Hurricane Isabel

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mobrouser

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Conchman said:
A few degrees more southerly course and we would have gotten a direct hit here on the North Coast.


i think too that this is why there was so much attention. after hearing year after year that the north coast has never been touched, when one is heading that near the question starts looming "is this the time?".

thanks to all for the great info.

mob
 

andy a

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I believe that the primary value of this thread (like most threads) is entertainment/curiosity, but that's a worthy goal.

Someone mentioned early on that the DR historically gets hit only once in 20 years, so we knew from the start that the danger was slight. We should still be prepared, of course.

Do very many people let little things like facts dissuade them from doing things, anyway?

As long as Isabel was still "in the groove" for tracking into the Caribbean, it was a possible threat to emulate David, with dire consequences for the DR. Once it got too far north for that, its danger to the DR became greatly diminished.

David, nurtured by the warm Caribbean, was at max strength as it turned northwards to slam Santo Domingo at about a 45 degree angle for max winds (about 145-150 mph, as I recall).

Even if Isabel were to hit the DR with its current strength, the weak side winds would be approximately 132 mph. Yes, Xanadu, the North Coast is at somewhat of an angle, so the projected winds would be a "little" higher.

But if Isabel turned toward the North Coast, it would likely lose a lot of its strength before it arrived. I doubt that winds would exceed 100 mph. THERE'S NO GUARANTEES, so no one should drop his guard, of course.

A greater concern for me would be flying through it to get to the DR in the first place. I don't like bumpy rides.

I've always been fascinated by storms, perhaps because of childhood stories about how my Mom (and baby Elvis) had near misses from what some experts think was THE STRONGEST storm ever recorded. (I also learned that I was more afraid of snakes in a storm cellar than the storm itself).

I'm not taking sides in the debate about whether we should or shouldn't discuss this so fervently, just expressing a few thoughts.
 

XanaduRanch

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A few little Factoids

I have been fascinated by a new enhanced satellite loop of Isabel and noticed a few things.

The eye has become rather large. Almost 1 full degree of latitude and longitude. We keep tracking the storm by the location of the center of the eye. But! The highest winds are in the eye wall, not at the center of the eye. So, the southwest edge of the eyewall with the 150-185 mph winds is actually about 1/2 degree closer to the DR than the location you see being mentioned in the reports. The leading edge of the eyewall at 1:30PM is:
  • 500 miles from Las Galeras
  • 554 miles from Cabrera
  • 570 miles from Cabarete
Also, the rain bands around Isabel extend a lot further to the south and southwest than in other directions. And they have grown to cover a larger diameter in recent hours, too. The southernmost rainbands are currently below 18.5N! The distance to the leading edge of the rainbands is:
  • 214 miles from Las Galeras
  • 269 miles from Cabrera
  • 287 miles from Cabarete
Tip: You can make your own custom satellite photo centered right on Puerto Plata for example that shows great detail and highlights just how close this monster is to the DR. Go the Carribean Hurricane Network, the link is on the sticky on the Hurricane Forum main page and follow the instructions. Try it! It's a great image!
 
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Jan

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Santo Domingo
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I'm enjoying this thread

I think all this is very interesting. Learning some about weather and some of the lingo too. Its one thing to be worried about the storm but I think that this is very interesting. Keep all the info coming. Even if we'er not going top get hit this storm feels like I sort of know it personally. Like we're old buddies! ...And I do think its sort of pretty. Just like a rattle snake is beautiful too. Don't want to make friends with it and have it hangout at your home but can appriciate its beauty from afar.
Thanks for all the info. Keep up the good work.
 

Andy B

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Historically speaking, the 20 years theory of the DR not getting hit by hurricanes doesn't hold much water with me in Las Galeras which has been hit twice in the past 7 years that I've been here (although it hadn't been hit for 65 years prior to my arrival,...do you suppose it may have something to do with my given name being Andrew?). On Sept 10, '96, Hortense passed just 20 miles offshore after she rounded Puerto Rico and came up the Mona Passage. Just two years later in September '98 Georges, which had been aiming right for Samana, luckily passed to the south of the island and then turned right after plastering Santo Domingo and swung across the island. We suffered damage from both of them.

