alone.
The more northernly path is of course bad news for Cuba. It will cross the island in a little over 24 hours and will pass quite close to the east of Havana (CPA: 21 miles in 38 hours). Hopefully the mountains of Cuba will cause some weakening of the storm.
On another note, there has been some disruption in the satellite image feed to NASA's Global Hydrology and Climate Center, from which I get the images used above and the My Satellite builder. It seems to be ok now, but be aware that you might not be seeing the most recent image. Also, there seems to be some delays in te dessimation of the hurricane advisories by one of my sources. So, also check the dates at the top of the advisories. My backup source seems to be ok though. Great timing! :-(
July 7 1:35AM EDT - Hurricane Dennis
Dennis has been upgraded to a hurricane. Looking at the latest satellite imagery an eye might have developed. This usually means that further strenthening is expected. Not much has changed since the last forecast. The center of Dennis is still expected to pass over the northeastern side of the island of Jamaica. It's closest point of approach with Kingston is only 33 miles (in 17.5 hours from the 11PM advisories). Tropical storm winds could be felt within 8 hours (Thu 7AM EDT). At that time Dennis could have strengthened to a Category 2 hurricane. Not too bad, but not too pleasant either.
After Jamaica it will pass just north of the Cayman Islands. The CPA for Cayman Brac is about 40 miles (in 32 hours), and Little Cayman 56 miles (33 hours). Grand Cayman Island is further to the south so should be fine (if Dennis follows the forecast). Hurricane winds do extend at that time to about 25 nm (29 miles) from the center, so just without reach of the Caymans. Hurricanes are unpredictable so we still need to keep close attenction.
See above for reports by my special hurricane correspondents on the islands, and use the tools listed above to calculate your own distance to the storm...
July 6 12:20PM EDT - Jamaica
Dennis is taking a more southernly path then earlier forecast. This is good for Hispaniola, but not so good for Jamaica. As it looks right now the center of Dennis passes over the eastern side of Jamaica in about 24 hours. By that time it might have reached hurricane strength. However, wind will not be the major problem. The torrential rains associated with tropical systems can cause dangerous flash floods and mud slides. The good thing is that Dennis is moving forward at a nice speed of 15mph, leaving less time to dump lots of rain.
After Jamaica it will pass north of the Cayman's (closest point of approach for Grand Cayman: 122 miles, 45 hours; Cayman Brac: only 38 miles, 40 hours; and Little Cayman: 53 miles, 41 hours). With the general tendency of the computer forecasts to be more 'left', it might get even closer. Also, by that time Dennis might be a Category 3 hurricane.
After that, Dennis is expected to pass over the western side of Cuba (again!)... Stay tuned... Reports from the hurricane correspondents on the islands can be found above, you can use the tools to calculate how close the storm will pass by you.
July 5, 11:55AM EDT - Dennis
Wow, another one, Dennis. According to the National Hurricane Center this is the earliest date ever to have already four named storms! Dennis is located in the Caribbean Sea, about 350 miles south of Puerto Rico. It is expected to move just south of Hispaniola in 24-36 hours (closest point of approach (cpa) for Port au Prince, Haiti is 130 miles in about 32 hours). Then it is expected to go just north of Jamaica (cpa for Kingston, Jamaica: 63 miles, 46 hours and for Montego Bay: 69 miles, 52 hours). By that time Dennis might be a hurricane. Tropical storm watches have been issued for parts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. This storm is covering a pretty large area (see satellite images), so many islands will be affected. Hopefully this storm will move forward at a nice forward speed, so that it won't dump large quantities of rain at localized areas.... Stay tuned...
|- - - Cindy - - -|
July 7 1:50AM EDT - Gulf Coast
Cindy made landfall in Louisiana and brought some incoveniences to the Gulf Coast. USAToday.com reported the following:
Heavy rain and storm surge flooded low-lying streets along the Gulf Coast on Wednesday as a rapidly weakening Tropical Storm Cindy pushed inland after leaving more than 300,000 homes and businesses without electricity. [more]
July 5, 11:50AM EDT - Cindy
The tropical depression has been upgraded to tropical storm Cindy. It is expected to make landfall within 20 hours. As it looks right now the center will pass just 20 miles to the east of New Orleans in 20 hours (see the "how close can it get tool", latitude/longitude for New Orleans: 30.07N, 89.93W. Other Gulf cities listed as well.). Luckily this isn't a big storm, but still storm surge flooking is possible, as well as locally heavy rainfall and isolated tornadoes.
July 5, 1:25AM EDT - Number Three
The third tropical depression formed in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico. It shouldn't be threathening any of the Caribbean Islands. As it looks right now it might become tropical storm Cindy just before it is expected to make landfall in Louisiana in about 26-48 hours.
|- - - Bret - - -|
June 30, 11:55PM EDT - Gone
Bret made landfall in Mexico, and was quickly downgraded to a tropical depression while dumping a lot of rain. This little article out of the Houston Chronical nicely sums it up:
VERACRUZ - Former Tropical Storm Bret caused flooding that resulted in the deaths of two people in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz Wednesday, and damaged the homes of an estimated 3,000 residents. An elderly man died of a heart attack in the town of Naranjos, where two people were also missing. Another person died in a nearby town after slipping and striking his head on the flooded patio of his home. Bret was downgraded to a tropical depression after moving inland about 360 miles south of the Texas border. Winds declined to 30 mph.
