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Posted at 3:00 PM ET, 07/23/2008

Dolly Makes Landfall in Texas; Winds Near 95 MPH

By Capital Weather Gang

*Damage reports include uprooted trees, a toppled roof and downed power lines*

Radar: Latest radar loop of Hurricane Dolly. Courtesy National Weather Service. Click on image to expand. Refresh page to update.

Hurricane Dolly has made landfall along the southern Texas coast, and according to the National Hurricane Center is now a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds near 95 mph, down from a Category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds near 100 mph just before landfall.

Weather Underground's Jeff Masters noted that Dolly put on an "impressive burst of rapid intensification" with its central pressure dropping fast as it approached the Texas-Mexico coast. He also pointed out that the expected storm surge of 6 to 8 feet above normal tide levels will "mostly affect uninhabited sections of Padre Island."

Nevertheless, flooding rains, damaging winds and tornadoes are a threat to South Texas and northeast Mexico through tomorrow. Rainfall totals of 8 to 12 inches are expected, with isolated amounts of 20 inches. If you're familiar with South Texas geography, the National Weather Service in Brownsville, Texas, has created useful maps of potential storm impacts.

Meanwhile, The Monitor asks, "Will levees and dams hold?"

For the latest on the potential for severe weather here in the D.C. area, see our full forecast, and see UnitedCast for tonight's game at RFK.

By Capital Weather Gang  | July 23, 2008; 3:00 PM ET
Categories:  Tropical Weather  
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Next: CommuteCast: Showers Lurk; Some Storms Tonight


I have to agree with Joe B. on his rant this morning. At a pressure of 963mb, I can't see how the winds can be 95 mph. Pressure is the only reliable measurement. There is no way that a plane can measure all points in a storm. Storms are not perfectly symmetrical like text books, and I think that the NHC (given its core mission is to save lives and protect property) has done a disservice to the people in South Texas e.g. it is going to worse than they think. I am curious what others think.

Posted by: Mike | July 23, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Morning guys,

Hey, isn't the slowing pace of the storm coupled with the intensification likely to drop more rain than might be forcesat along its path? And can the levees hold if that'ss the case?

Posted by: Etch | July 23, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

NHC says as much in its latest discussion, which has Dolly now at Cat 2.

Posted by: jmbethesda | July 23, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I think this is going to be a bad year for hurricanes. It will give Gore more ammo to back up his global warming claims.

Posted by: Greg | July 23, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I hadnt even seen Joe B's rant...and it turns out I was right on about the pressure/strength discrepancy in actually seems like she's going through an eyewall replacement over the last 90 minutes. Could be a saving grace for this to get even worse. One other thing is if Dolly jogs a bit more to the NW than the W or WNW, then she has another 30-50 miles of warm water to traverse...the coastline in Deep South TX bends ever so slightly to the NNW as you head along the potential path...

Posted by: Dulles ARC | July 23, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

See this close-up radar view of Dolly. Pretty impressive.

Posted by: Capital Weather Gang | July 23, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Dolly is juuuust about to make landfall on South Padre Island, Texas. The eyewall just needs to go another mile or two west of its current position.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA (Lake Ridge) | July 23, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Not to be too technical about it, landfall occurs when the center of the storm crosses the coast.


Posted by: CapitalClimate | July 23, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Looks as though Brownsville is catching it worst though it's in the SW quadrant of the storm. By comparison the normally strongest NE quadrant looks weaker.

Posted by: El Bombo | July 23, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

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