Jump to content
ScienceWeather

HURRICANE EMILY NOW A CATEGORY FOUR MONSTER!!!


Jeb

Recommended Posts

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATC...ml/150538.shtml

 

 

000

WTNT35 KNHC 150538

TCPAT5

BULLETIN

HURRICANE EMILY INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 17A

NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL

2 AM AST FRI JUL 15 2005

 

...DANGEROUS HURRICANE EMILY REACHES CATEGORY 4 STRENGTH OVER THE

EAST-CENTRAL CARIBBEAN SEA...

 

A HURRICANE WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR JAMAICA AND FOR ALL OF THE

CAYMAN ISLANDS.

 

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR THE NORTHERN COAST OF

VENEZUELA FROM CARACAS WESTWARD TO PUNTO FIJO...INCLUDING THE

OFFSHORE ISLANDS NORTH OF THE COAST AND WEST OF CARACAS.

 

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS ALSO IN EFFECT FOR PORTIONS OF THE

SOUTHERN COAST OF THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC FROM PUNTA SALINAS

WESTWARD TO THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC/HAITI BORDER...AND FOR THE

ENTIRE SOUTHWESTERN PENINSULA OF HAITI FROM THE DOMINICAN

REPUBLIC/HAITI BORDER TO PORT-AU-PRINCE.

 

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS ALSO IN EFFECT FOR BONAIRE...CURACAO...

AND ARUBA.

 

INTERESTS ELSEWHERE IN THE CENTRAL AND WESTERN CARIBBEAN SHOULD

MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF EMILY.

 

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...INCLUDING POSSIBLE

INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED

BY YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

 

AT 2 AM AST...0600Z...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE EMILY WAS LOCATED

NEAR LATITUDE 13.7 NORTH... LONGITUDE 68.3 WEST OR ABOUT 350

MILES... 560 KM... SOUTH-SOUTHEAST OF SANTO DOMINGO IN THE

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC AND ABOUT 635 MILES...1025 KM...EAST-SOUTHEAST

OF KINGSTON JAMAICA.

 

EMILY IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 20 MPH...32 KM/HR...

AND THIS MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS.

 

INFORMATION FROM AN AIR FORCE RESERVE RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT

INDICATE THAT MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE CONTINUED TO INCREASE

AND ARE NOW NEAR 135 MPH...215 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. EMILY IS

NOW A CATEGORY 4 HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE SCALE

SCALE. SOME ADDITIONAL STRENGTHENING IS POSSIBLE DURING THE NEXT

24 HOURS.

 

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 35 MILES... 55 KM...

FROM THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP

TO 125 MILES...205 KM.

 

THE MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE RECENTLY REPORTED BY A HURRICANE HUNTER

AIRCRAFT WAS 952 MB...28.11 INCHES.

 

EMILY IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 2 TO 4

INCHES ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE NETHERLANDS ANTILLES. RAINFALL TOTALS

OF 3 TO 6 INCHES ARE EXPECTED OVER PORTIONS OF HISPANIOLA...WITH

ISOLATED 8 INCH AMOUNTS POSSIBLE. THESE RAINS COULD PRODUCE

LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES.

 

REPEATING THE 2 AM AST POSITION...13.7 N... 68.3 W. MOVEMENT

TOWARD...WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 20 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED

WINDS...135 MPH. MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE... 952 MB.

 

THE NEXT ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER

AT 5 AM AST.

 

FORECASTER STEWART

 

 

$$

 

 

-

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hurricane spins toward Jamaica

 

Saturday, July 16, 2005; Posted: 1:45 a.m. EDT (05:45 GMT)

http://www.cnn.com/2005/WEATHER/07/16/trop...ther/index.html

 

 

(CNN) -- Hurricane Emily has gained strength and developed into a dangerous Category 4 storm with Jamaica preparing for the worst.

 

The hurricane was upgraded late Friday, and residents in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands were warned to rush their final hurricane preparations with the storm less than 24 hours away.

 

Now packing maximum sustained winds of 135 mph (215 kph), Emily was expected to pass south of Jamaica during the day Saturday before moving west toward the Cayman Islands late Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

 

The latest long-range forecast from the National Hurricane Center shows that the storm poses a threat to the Mexican mainland and possibly the Texas Gulf Coast by late Tuesday, although such projections often change because of the unpredictable nature of hurricane movement.

 

As of 11 p.m. ET, the storm was about 265 miles southeast of Kingston, Jamaica, and 545 miles east-southeast of Grand Cayman, moving west-northwest at about 18 mph.

