Strong storms in one of the passing bands woke me at 5 AM. A quick check of the morning advisory and radar reveals bad news:
AIR FORCE HURRICANE HUNTER DROPSONDE OBSERVATIONS INDICATE THAT THE CENTRAL PRESSURE HAS FALLEN TO 976 MB…A RATHER SIGNIFICANT DECREASE OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF HOURS. ALTHOUGH THE SFMR…DROPSONDE…AND FLIGHT-LEVEL WIND MEASUREMENTS UP TO NOW HAVE YIELDED 70 KT FOR THE CURRENT INTENSITY…I HAVE TOO MUCH RESPECT FOR THIS ABRUPT FALL IN PRESSURE TO NOT SHOW ANY INCREASE IN STRENGTH. THEREFORE THE CURRENT INTENSITY IS ADJUSTED TO 75 KT FOR THIS ADVISORY.
It seems likely now that the next update may show even higher wind speeds. A jump to category 2 now seems probable. But is it going anywhere?
INITIAL MOTION IS A SLIGHTLY SLOWER 310/7. THE TRACK FORECAST PHILOSPHY IS ESSENTIALLY UNCHANGED. A MID-TROPOSPHERIC RIDGE TO THE NORTH OF THE HURRICANE IS EXPECTED TO WEAKEN SLIGHTLY TODAY BUT REMAIN WELL-ESTABLISHED ENOUGH TO STEER THE HURRICANE ON A NORTHWESTWARD TO WEST-NORTHWESTWARD HEADING…WITH A SLIGHT ADDITIONAL DECELERATION.
More bad news. Dolly is going to stick around a while and drop rain over huge sections, if not all, of the Texas coast. A lot of the rain will be beneficial but some areas seem destined to get too much of a good thing.