Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dolly Dying
Last Advisory Issued on Tropical Storm

Another July tropical record falls

The last National Hurricane Center advisory on Tropical Storm Dolly was issued this afternoon, and the storm was downgraded to a tropical depression. Maximum winds were 35 mph as it continued moving west northwest at 14 mph. Although the wind circulation has weakened, the remnants of Dolly will continue to generate very heavy rains and flooding through Friday in southern Texas and northeastern Mexico.

With the 4.5 days Dolly was a named storm, 3.75 days from Cristobal, and 17.25 days from Bertha, this July has had a total of 25.5 named storm days. This breaks the record for July tropical storm activity of 25.25 set in 2005.

Downgraded Dolly Delivers Deluges
Tropical Storm Moving Up Rio Grande Valley

2 pm Update: Tropical Storm Dolly has weakened to maximum winds of 40 mph and is now moving west northwest at 13 mph.

Hurricane Dolly was downgraded to a tropical storm last night, but it continues to drop copious amounts of precipitation on the Rio Grande Valley. The 6.68" which fell at Brownsville yesterday was a record amount for any day in July. The July total of 13.20" has also smashed the old monthly record of 9.43". The cooling effect of the rain also held the maximum temperature to 78°, which tied the coolest all-time July daily maximum. Brownsville broke another daily rainfall record earlier this month on the 8th, when 1.00" fell.

Daily records were also set at McAllen (3.09" vs. previous 0.45"), Harlingen (3.42" vs. 0.54"), Corpus Christi (2.86" vs. 1.47"),

Image from National Weather Service shows 24-hour precipitation in southern Texas ending at 7 am CDT this morning. The white area represents 10" or more. Click to enlarge.

Tropical Storm Dolly's maximum winds are now 45 mph. The storm is moving west northwest at 9 mph from a position near Laredo, Texas. Further weakening is likely today.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dolly Continues to Weaken Moving Inland

Hurricane Dolly continues to lose strength as it moves further inland after making landfall over extreme southern Texas earlier this afternoon. Maximum winds are now 85 mph. Dolly is moving northwest around 8 mph from a position about 50 miles north of Brownsville, TX. A gradual turn to a more westerly direction is expected, along with further weakening. Heavy rainfall amounts from 8 to 12 inches, with possible isolated amounts up to 20 inches, are forecast over south Texas and northeast Mexico.

EPA Email-gate: More Testimony

The saga of the Environmental Pollution Agency's CO2 policy-making process continued Tuesday with the testimony of former EPA political appointee Jason Burnett. Today's WaPo reported that Burnett testified to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that the White House ordered EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson to reverse a decision supporting California's request to implement rules cutting greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles. Johnson told the committe under oath in January that the decision was his alone.

A webcast of yesterday's hearing is available on the committee's web site. The committee minority responded with their usual anti-scientific propaganda.

One thing is clear: At least one of these EPA officials is not telling the truth. Burnett's rather unusual career path is described in a profile in yesterday's NYTi, which notes:
What remains curious is how Mr. Burnett, a contributor to Democratic candidates -- including Senator Barack Obama, the presumptive presidential nominee -- and a policy specialist who counts some of the wealth of Silicon Valley’s Packard family as his inheritance -- came to be hired at the agency four years ago at the age of 27 as an adviser.
Gristmill blog has some additional comments on the hearings.

Hurricane Dolly Strengthens
Slowly Approaching Coast as Category 2

3 pm Update: Hurricane Dolly has made landfall over South Padre Island. Maximum winds have decreased to 95 mph.

1 pm Update: At noon CDT, the eyewall of Hurricane Dolly was crossing South Padre Island. The center was meandering offshore, but was expected to reach the coast in a couple of hours.

Hurricane Dolly increased in strength this morning to a Category 2 storm with maximum winds of 100 mph. It has slowed its forward motion and is now approaching the coast on a northwest track at 7 mph. The center of the storm was located 30 miles east northeast of Brownsville, Texas at 10 am CDT.

