Wednesday, August 27, 2008

TS Gustav: August 27 Update A

I didn't send out another update yesterday because I couldn't think of
much to say. If you bought that, I er... have some land in the Arctic
(Ocean) for sale. Special offer, just for you - going cheap. ;) Nah... I
ran out of time (sorry)... too much to do and I didn't think any of you
would want to read anything I wrote at 2am anyway. To recap what happened
yesterday: Gustav made landfall in Haiti as a cat 1 storm and spent the
rest of the day there climbing mountains (and probably singing too).

In the "Gustav vs. Haiti '08" battle I suspect both sides sustained losses
(alas). We know Gustav did. He is now back to being a Tropical Storm with
maximum winds of 60 mph (TS: 39-73 mph), central pressure 997 mb, making
him a mid-to-strong storm. The center took almost 20 hours crossing the
mountainous terrain in SW Haiti, dumping rain, rain and, yes you guessed
it, more rain. And it is still thundering and raining over Haiti.

He is near 18.8N, 73.7W, heading NW at 5 mph. This is over water, close to
Haiti. His appearance is very ragged now, so it is difficult to see the
exact center of rotation. However, the water beneath him is over 30 deg C,
and the upper 100m are 26 deg C or warmer. Wind shear is low. So it looks
like he will pick up steam (pun :)). The major factor in keeping his
intensity low will be the extent of his interactions with land.

The center of the cone forecast track still calls for him to make a WNW
turn today, then a more westward turn, taking him between Cuba and
Jamaica, and then over the western tip of Cuba and into the Gulf, towards
Louisiana next Tuesday as a Hurricane. That's the 6 day forecast. A long
time into the future.

I need to wait for the next pressure fields to come out, but for now it
looks like there is a bit more room for him to continue in a NW direction
over water towards Cuba. The high I keep harping on about has extended
westward, into the Yucatan. But it has also expanded southward. It is very
unlikely that he will head too far south, so he will get slower and may
possibly stall close to/over Cuba or Jamaica. In case you missed my Fay
discussions, a slow/stalling storm makes things even more complicated and
they are very annoying to boot (unless they stall over land and get weaker
of course).

I will send out another update later, once I have the next set of pressure
maps. I might have a vision by then. Don't count on it though :)


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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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