 

A deluge of up to 8 inches of rain was forecast for Jamaica and the Caymans, with up to 15 inches in mountainous areas, which forecasters warned could trigger flash floods and mudslides.

 

Forecasters said the storm's strength could continue to fluctuate, as it did throughout the day Friday.

 

At Category 4, Emily is capable of causing extensive structural damage and coastal flooding with storm surges of up to 18 feet over normal tide.

 

A hurricane warning was in effect for Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, which means hurricane conditions -- including sustained winds in excess of 73 mph -- are expected within the next 24 hours.

 

Tropical storm warnings were in place for the southern coasts of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, where the storm system was expected to dump 3 to 6 inches of rain.

 

The latest five-day projection of Emily's path from the hurricane center shows the storm making a brief landfall on the tip of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula late Sunday or early Monday, then going back out over water in the Gulf of Mexico.

 

The storm's current path has it on a trajectory to hit the Gulf Coast just south of the U.S.-Mexico border late Tuesday. However, the potential landfall path stretches hundreds of miles from Matagorda Bay in Texas south to near Veracruz, Mexico.

 

Emily has been blamed for one death in Grenada, which took a near-direct hit from the storm early Thursday.

 

The hurricane is the latest storm in what has so far been an active 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, with five tropical systems developing in the first six weeks.

 

All five systems have reached at least tropical storm strength, two became Category 4 hurricanes and Dennis -- which packed 150 mph winds at one point -- was the earliest Category 4 hurricane ever recorded in the Caribbean basin.

 

The storm caused extensive damage in Cuba and the northern U.S. Gulf Coast, killing more than three dozen people.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jamaicans Brace for Category 4 Storm

http://cnn.netscape.cnn.com/ns/news/story....s_0705hurricane

 

 

By STEVENSON JACOBS

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) - Hurricane Emily churned toward Jamaica with 135 mph winds Saturday, regaining Category 4 strength after ravaging Grenada. Mexico began preparations to evacuate tourists from the Yucatan peninsula.

 

The second major hurricane of the Atlantic season was about 215 miles from Kingston, Jamaica's capital, and becoming better organized, according to the U.S. Hurricane Center in Miami. It was moving west-northwest at nearly 18 mph on a path that would take it close to southern Jamaica on Saturday.

 

Emily is expected to hit the Mexican coast by Sunday, possibly somewhere near Cancun. From there it could cross over the Yucatan peninsula, travel across the Gulf and hit land again somewhere near the U.S. border with Mexico, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.

 

Mexican officials began preparations to evacuate tourists from much of the country's Caribbean coast, including Cancun and the island resorts of Cozumel and Isla Mujeres.

 

 

 

In Jamaica, where evacuations of coastal areas were under way since Friday, people rushed to stock up on water, canned food and batteries for the second time this month.

 

Emily trails Hurricane Dennis, which killed at least 25 people in Haiti and 16 in Cuba last week. Thousands of Jamaicans who had refused to leave their homes were stranded by floods.

 

``I'm hoping that those who are in these areas will heed the call to evacuate before it's too late,'' Transport and Works Minister Robert Pickersgill said on RJR radio.

 

Grenada - still recovering from the devastation of last year's Hurricane Ivan - declared a national disaster Friday, a day after Emily's winds tore up at least 100 homes, destroyed crops, and flooded scores of buildings. At least one person was killed in Grenada, a man whose home was buried under a landslide.

 

Emily's winds had decreased to about 115 mph Friday evening after reaching a high of 135 mph earlier in the day. But it regained its old strength a few hours later, making it once again what U.S. meteorologist Stacy Stewart called a ``very rare Category 4 hurricane in the Caribbean Sea in the month of July.''

 

Heavy rains drenched southeast Dominican Republic and officials warned boatmen there to stay in port, saying that coastline could expect waves higher than 10 feet.

 

In Grand Cayman, Texan Carolyn Parker, said she was more apprehensive than she's ever been in 20 years as a resident of the Cayman Islands.

 

``Ivan was pretty nasty, and I'm scared to go through that again.'' said the retired police officer.

 

The eye of the storm was projected to come within 40 miles of Grand Cayman on Sunday.

 

Last year, three catastrophic hurricanes - Frances, Ivan and Jeanne - tore through the Caribbean with a collective ferocity not seen in years, causing hundreds of deaths and billions of dollars in damage.

