Meteorologists say Hurricane Dennis could turn into a Category three hurricane with winds of 111 to 130 miles per hour by the time it enters the Gulf of Mexico. But they also caution that their ability to predict a storm's strength isn't very good that far in advance. At 8 am in Miami, Dennis' center was about 160 miles east-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica, and about 165 miles south of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The storm had sustained winds of near 105 miles per hour. State Meterologist Ben Nelson says it's following a familiar path.
"Just like we saw last year with Charley and Ivan we do expect Dennis to come up into the gulf this weekend. It should be a major hurricane by Friday morning as it nears Cuba. And then thereafter we'll be looking to see just how strong this ridge of high pressure is that's located over the Florida peninsula right now. The strength of that ridge will determine just where Dennis does go this weekend once it does get into the gulf. But we do expect a major hurricane at least category 3 intensity which is about 115 miles per hour at the lower end."
Dennis is moving west-northwest at about ten miles per hour and is forecast to be anywhere from the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico to the west coast of Florida by Saturday. The season's peak is still about four months away, and Florida has already been affected by two tropical storms that brought rain and minor problems to the Florida Panhandle.
Thursday, 07 July 2005 01:00