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Planet Earth

Hurricane Dean: "SOME HISTORIC NOTES ARE IN ORDER HERE"

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyAugust 21, 2007 2:15 PM

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Dean made landfall a few hours ago while still intensifying, and set some scary records. As the National Hurricane Center details:

A DROPSONDE IN THE EYE MEASURED A CENTRAL PRESSURE OF 906 MB JUST PRIOR TO LANDFALL. SOME HISTORIC NOTES ARE IN ORDER HERE. THE 906 MB CENTRAL PRESSURE IS THE NINTH LOWEST ON RECORD FOR AN ATLANTIC BASIN HURRICANE...AND THE THIRD LOWEST AT LANDFALL BEHIND THE 1935 LABOR DAY HURRICANE IN THE FLORIDA KEYS AND HURRICANE GILBERT OF 1988 IN CANCUN MEXICO. DEAN IS ALSO THE FIRST CATEGORY FIVE HURRICANE TO MAKE LANDFALL IN THE ATLANTIC BASIN SINCE ANDREW OF 1992.

Katrina's central pressure was 902, but its maximum winds were 150 knots (172.5 mph). Dean's maximum sustained winds at landfall are currently estimated by the hurricane center to have been 145 knots--the strongest in the world so far this year--but don't be surprised if they get bumped up in retrospective analyses later on.

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