 

Emily struck hard in Grenada, especially in the north and in the outlying islands of Carriacou and Petit Martinique, where residents were without electricity and water, authorities said.

 

The damage came as the island nation still was recovering from Ivan, which last year killed 39 people, left a wasteland of ruined buildings and damaged 90 percent of the historic Georgian buildings in the capital, St. George's.

 

In Trinidad, widespread flooding triggered landslides that cut off the only access road to two east coast communities, marooning hundreds of residents, Mayor Eustace Nancis said.

 

The hurricane brought heavy rains and flooding to Venezuela, and forced 64 families out of homes when rivers overflowed their banks, a government official said Friday. As the storm moved away, the government lifted restrictions on maritime travel that had grounded oil tankers in the world's fifth largest oil exporter.

 

The Organization of American States called an emergency meeting of its disaster committee Friday, expressing concern at the prospect of a ``severe economic setback'' to countries hit by hurricanes, especially Grenada.

 

Forecasters have predicted up to 15 Atlantic tropical storms this year, including three to five major hurricanes. The hurricane season began June 1 and runs through Nov. 30.

 

Associated Press Writers Jorge Rueda in Cumana, Venezuela, and Loren Brown in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, contributed to this report.

 

On the Net:

 

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov

 

 

07/16/05 06:10

 

 

-----------------------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Emily tracks toward Yucatan

 

Sunday, July 17, 2005; Posted: 2:49 p.m. EDT (18:49 GMT)

http://www.cnn.com/2005/WEATHER/07/17/trop...ther/index.html

 

 

(CNN) -- Hurricane Emily -- still a powerful Category 4 hurricane despite weakened winds -- barreled toward Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula Sunday.

 

As of 2 p.m. EDT, the storm's maximum sustained winds were about 145 mph with some higher gusts, making Emily an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida.

 

A Category 4 hurricane can wreak extensive structural damage and cause coastal flooding, with storm surges of up to 18 feet over normal tides.

 

The long-range forecast shows Emily will probably reach the Yucatan by late Sunday or early Monday, and then approach the Mexican coast for a second time -- this time near the Texas border -- by late Tuesday.

 

Such projections often change because of the unpredictability of hurricane movement.

 

The potential landfall path actually stretches hundreds of miles from Matagorda Bay in Texas south to near Veracruz, Mexico.

 

The National Hurricane Center said Emily is not expected to change much in strength before it hits land, although the storm is expected to weaken later in the week as its center crosses the Yucatan.

 

If the hurricane's winds exceed 155 mph, Emily would classify as a Category 5 storm.

 

A Category 5 hurricane can produce catastrophic damage and flooding.

 

The Mexican government extended its hurricane warning westward, according to the latest hurricane center bulletin. The warning now stretches for the Yucatan Peninsula from Chetumal northward to Cabo Catoche, then westward and southward to Campeche, and includes Cozumel and Isla Mujeres.

 

A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions -- including sustained winds in excess of 73 mph -- are expected within the next 24 hours.

 

In Cancun, Mexican authorities asked tourists to leave the coastal town ahead of the storm. They estimate there are 50,000 tourists in Cancun and 130,000 on the coast south of the city, along a beach area known as the Mayan Riviera. (Full story)

 

Belize issued a tropical storm warning for the coast from Belize City northward to the Mexico border. Tropical storm conditions are also possible Sunday over portions of western Cuba.

 

A tropical storm warning for the Grand Cayman Island was discontinued at 11 a.m. EDT.

 

A tropical storm warning means that sustained surface winds ranging from 39 to 73 mph are expected within the next 24 hours.

 

Up to 8 inches of rain are possible over the Yucatan Peninsula, forecasters said, with isolated amounts up to 12 inches.

 

Western Cuba may receive 1 to 3 inches of rain Sunday, and while rain bands could continue to affect the Cayman Islands, rain is expected to diminish during the day.

 

A storm surge flooding of up to 12 feet above normal tides, along with large and battering waves, are possible near and north of Emily's center when and if it makes landfall in Mexico. Above normal tide levels, with large waves, are possible along the southern coasts of the Cayman Islands.

 

As of 2 p.m. EDT, Emily was 195 miles east-southeast of Cozumel and about 200 miles west of Grand Cayman. It was moving west-northwest at about 20 mph.

 

The Cayman Islands were devastated last year by Hurricane Ivan, a Category 5 storm.