"I believe that the primary value of this thread (like most threads) is entertainment/curiosity, but that's a worthy goal."...If you lived here and was staring this thing in the face you might realize that this thread is a little more than mere entertainment or curiousity.


For those of you that remember the flooding in the DR from Georges you may not know that although the official death toll was only several hundred, I had a Dominican friend who lost most of his large Dominican family when the Army opened a dam and the wall of water took out every village downriver for quite some distance and thousands died or disappeared. I don't remember the name of the dam somewhere in the central SW part of the country but this was hushed up because the Army didn't notify anyone they were doing this. And the Civil Defense minister wouldn't admit we were having a hurricane even as the winds shrieked through Santo Domingo because "he didn't want to alarm the population."
 

Ken

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Andy B said:
On Sept 10, '96, Hortense passed just 20 miles offshore after she rounded Puerto Rico and came up the Mona Passage.

I remember Hortense very well, Andy. Barbara and I rode it out on our sailboat in Samana harbor. We were lucky it lost some of its punch after bouncing off the southwest corner of Puerto Rico, then coming up the Mona Passage to Samana. It regained its full clout later and was a powerful hurricane when it hit the US. We missed Georges because we were enjoying the 1998 and 99 hurricane seasons in Venezuela.
 

kjdrga

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I remember Georges all to well as the eye of the storm passed over us in S.D. and then proceeded to destroy the towns in the SW where I was to live. I believe the dam you are talking about was open and the town of Metropolis was wiped out or was it Mesapotania. In most of SW many of the bridges were wiped out and it would take sometimes most of the day to get from S.D to our destination and much of it involved crossing river on mules, drove up the cost of transport that's for sure.

During Hurricane David (can't remember the year) many villages that had developed in dried up riverbed where completely wiped out as well, there is a man that lives in our village who lost his ENTIRE family (including extended family) in that hurricane.

Let's just hope Isabel misses any coastline she sure looks like she's going to due a lot of damage if she hits ground!
 

XanaduRanch

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Las Galeras

Satellite photos here show the leading edge of Isabels rain bands to the south and west expanding or bulging outward at about twice the forward speed of the hurricane's eye over the last 4 hours. The southernmost rain bands now appear to be at a latitude only slight above 18N. The heavier squalls have sunk as far south as 18.5N which is about the same latitude as Punta Cana and Santo Domingo, and the heaviest squalls, with the coldest cloud tops as high as 60,000 feet are occasionally now around 19.75N-20.0N, the same latitude range as Las Galeras, Cabrera, Cabarete, et al. At 3PM the distance to the leading edge of the rainbands is:
  • 150 miles from Las Galeras
  • 205 miles from Cabrera
  • 222 miles from Cabarete
It's unlikely that expansion will continue at that pace. If it did Las Galeras would be seeing some rain beginning in about 10-11 hours. Anyone in that area should now be seeing directly overhead the high, thin cirrus whisps that are the outflow from Isabel.

Tom (aka XR)
 

Ken

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Tom, don't have my navigation charts here, but 19.75 sounds high for Las Galeras.

Drat! Caught me. I was generalizing a bit. It's at about 19.30N, Cabrera 19.62N, Cabarete/Sosua 19.75N. BTW we can see the cirrus 'fingers' overhead northeast from Xanadu pointing to the eye of Isabel already. -XR
 
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XanaduRanch

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Outflow Clouds

If you look at the satellite photos of this classic hurricane you will see little spidery-web looking clouds outside the main mass of storms. These filaments are high altitude ice-crystal cirrus clouds. They indicate a healthy hurricane that's pulling energy from the warm water, spinning it into thunderstorms, and then expelling the now colder air out over the top - these clouds. This view is to the East-Northeast.
 

