Hurricane Dean is steadily gaining strength. The official track has it going across the northern part of the Yucatan Peninsula and heading toward Brownsville, Texas which is as far south as you can get in the Lone Star State without being in Mexico. While it would lose intensity as it crosses land, it would likely regain some strength and pose significant threat to South Texas. Here’s the rub…the track beyond a few days is far from certain. There are models which show up with big time differences. While the current track makes a ton of sense, the NHC’s model that has been historically the most accurate, does not agree. That is why if you have interests along the Western Gulf Coast you should probably tell them to at least keep an eye on the situation. I’m not going to share all of the model data because there are over a dozen of them and because it could raise unwarranted alarm. But I will tell you that one puts a 916mb hurricane in the Gulf. For a frame of reference, Katrina in 2005 bottomed out at 902 mb when it had winds of 175 mph. It did not maintain that strength at landfall. Camille in 1969 was 905 mb and supported winds of 200 mph at landfall. Again, this is just a computer model talking to us and there are many variables such as interaction with land. But I can tell you, with the current structure of Dean, a storm developing at some time to that intensity is not totally out of the question and a real possibility. Dean has the potential to be a big bopper. Fortunately, hurricanes typically are not able to maintain such intensity for long so even if it does that offshore, it would likely decrease somewhat as Katrina did at landfall. Then again, Katrina was a Category 3 hurricane at landfall and it did not hit New Orleans; the eye passed over Mississippi. So storms with such a potential should be watched closely.
Around here, the heat goes on..but at least not quite as hot as yesterday. The 105 at the airport at 2:37 pm was just two degrees shy of the all time record in Louisville.