 

Donnie Ebanks, chairman of the Cayman Islands National Hurricane Committee, said early Sunday that the islands have not completely recovered from Ivan. Residents feel fortunate that they apparently will avoid a direct hit from Emily, he added.

 

"We're just keeping our fingers crossed for another four to six hours and hope that it gets a little west of us, and we can breathe a sigh of relief," he said.

 

Emily swept south of Jamaica Saturday morning, dealing a second blow to an island cleaning up after last week's Hurricane Dennis.

 

The storm brought torrential rains, high winds and flooding and prompted evacuations in some areas, journalist Fitzroy Prendergast told CNN.

 

Landslides were also reported on Jamaica's eastern end -- the area damaged earlier by Dennis -- and some communities there were cut off from the rest of the island, Prendergast said. (Full story)

 

The hurricane is the latest storm in what has so far been an active 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, with five tropical systems developing in the first six weeks.

 

All five systems have reached at least tropical storm strength, two became Category 4 hurricanes and Dennis -- which packed 150 mph winds at one point -- was the earliest Category 4 hurricane ever recorded in the Caribbean basin. The storm caused extensive damage in Cuba and the northern U.S. Gulf Coast, killing more than three dozen people.

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Jamaica avoids Emily's eye

http://www.cnn.com/2005/WEATHER/07/16/hurr...a.ap/index.html

 

 

BULL BAY, Jamaica (AP) -- Fishermen dragged skiffs to shore, workmen nailed shutters over windows and surfers rode massive waves as Hurricane Emily strengthened Saturday to a storm capable of catastrophic damage as it passed south of Jamaica, on track to make a direct hit at Mexico's Yucatan peninsula.

 

Howling wind gusts kicked up waves 8 feet (2.4 meters) tall and bent palm trees double in Kingston, Jamaica's capital, Saturday night. Torrential rains drenched parts of Jamaica's south coast and began spreading over the Cayman Islands, the hurricane center said.

 

Jamaican officials sent buses to evacuate hundreds of residents in flood-prone communities along the south coast, but all refused to leave, said Nadene Newsome, spokeswoman for Jamaica's emergency management office.

 

In the seaside fishing village of Port Royal, on a peninsula just south of Jamaica's capital, Kingston, storm-weary locals again boarded up windows and tied down metal roofs but said they were staying put.

 

"Last week it was Dennis, now it's Emily. What's next, Franklin?" Gordon Murphy, 39, joked as his 2-year-old son played at his feet.

 

"If I'm going to die, it's to going to be right here," he said.

 

Just outside Kingston, swells up to 8 feet (2.4 meters) pounded the shore, tossing rocks, sands and tree branches onto the seaside road leading to the international airport.

 

Nearby, surfers gathered before majestic waves. "The waves are about 15 to 18 feet (five to six meters) and really coming in heavily. Surfers have been out there since six o'clock this morning," musician Billy Mystic told AP Television News.

 

In the nearby seaside town of Bull Bay, residents took cover indoors as frothy surf slapped and climbed the shore, threatening several homes, some still in ruins from Hurricane Ivan last year.

 

"I'm getting really sick of this," said Lisa Henry, 39, whose two-bedroom home was flooded by 3 feet (nearly a meter) of water by Dennis last week.

 

Emily has unleashed heavy surf, gusty winds and torrential rains that carry the possibility of life-threatening mudslides. The hurricane center also warned people to beware of abnormal tides with large and dangerous battering waves.

 

The hurricane trails Dennis which killed at least 25 people in Haiti and 16 in Cuba last week.

 

Grenada -- still recovering from the devastation of last year's Hurricane Ivan -- declared a national disaster Friday, a day after Emily tore up at least 100 homes, tore roofs from 2,000 more, destroyed crops and flooded scores of buildings. The storm was blamed for at least one death in Grenada -- a man whose home was buried under a landslide.

 

Ivan struck with 160-mph (256-kph) winds in September. Emily's winds make it what U.S. meteorologist Stacy Stewart called a "very rare Category 4 hurricane in the Caribbean Sea in the month of July."

 

In Grand Cayman, Texan Carolyn Parker said she was more apprehensive than she's ever been in 20 years as a resident of the Cayman Islands. "Ivan was pretty nasty, and I'm scared to go through that again," said the retired police officer.

 

Jamaica and Cayman Islands posted hurricane warnings and Belize was on tropical storm watch.

 

Last year, three catastrophic hurricanes -- Frances, Ivan and Jeanne -- tore through the Caribbean with a collective ferocity not seen in years, causing hundreds of deaths and billions of dollars in damage.

