Sunday, August 19, 2007

Hurricane Dean on the Way

I've been tracking Hurricane Dean on and off throughout the week. You may recall that there was some concern with Tropical Storm Erin, which completely missed the RGV. Erin headed North of us instead. Earlier in the week, there was concern that Dean was headed straight for the RGV. Now, as Dean approaches, the track seems to take the hurricane south of the Rio Grande Valley.

At the moment, the storm is passing over the island of Jamaica. After that, there will be landfall over the Yucatan peninsula before reaching the Gulf of Mexico. We won't really know what Dean will do at that point. After listening to some meteorologists, they expressed a general rule that once a hurricane reaches category 4 and 5, that it generally goes in a rather straight line. This is what has the weather models predicting that Dean will hit south of us. You also have to keep in mind that the current path is an extrapolation of where the storm has been already. Therefore, any small change now can lead to a big variation on where the storm will eventually end up making landfall. This means that the Rio Grande Valley is not out of the woods yet. We will have a much clearer picture once the hurricane passes over Yucatan.

It is a good idea to casually work on a hurricane preparedness kit just in case. Depending on where you live in the Rio Grande Valley, your needs will differ. Those of us close to the cost will have the most to worry about in terms of damage and water. Those of us further inland still have rain and tornados to watch should the storm pass nearby. You should keep in mind that the northern portion of a hurricane usually dumps the most moisture on the RGV. So, having Dean hit just south of us is worse than having Dean hit just north of us. It seems up until now that Dean will hit south of us, but how far is the question.
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