Tropical Storm Cristobal has lost its tropical characteristics, and the last advisory was issued at 5 am by the National Hurricane Center.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Dolly Strengthens to Hurricane Force

Cristobal Losing Tropical Characteristics

Tropical Storm Dolly strengthened today to become a Category 1 hurricane, the second so far this season. Maximum winds are now 75 mph, and further strengthening is likely before landfall near the Texas/Mexico border tomorrow. Hurricane Warnings remain in effect from Brownsville to Corpus Christi, TX and along the Mexican coast southward to Rio San Fernando. The storm is moving northwest at 10 mph from a position about 165 miles east southeast of Brownsville.

As Tropical Storm Cristobal accelerates northeastward, it is beginning to lose its tropical characteristics. Maximum winds are 50 mph, and weakening is expected over the next 24 hours. The storm is located about 170 miles south southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia, moving northeast at 28 mph.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre has reported heavy rain and some local flooding along the coast of Nova Scotia from the outer fringes of Cristobal.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Tropical Storm Dolly Continues to Organize

Tropical Triple Sets Another July Record

11 pm Update: Watches have been upgraded to Warnings for Mexican and Texas coasts.

Tropical Storm Dolly continues to become better organized in the Gulf of Mexico. Although the strength remains level with maximum winds of 50 mph, an increase in intensity remains likely in the next 24 hours. Watches remain in effect for the northern Mexican and southern Texas coasts. Movement is to the west northwest at 18 mph, but a gradual decrease in speed is expected.

Latest satellite image of Dolly from

The Associated Press reports that the governor of Texas has activated 1200 National Guard troops and other emergency personnel in southern Texas.

Cristobal continues to move northeast, away from the coast, at 13 mph; a turn to a more easterly direction is forecast. Maximum winds are 65 mph with some weakening predicted by late tomorrow.

Jeff Masters in his WunderBlog says that the tropical triple of Bertha, Cristobal, and Dolly on the 19th set a record for the first time there were 3 tropical storms in the Atlantic on the same day in July. He probably meant to refer to the 20th (Sunday).

EPA: Get a Life

It took until Saturday to get around to it, but the WaPo had a front-page article on the Environmental Pollution Agency's book-cooking covered on the Colbert Report early last week:
Cosmic Markdown: EPA Says Life Is Worth Less

Dolly Drilling Damage Likely Low

Reuters is reporting that the projected path of Dolly is likely to miss major oil-producing areas of the Gulf of Mexico. Shell has begun evacuating workers from drilling platforms, but production thus far is unaffected. In commodity market trading near mid-day, oil prices were up less than $1 at the bargain price of under $130 a barrel.

Tropical Storm Dolly Heads for Gulf: Hurricane Watch for South Texas Coast

Cristobal Clearing Carolina Coast

The center of Tropical Storm Dolly is moving away from the northern Yucatan coast today, heading for the southwestern Gulf of Mexico. A Hurricane Watch has been issued for the Texas coast from Brownsville to Port O'Connor, and a Tropical Storm Watch extends northward to San Luis Pass. Maximum winds are near 50 mph, and the storm could become a Category 1 hurricane by tomorrow. Tropical Storm Dolly is moving toward the west-northwest at 18 mph.

Tropical Storm Cristobal continues to move away from the Carolina coast, but it has strengthened, with maximum winds of 65 mph. Cristobal is moving northeast at about 13 mph on a track which should bring it near the coasts of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland in the next couple of days.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bye-Bye Bertha; Hello Dolly

The stormy area moving westward across the Caribbean in recent days has evolved into the fourth named storm of this young tropical season. Based on aircraft reconnaissance, Tropical Storm Dolly has maximum winds of 45 mph as of 5 pm Sunday. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from Dolly for the Yucatan Peninsula from the Mexico/Belize border to Campeche. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the coast of Belize from Belize City northward. The storm is moving northwest at 14 mph. The forecast track takes Tropical Storm Dolly across Yucatan tonight and into the southern Gulf of Mexico tomorrow.

Tropical Storm Cristobal continues to move on a track parallel to the North Carolina coast. Maximum winds remain near 45 mph, and little change in strength is forecast. A Tropical Storm Warning for Cristobal is in effect from Cape Lookout, NC to the North Carolina/Virginia border.

The last tropical advisory was issued on Tropical Storm Bertha this morning as it became a strong extratropical storm with winds still at 70 mph. It continues to head northeast toward Iceland at the rapid rate of 36 mph.

Seasonal Outlook

Latest seasonal forecast: Click here.

Latest 3-month temperature outlook from Climate Prediction Center/NWS/NOAA.