June 28, 11:50PM EDT - Bret
A little out of the blue, but here we have the second storm of the season. A very small one though. Unfortunately they can be quite unpredictable as well. However, this one is already quite close to land (central Mexico) so not too much strengthening is expected. As it looks right now this will not become a hurricane. Locally heavy rainfall and strong gusty winds will be affecting portions of the coast of Mexico from Tamico to Veracruz ovoer the next day or so.
|- - - Arlene - - -|
June 10, 4:50PM EDT - Cuba
Arlene passed over the western tip of Cuba. According to Prensa Latina there were no human casualties. Wind gusts of about 55 mph were measured. Although rainfall amounts were locally over 170 millimeters (~7inch) no flooding of coastal villages was reported. The rain was actually a blessing, since Cuba is (now was?) in its worst draught of the last century. In any case, Cuba seem to have been well preparedsince over 8,000 people had been evacuated as a precaution. Arlene is continuing nortward and will make landfall tomorrow in the Northern Gulf Coast. By that time it might be a (weak) hurricane.
June 9, 11:55AM EDT - Arlene
This morning the depression was upgraded to the first named storm of the season, Arlene. Since Arlene doesn't seem to be well organized at this time it is still not expected to become a hurricane. At about this time Arlene has its closest point of approach with Cayman, which is a safe distance of about 180 miles. Arlene should also stay at a safe distance from the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula (CPA for Cancun: 150 miles, in 14 hours). However, it might cross just over the far western tip of Cuba in about 12 hours. At that time maximum sustained winds are forecasted to be 45mph, still not too bad.
June 8, 2005 - Number One
The first tropical depression of the season has formed about 300 miles south of the western tip of Cuba or about 240 miles southwest of Grand Cayman. It is expected to bypass Cayman at a safe distance, but it is forecasted to pass between the Yucatan Peninsula (Cancun) and Cuba. As it looks right now it will pass very close to the western tip of Cuba in about 36 hours. At that time we might have Tropical Storm Arlene. Nothing too serious yet. Use the tools above to find out how close it might pass by your location and/or how long it will take.
|- - - 2005 Season - - -|
June 1, 2005 - Official start of the season
I saw two interesting articles regarding hurricanes:
- Hurricane season could renew global warming debate (5/30/2005)
- Gray's 2005 Hurricane Forecast
And from the first Tropical Weather Outlook. I added correct (Dutch) pronunciation of my name: the 'g' in Gert is pronounced as a hard 'ch', as in 'loch', and the 'e' as 'è' (= 'e' as in 'get'):
TODAY MARKS THE FIRST DAY OF THE 2005 ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON... WHICH WILL RUN UNTIL NOVEMBER 30TH. LONG-TERM AVERAGES FOR THE NUMBER OF NAMED STORMS AND HURRICANES ARE 10 AND 6...RESPECTIVELY. WHILE CONDITIONS APPEAR TO FAVOR ABOVE-NORMAL LEVELS OF TROPICAL CYCLONE ACTIVITY IN 2005...AT THIS TIME IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO CONFIDENTLY PREDICT THE NUMBER OF CYCLONES THAT MIGHT AFFECT LAND. THE LIST OF NAMES FOR 2005 IS AS FOLLOWS... NAME PRONUNCIATION NAME PRONUNCIATION ------------------------------------------------------------- ARLENE MARIA MA REE AH BRET NATE CINDY OPHELIA O FEEL YA DENNIS PHILIPPE FEE LEEP EMILY RITA FRANKLIN STAN GERT CHÈRT TAMMY HARVEY VINCE IRENE WILMA JOSE HO ZAY KATRINA KA TREE NA LEE
May 22, 2005 - Adrian fizzles out
After making landfall in El Salvador Adrian quickly weakened and fell apart. Although there was flooding in El Salvador it wasn't as bad as feared, probably because of it was moving so fast and because the El Salvadorians prepared very well by evacuating thousands of people. Honduras came out even better, so luckily no other Mitch! For more detail this story in the Houston Chronicle nicely sums it up.
May 19, 2005 - Adrian?
We have a hurricane; Adrian... in May! But lucky for us it's in the Pacific. However, it looks like it will cross over Central America and enter the Western Caribbean. Usually tropical systems lose much of there strenght when they go over land, esp. the moutainous terrain ahaed. But if it doesn't totally fall apart and has at least some kind of closed circulation to be classified as a tropical cyclone, then the first storm of the season won't be Arlene, but Adrian!
Currently Adrian is expected to make landfall soon in El Salvador, then move over Honduras and enter the Caribbean Friday evening, and go over Cayman Saturday night. By that time it is expected to be just a tropical depression, so windwise it won't be a big deal. However, depending on how fast it will move forward, it will be a big rain maker, especially in the mountains of Central America. We have seen when Mitch hit Honduras back in 1998 that mudslides caused by rain can be catastrophic... So in conclusion... the Caribbean Islands should be fine, but people living in flood prone areas in Central America should really heed local warnings.
|- - - Local hurricane correspondents wanted! - - -|
Do you live on one of the islands? We need your help! We are looking for more people who are interested in sending us a few paragraphs about the situation on your island before, during and after a storm hits. You don't need to be a weatherman or expert on the subject, just share with us what you know, feel and see on your island. Your help will be really appreciated by Caribbean people living abroad with family living on the islands, future visitors who have their Caribbean dream-vacation booked, etc.etc. Reliable, not-sensationalized information is just so hard to get in crisis situations. Help keep the rest of the world up-to-date with what is really happening! We really need you, Georges (and many others since then...) is proof! If interested, contact email@example.com.
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