As we went to blog, Hurricane Dean is currently a Category 4 Hurricane, with maximum winds of 150 mph and a pressure of 930 mb, .27.46 inches. Dean was 700 miles, 1125 km east-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica and about 239 miles, 390km, south of San Juan, Puerto rico, moving west at about 18 mph (30 kph) at Latitude: 15.0 N, Longitude: -66.7 W. The National Hurricane Center predicted Dean may grow to a Category 5 storm the highest level on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, with 150 mph (240 kph) winds as it tracks across Jamaica to the Gulf, home to a third of U.S. domestic crude oil and 15 percent of natural gas production. Dean is following almost the same path as Hurricane Rita, though some at the NHC speculate that Dean will weaken some as it approaches the US Gulf.
Aug 18 - 05:50 UTC - Weather buoy- 42059 (Image above), which lies in the direct path of Dean reported currently, Temperature: 81°F, Dewpoint: 75°F. Wind: NNE at 45 mph gusting to 54. Pressure: 999 mb. Wave Height: 26 ft .. Now remember just because the buoy is reporting waves at 26ft does not mean that these waves are not higher on average.
(Sat Photo GOES 1 Hurricane Dean)
According to press reports,
"Dean, the first hurricane of what is expected to be an above-average Atlantic season, lifted the roof off the pediatric wing at Victoria Hospital in St Lucia's capital, Castries, but patients had already been moved, officials said.
Heraldine Rock, an ex-government minister in the former British colony of 170,000 people, said the storm ripped roofs off houses and damaged at least two banana plantations.
"In one village, telephone and power lines are down, they're strewn all over the road, trees are uprooted and are blocking the roads," she said. "In another village, a landslide has been reported, cutting off any access to the airport."
Deputy Prime Minister Leonard Montoute said at least two people were injured when a tree fell on their house.
"I'm told that the coastal areas have taken a severe battering, there's debris all over Castries in the capital and flood waters on the roads," he said.
On neighbouring Martinique, an elderly man died of a heart attack during the storm and six people were injured, according to France's state office for overseas territories. Electricity company EDF said 95 per cent of homes were without power."
(Sat Photo by QuikSCAT of Hurricane Dean)
In this video shot on Antigua, Hurricane Dean's eye was some 100 miles away, but watch the wave action.
And then we have Dominica...
Here is some AP footage of Dean blowing through the eastern Caribbean Islands of St. Lucia and Martinique.
Let's not forget Super Typhoon SEPAT!
This Hurricane Dean has potential to cause some real damage along the Gulf Coast, hope we are prepared this time. Just a interesting note in hurricane history. Maybe with a little luck, Hurricane Dean will turn and follow the same track as its 1989 name sake "Hurricane Dean" did. So keep posted... Enjoy your weekend!