Andy B

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Las Galeras is 19.18n and 69.12w. I had the exact coordinates of the anchorage in front in my GPS but it went with the boat when I sold it.

And you're right on, there is some wispy, very high cirrus showing up now above the local cumulous and altocumulous clouds.

Andy, I assume that's 19 degrees and 18 minutes, not 19.18, right? I was doing the decimal thing, not degrees/minutes. My charts would agree with you then. -XR
 
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Ken

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In a 2:10 pm report, NHC upgrade Isabel to Catagory 5 with winds of 160mph based on reports from the aircraft sent to investigate it.

Andy, that sounds right to me. I've been using 19.2/69.2 for Samana.
 
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XanaduRanch

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The official numbers are, in degrees/decimal, and then degrees/minutes/seconds:
  • Las Galeras 19.30N/69.20W (19deg18min00sec/69deg12min00sec)
  • Samana 19.22N/69.32W (19deg13min12sec/69deg19min12sec)
  • Las Terranas 19.32N/69.53W (19deg19min12sec/69deg32min48sec)
 

Ken

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The 5 pm report has some encouraging news. It indicates that the storm is now taking a WNW course and that this appears to be a "steady trend".
 
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Ken

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Tom, I presume those coordinates are on land. I've been using, and probably Andy B as well, coordinates in the water since they were for navigation purposes.

BTW, as of 5pm the eye is about 480 miles from Andy B's front door.
 
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XanaduRanch

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Ken, yes, I had been using a Dominican land map just for rough estimates but Escott had sent along a great site that has every place name in the DR imaginable mapped out. Here's the link:

http://www.traveljournals.net/explore/dominican_republic/locations/l/31.html

That WNW trend hopefully will continue. Now it's just kind of watching how bif the diameter of the rain bands get. I didn't take a photo from Cabarete Beach a few hours ago but there were dozens of those cirrus 'fingers' visible. Then at sunset the sky was dark grey on the horizon toward Isabel, and a glorious 'storm' red above. You could really sense that some odd was going on with the weather just sitting there on the beach.

Awesome feeling.

Tom (aka XR)
 

andy a

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Feb 23, 2002
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Andy B

Why do you torture yourself reading posts that neither entertain you nor about which you have no curiosity? Is business so slack at the hotel? Why aren't you boarding up windows and preparing evacuation plans for your guests?

Actually, on various topics on this board I am often on the side of caution while you are on the side of "nothing to worry about" (afraid of scaring away tourists). What has happened?

I'm only trying to put things into perspective - from my point of view - just as anyone else does so from his point of view. I'm well aware of what hurricanes can do. There is a wealth of information both on this board and links referenced to that effect.

You had helped to start this particular slant to the thread by saying that all the discussion had "raised tension". Other posters had suggested that too much attention was being focused.

So which way do you want it?

You also take the liberty of including yourself and excluding others with the comment "If you lived here ..." Does that presumption enhance your argument?

Why don't you simply broadcast to the world "...don't come down to my hotel in the DR because a hurricane is on the way"?
 

XanaduRanch

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Ahem.

I might point out that that might actually help his hotel. There is a booming business in the United States where silly Americans and Europeans pay big bucks to guys who drive them all over the midwest stuffed in to a van chasing thunderstorms just for the opportuniy of seeing a few tornadoes on their vacation.

Now if we could just get a few more hurricanes to pass by DR hotels His Baldness might have some more tourist dollars around to spend.

Tom (aka XR)

P.S. Guys, please. This is a valid topic and I, for one, am interested in hearing your opinions on it, and letting you hear mine. But if you want to debate scaring vs. informing any further then I am going to have to split this off into a new thread. Just start a new thread and save me having to figure out how I do that! Thousands of people are looking at this thread for information on Isabel right now and I'd like not to pollute it.

Stay on topic, please, at least in this thread.
 
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Ken

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11 pm Report is Good

The 11pm report indicates that Isabel is still moving WNW, thus moving it further away from the north shore. It is now at latitude 23 and longitude 63.7. Winds still 160. All in all, a favorable report.
 
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