Hurricane Dennis is making landfall along the southeast coast of Cuba
with sustained winds of 130mph, just shy of Category 4 status. The only inhibitor of further strengthening is land interaction. Since Dennis is expected to remain on a general west-northwest or northwest heading over the next 36 hours, some modest weakening will occur. Dennis will emerge from western Cuba and enter the southeast Gulf of Mexico
as a Category 2 in all likelihood, but restrengthening will probably take shape just west of the Florida Keys
. It is quite obvious that Dennis has traveled a bit more northerly than initially forecast
Once near the central US Gulf Coast
, the hurricane may either sustain itself or weaken slightly, as modest southwest winds along the periphery of the subtropical ridge begin to inhibit Dennis' outflow. However, Dennis will likely be a major hurricane at landfall despite the slight increase in shear.
The forecast track still points toward a western Florida
Panhandle, but those west toward New Orleans and Eastward along the Western coast of florida will still need to watch Dennis.
The trend to watch for over the next 12-18 hours will be the path of Dennis in relation to the coast of Cuba, and its interaction with the ridge over the southeast Gulf of Mexico
. If Dennis begins to skirt the southern end of Cuba, then the more westerly end of our zone would be more likely to be affected. Moreover, a direct central Cuba landfall would suggest a higher Florida Keys
threat , and a more likely chance of a direct hit on the western Florida Panhandle later on. We will have a much better grasp on Dennis tomorrow afternoon as we begin to see where exactly the center will be moving into the Gulf.
Atlantic surface analysis charts
1. Plot Chart Analysis 0-90W Prelim
Size: 101.9K - Updated: Fri Jul 8 09:39:26 2005 UTC
2. Pressure Analysis 00UTC National Hurricane Center, Miami
Size: 64.7K - Updated: Fri Jul 8 04:47:39 2005 UTC
For weatherfax chart Goto: http://weather.noaa.gov/fax/