Weather Nerd

Dolly deepens, slows down; may near Category 2

Hurricane Dolly deepened overnight, its barometric pressure dropping roughly a millibar per hour to reach the current estimate of 976 mb. Maximum sustained winds are up to 85 mph, and Dolly could approach Category 2 status — 96 mph or higher — before making landfall later today.

The storm has also slowed down further; its forward motion is just 8 mph, and a “slight further decrease in forward speed” is expected. Officially, landfall is still expected to occur around midday. But weatherblogger Alan Sullivan writes that “it will be late in the day before the eyewall crosses the coast a bit north of Brownsville.” Time will tell. The longer Dolly’s center — now a burgeoning eye — stays over water, the more opportunity it will have to strengthen.

You can see the eyewall for yourself on Brownsville radar. Here’s what it looks like as of 7:32 AM Eastern:

Despite the (not unexpected) strengthening overnight, it continues to look like Dolly’s main threat will be inland flooding along the Rio Grande. Sullivan says “damage along the coast should be fairly minimal,” and Joe Bastardi says there will be little disruption to the offshore oil production.

I’ll post another update shortly after noon EDT. In the mean time, you can get the latest news related to Dolly from the Brownsville Herald. The latest meteorological information, of course, is at the National Hurricane Center website. The NHC’s next intermediate advisory will be at 8:00 AM Eastern, followed by a full advisory at 11:00 AM.

Here are some live views of Dolly: