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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Heat Wave winding Down, Dolly Gearing Up

Are you tired of the heat? I am! In fact I was 6 days ago. Today would make day 7 of this heat wave (90F+ temps). A cluster of storms erupted overnight, and split into two parts. This is the surface map from 7am, and it highlights the front that is responsible for the storms. Today we should see the clouds arrive around lunch time, and stick around through Wednesday. With that in mind, our temperatures should take a drop. Wednesday's temperatures will be determines by how much rain we have. More rain will keep us in the lower 80s, but if it's just a morning and then an afternoon/event event split- we could be in the upper 80s and quite muggy. It will take until Thursday morning at the earliest to get this through.
Dolly soon to be a Hurricane:

The sea surface temperature map here shows the pool of water above 86F feeding into part of this storm. That is good fuel, in addition to a favorable upper level environment to strengthen.
a really good website for tracking the tropics is Stormpulse. Click on the Dolly map below for a link. Below these images you can see a spaghetti plot of all of the forecast models on Dolly. No doubt it will make landfall tomorrow. The question is where. That covers a wide range. When a hurricane Watch it issued, it often covers 100 miles of coastline, but about 30 miles of that stretch see the worst result. The right or north side of this landfall will have the largest storm surge and flooding. The problem is that this will be a storm in strengthening mode. That means a Category 1 or 2 can do more damage than expected as it makes landfall with the potential energy this storm would have if it continued over water. In contrast, a weakening storm would tend to fall apart quickly, since it would already be trending downward in intensity.

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