Ivan Has a Growth Spurt

The Hurricane Center has just upped Hurricane Ivan to a Category 5 with top winds of 160 mph with higher gusts! That means winds with 2.5 times the force of Frances at landfall and four times the potential to cause damage.

Complete roof failure on many residences and industrial buildings. Some complete building failures with small utility buildings blown over or away. All shrubs, trees, and signs blown down. Complete destruction of mobile homes. Severe and extensive window and door damage. Low-lying escape routes are cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the hurricane center. Major damage to lower floors of all structures located less than 15 ft above sea level and within 500 yards of the shoreline. Massive evacuation of residential areas on low ground within 5-10 miles (8-16 km) of the shoreline may be required. There were no Category Five hurricanes in 1995, 1996, or 1997. Hurricane Gilbert of 1988 was a Category Five hurricane at peak intensity and is the strongest Atlantic tropical cyclone of record.

Tonight, my friend Bob and I were chatting about hurricanes. We realized, as bad as this season is, deaths have been low. This is 100% attributable to satellite technology. In fact, Bob suggested whoever ‘invented’ weather satellites deserved a Nobel prize for that alone!

I worry about the people on Jamaica. This storm is steaming right toward them and there’s really nowhere to hide.

Not only will the wind be destructive, but Jamaica has topography which will bring out the worst in a hurricane.

Jamaica is about the size of Connecticut in the United States. It measures about 4,400 square miles (11,400 square kilometers).

Stretches 146 miles from east to west. Varies between 22 and 51 miles from north to south. And in many ways is more like a continent than an island.

It has rugged mountain ranges, with Blue Mountain Peak, the highest point, soaring 7,402 feet. It has miles of white beaches, bordered by the blue Caribbean.

It has 120 rivers flowing from the mountains to the coast. And it has great central plains, fertile agricultural lands, towering cliffs, magnificent waterfalls, dense tropical forests…and eternal summer.

From 1uptravel

Seven thousand foot mountains will surely wring more than the Hurricane Center’s estimate of 5-7″ of rain. A direct, or even near, hit will mean catastrophic mudslides and flooding.

This storm is not done yet.

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