 

Forecasters have predicted up to 15 Atlantic tropical storms this year, including three to five major hurricanes. The hurricane season began June 1 and runs through Nov. 30.

 

Emily struck hard in Grenada, especially in the north and in the outlying islands of Carriacou and Petit Martinique. The damage came as the island nation still was recovering from Ivan, which last year killed 39 people and left a wasteland of ruined buildings. Ivan killed 17 in Jamaica.

 

Emily triggered flooding Thursday in Trinidad and Venezuela that marooned some residents and drove dozens of families from flooded homes.

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Mexico orders large-scale evacuation

Long lines choked the Cancun airport

 

Saturday, July 16, 2005; Posted: 10:05 p.m. EDT (02:05 GMT)

http://www.cnn.com/2005/WEATHER/07/16/mexi...n.ap/index.html

 

 

CANCUN, Mexico (AP) -- Mexican authorities launched a massive evacuation of Caribbean resorts and offshore oil platforms on the Gulf of Mexico Saturday as Hurricane Emily bore down on Cancun and the Yucatan peninsula, packing 155 mph (250 km/h) winds.

 

Quintana Roo state Tourism Secretary Gabriela Rodriguez said authorities would begin evacuating 85,000 people along more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) of coast from Holbox Island to Tulum on Saturday, including a stretch known as the Mayan Riviera.

 

It was the first time in recent memory that such a massive evacuation had been carried out on Mexico's Caribbean coast, long popular among U.S. tourists.

 

But with a massive, almost Category 5 hurricane barreling toward the coast, "we aren't taking any risks," said Rodriguez. (Full story)

 

The Mexican government also was preparing shelters that could hold thousands of local residents and tourists. Schools or community centers usually serve as temporary storm shelters, with few conveniences.

 

Mexican state oil monopoly Petroleos Mexicanos started the evacuation of more than 15,000 workers from offshore oil platforms on the Gulf of Mexico.

 

Emily was expected to hit the Yucatan peninsula late Sunday or early Monday, probably at a point somewhat south of Cancun. From there it could cross over the peninsula, travel across the Gulf and hit land again somewhere near the Mexico-U.S. border.

 

Tourists and residents evacuated from the Caribbean coast were to be relocated to larger, more storm-resistant hotels or moved inland, some as far away as Valladolid in the neighboring state of Yucatan. "We thought the tourists would be more comfortable in hotels than in shelters," Rodriguez said.

 

Authorities also ordered the relocation on Sunday morning of 30,000 tourists in Cancun to larger, better-sheltered hotels, where tourists may have to stay in ballrooms and convention centers.

 

Tourists on the island of Cozumel will be moved to hotels away from the island's shore.

 

About 70 percent of the tourists being relocated are foreigners, Rodriguez said.

 

Long lines of people choked the Cancun airport, as tourists rushed to leave the Caribbean resort ahead of the strong category 4 hurricane.

 

Evacuations began Saturday afternoon from islands off the eastern coast of the Yucatan peninsula as Mexican officials issued a hurricane warning from Chetumal to Cabo Catoche, north of Cancun. About 1,600 people were evacuated from Holbox Island at the peninsula's northeast tip, Quintana Roo state press coordinator Endira Carrillo said.

 

Pemex planned to pull 3,552 of its own workers and 11,978 private employees from offshore platforms, leaving less than a thousand attendants behind. It was closing 63 wells and halting the production of 480,000 barrels of oil a day, the state company announced in a news release.

 

Sunny skies and a laid-back atmosphere still prevailed at Cancun, despite the approaching storm.

 

"The locals seem pretty nonchalant about it," said Becky Hart, 29, a school teacher from Madera, California, waiting for an outbound flight at the Cancun airport. "But then at the hotel they started chopping down the coconuts from the trees and moving people to the top floors."

 

Carlos Bello, 45, of Cancun, rested at the beach with his family.

 

"We're already prepared," said Bello, a local doctor. "We have wood to cover the house with, drinking water. There's no reason to be afraid ... The problems come later."

 

In Cancun, businesses boarded over and taped windows to protect them from shattering. One store hung a sign that said, "Emily go away."

 

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said the hurricane could reach Category 5 strength by Sunday.

