STORMY WEATHER: THE REMNANTS OF HURRICANE DENNIS
July 11, 2005 — Just as residents and vacationers along the U.S. Gulf Coast are breathing a sigh of relief, the forecast now is for the potential of heavy rain and flooding to spread inland into the Tennessee Valley, middle Mississippi Valley and lower Ohio Valley on Monday through Wednesday. (Click NOAA satellite image for larger view of Tropical Depression Dennis taken at 9:15 a.m. EDT on July 11, 2005, as it makes its way inland in the United States after coming ashore in Florida on Sunday. Click here for high resolution version. Please credit “NOAA.”)
Today, forecasters at the NOAA Hydrometeorological Prediction Center are calling for accumulations of 5 to 8 inches over portions of the Ohio Valley with isolated amounts of more than 10 inches possible before the remnants of Dennis dissipate. "It is very important for people in its path to keep abreast of the latest local weather forecasts," said James Hoke, director of the NOAA Hydrometeorological Prediction Center.
"What some people may not be aware of is that the central part of the U.S. was experiencing varying levels of drought," said Douglas LeComte, drought specialist at the NOAA Climate Prediction Center. NOAA updated the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook on Friday, July 8 to reflect the heavy rains expected from the remains of Hurricane Dennis. "The rainfall from the remnants of Dennis is predicted to alleviate some drought conditions from the northern Delta into Illinois, but flooding is a concern," said LeComte. (Click NOAA satellite image for larger view of Tropical Depression Dennis taken on July 11, 2005, at 9:15 a.m. EDT as the once-mighty storm makes its way across the USA dumping heavy rain in some places. Click here for high resolution version. Please credit “NOAA.”)
"We are bracing for another very active Atlantic hurricane season," said Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at the NOAA Climate Prediction Center. In May, NOAA released its 2005 North Atlantic Hurricane Outlook, which calls for 12 to15 tropical storms, with seven to nine becoming hurricanes, of which three to five could become major hurricanes. This reflects an expected continuation of above-average activity that began in 1995.
"In fact, current conditions have already become favorable for hurricane activity in the Caribbean Sea as we saw with Hurricane Dennis," said Bell. "These conditions include warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures (1 to 2 degrees F above normal) and the lack of vertical-wind shear. However, it is difficult to say how long these conditions will persist," he added.
As indicated in May, NOAA will release an update to the 2005 North Atlantic Hurricane Seasonal Outlook in early August, which is just before the peak in seasonal activity. The North Atlantic Hurricane Season began June 1 and ends November 30.
The NOAA National Weather Service has a plethora of forecasts on the latest weather conditions and information on hurricane, flood and lightning preparedness created in association with its partners—FEMA and The Red Cross. NOAA would like to remind everyone: When facing a water-covered road remember: Turn Around, Don't Drown.
NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nation's coastal and marine resources.
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