Monday, August 25, 2008

TS Gustav: August 25 Update B

The NHC issued a special advisory at 2pm, upgrading TD 7 (officially
labeled at their 11am advisory) to TS Gustav. They will put out another
update in about 15 mins.

First my customary "I'm not sure what the NHC is doing" rant (you *knew*
that was on it's way, didn't you? :)). It was obviously a TS this morning,
and satellite winds were well over 40 knots, which is about 46 mph (1 knot
= 1.15 mph). Tropical Storm force winds range from 39-73 mph. But they
had to wait for information from a plane (which they just got) to confirm
that he is, indeed, a TS with maximum winds near 60mph now (996 mb)? I
know they are cautious, but this is a bit much... I'm having deja vu with
Fay here...

My best guess is that they didn't want the media to make as big a deal of
this 'by-passing' the TD stage and going straight to TS, which is what I
heard happened with Fay (although you all knew otherwise).

Winds of 60mph makes him a strong Tropical Storm - and there's a chance
he'll be a hurricane soon. Most of the convection is on the north and west
side, and has already started to impact Hispaniola. I fear there may be
more mudslides there. At least the TS warning watches in the DR and Haiti
have been upgraded to Hurricane warnings and watches. The two factors that
will help to keep his intensity low are: (a) the interaction with land,
and (b) he is still pulling in dry air from the south. The intensification
factors remains the same as in my earlier update. But for now I'm not sure
that's enough to stop him getting a bit stronger.

The center of a very clearly defined eye is at about 15.9N, 70.5W and he's
moving NW at 14 mph. The high pressure to his north has eroded a bit and
will continue to erode. So at some point he will make that NNW turn and
then N turn as he moves clockwise around the high. For now he will
continue to head NW, go over Haiti, then across to Cuba. this much is in
agreement with the center of the cone forecast track. After that, there is
a chance he will slow down or make a more WNW turn closer to Cuba -
depending on where the high is by the time he gets there. We are looking
at Weds, perhaps Thurs., for that.

Everyone in Florida and the Bahamas should be prepared anyway, but we'll
know more tomorrow (yes... I too can state the obvious :) ).

If you have any questions, you know I'm always happy to make up the
answers, so do drop me a line :)

Later gators,

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These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms - not
the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are making an
evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management and the
National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National Weather
Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If I "run away,
run away" (Monty Python), I'll let you know.

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