Tropical Storm Dolly, Here You Come Again…

Like the number one song by Dolly Parton, "Here You Come Again," six years ago, there was a tropical storm Dolly, now the name has returned on the official six year name hurricane list. Dolly is the name of the Atlantic Hurricane Season's fourth named storm and she means business in the Gulf of Mexico.

Dolly started out as a tropical depression on Sunday, July 20th and by 11:45 a.m. EDT that day, she strengthened into a tropical storm and got her name.

By 8:00 a.m. EDT on Monday, July 21, 2008, Dolly had moved off the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, and is located between there and Cuba. She's now poised to enter the Gulf of Mexico's warm waters and could become a hurricane by Tuesday, July 22.

At 8:00 a.m. EDT on July 21, Dolly's center was located near 21.6 degrees north latitude and 88.7 degrees west longitude, or 65 miles (105 km) east-northeast of Progreso, Mexico. Dolly is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 km/hour), and a west-northwest motion is expected over the next couple of days. She's also expected to slow down in forward speed.

Dolly's maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph (85 km/hour) with higher gusts, and the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico will strengthen her into a hurricane over the next day. Her estimated minimum central pressure is 1005 millibars.

She's expected to produce a good amount of rainfall across the northern Yucatan and western Cuba, between 4 and 6 inches. There will also be areas that could receive as much as 10 inches of rain.

This infrared image of Dolly was created by data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), an instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite. The image was created on July 21 at 7:23 UTC (3:23 a.m. EDT) and Dolly is located between the Yucatan and Cuba poised to enter the Gulf of Mexico.

The AIRS images show the temperature of the cloud tops or the surface of the Earth in cloud-free regions. The lowest temperatures (in purple) are associated with high, cold cloud tops that make up the top of Dolly. The AIRS data creates an accurate 3-D map of atmospheric temperature, water vapor and clouds, all of which are helpful to forecasters.

The infrared signal of the AIRS instrument does not penetrate through clouds. Where there are no clouds the AIRS instrument reads the infrared signal from the surface of the ocean waters, revealing warmer temperatures in orange and red.

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