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Hurricane aims at Cayman Islands, Mexico

Heads toward heavy tourist spots

 

Sunday, July 17, 2005; Posted: 1:26 a.m. EDT (05:26 GMT)

http://www.cnn.com/2005/WEATHER/07/16/trop...ther/index.html

 

 

(CNN) -- Rainbands of Hurricane Emily -- an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 storm with winds nearing 155 mph -- spread over Jamaica and the Cayman Islands Saturday evening as the storm's eye passed southwest of Jamaica and headed toward Mexico's Yucatan peninsula.

 

The latest long-range forecast from the National Hurricane Center shows that the storm -- bordering on Category 5 status -- could cross the Yucatan Monday and approach mainland Mexico near the Texas border by late Tuesday.

 

Such projections often change, however, because of the unpredictable nature of hurricane movement.

 

Forecasters said Emily would move away from Jamaica and be near Grand Cayman early Sunday.

 

The Mexican government late Saturday issued a hurricane warning for the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, including Cozumel and the Islas Mujeres.

 

It also extended a hurricane watch to include a larger swath of the peninsula's northern and western coasts. A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions -- including sustained winds in excess of 73 mph -- are possible within the next 36 hours.

 

A hurricane warning remains in effect for Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Additionally, a tropical storm warning was issued for the coast of Belize, and forecasters said a tropical storm warning may be required for portions of western Cuba on Sunday. A tropical storm warnings means tropical storm conditions are expected in the area within 24 hours.

 

In Cancun, Mexican authorities asked tourists to leave the coastal town ahead of the storm. Mexican officials estimate there are currently 50,000 tourists in Cancun and 130,000 total on the coast south of the city, along a beach area known as the Mayan Riviera. (Full story)

 

Emily began to sweep south of Jamaica late Saturday morning, causing rain bands to spread over that Caribbean island. Overnight Saturday, the storm's outer bands will sweep over the Cayman Islands, which were devastated by Hurricane Ivan last year. The storm, which was a Category 5 at the time, was blamed for more than 100 deaths and extensive damage in the Caymans.

 

As of 11 p.m. ET, the storm was about 140 miles (230 km) south-southeast of Grand Cayman and about 480 miles (770 km) east-southeast of Cozumel. It was moving west-northwest at near 18 mph.

 

Emily dealt the second blow in a week to Jamaica after last week's Hurricane Dennis. The storm brought torrential rains and high winds to the island, causing flooding and prompting evacuations in some areas, journalist Fitzroy Prendergast told CNN.

 

Landslides were also reported on Jamaica's eastern end -- the area damaged earlier by Dennis -- and some communities there were cut off from the rest of the island, Prendergast said. The main route to Ocho Rios, the island's main tourist destination, was closed, as was the road to one of the island's airports, he said. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

 

Still, "I would say the worst is over," Prendergast said. "I think we have survived once again."

 

A deluge of up to 10 inches of rain was possible for the Cayman Islands, with an additional 2 to 4 inches over western Jamaica and southeastern Cuba, forecasters said. Up to 8 inches was possible over the Yucatan Peninsula with 12 inches possible in some areas.

 

Forecasters said the storm's strength could continue to fluctuate, as it did throughout the day Friday. A Category 4 hurricane is capable of causing extensive structural damage and coastal flooding with storm surges of up to 18 feet over normal tide.

 

For Emily to reach Category 5 status, its maximum sustained winds would have to exceed 155 mph. The latest bulletin from the National Hurricane Center said that within the next 24 hours, Emily could "could become a category five hurricane at times." Some fluctuations in strength are expected, forecasters said. A Category 5 hurricane is capable of producing catastrophic damage and flooding.

 

The National Hurricane Center said Emily's hurricane force winds extended outward up to 60 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds extended outward up to 150 miles.

 

The latest five-day projection of Emily's path from the hurricane center shows the storm making a brief landfall on the tip of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula late Sunday or early Monday, then going back out over the Gulf of Mexico.

 

The storm's current path has it on a trajectory to hit the Gulf Coast just south of the U.S.-Mexico border late Tuesday . However, the potential landfall path stretches hundreds of miles from Matagorda Bay in Texas south to near Veracruz, Mexico.

 

Emily has been blamed for one death in Grenada, which took a near-direct hit from the storm early Thursday.

 

The hurricane is the latest storm in what has so far been an active 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, with five tropical systems developing in the first six weeks.

 

All five systems have reached at least tropical storm strength, two became Category 4 hurricanes and Dennis -- which packed 150 mph winds at one point -- was the earliest Category 4 hurricane ever recorded in the Caribbean basin.

 

The storm caused extensive damage in Cuba and the northern U.S. Gulf Coast, killing more than three dozen people.

 

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...