Hurricane Dennis threaded its way between Jamaica and Haiti on a direct course for Cuba on July 7, 2005. The storm now has the distinctive hurricane form, with a well-defined eye surrounded by bands of swirling clouds. At 10:50 a.m. local time (15:50 UTC), when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite took this image, Dennis was just below a Category 3 hurricane, with winds of 175 kilometers per hour (110 miles per hour) and stronger gusts. Less than an hour before this image was taken, the storm’s small dark eye was about 105 kilometers (65 miles) northeast of Kingston, Jamaica and 170 kilometers (105 miles) south-southeast of Guantanamo, Cuba. The National Hurricane Center reports that Dennis is traveling northwest at about 24 kilometers per hour (15 mph).
A storm of this size is a threat not just because of its powerful winds: Dennis is expected to produce heavy rain and coastal and inland flooding. Five to ten inches of rain may fall over Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Cuba, and the Cayman Islands, with as much as 15 inches falling in parts of Jamaica. Heavy rainfall can trigger flash floods and mudslides in mountainous regions. The storm will probably also raise tide levels by five to seven feet and generate large and dangerous waves.
Dennis is expected to strengthen as it moves north towards the Gulf Coast of the United States. For official storm warnings and additional information, please visit the National Hurricane Center.
The image is available in additional resolutions from the MODIS Rapid Response Team.
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC