there have been no significant changes in the structure of Dean
during the past several hours. The last reconnaissance aircraft
into the eye measured 930 mb and the reported winds support an
initial intensity of 130 knots. However...the crew observed a
double eyewall and the presence of this feature will probably
result in short term fluctuations in intensity. The satellite
presentation is outstanding with a well defined eye...numerous
spiral bands and an expanding outflow. With an environment of low
shear and very high oceanic heat content between the Cayman Islands
and Yucatan...some additional intensification is possible. In
fact...Dean could become a potentially catastrophic category five
hurricane at any time before it reaches Yucatan.
The hurricane is heading on a steady west-northwestward track or 285
degrees at 16 knots. The strong high to the north of the hurricane
is expected to build westward as indicated by the latest global
model runs. This pattern calls for no significant change in track
or speed through 5 days...but perhaps with a slight turn more to the
west in a day or so. The GFDL continues to be on the northern side
of the guidance envelope and is the only model that brings the
hurricane over the southern Texas coast. The official forecast GOES
along with the consensus of the dynamical models and keeps Dean in
the Bay of Campeche or southern Gulf of Mexico by day four. There
could be very uncertain days ahead since the GFDL has had a very
reliable track record.


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