Sunday, September 07, 2008

Hurricane Ike and the Blobette: September 7 Update A

Looks like we are back to potential movie titles in the subject header -
or possibly a band name? :)


He is an almost-good-looking storm… he has a lovely eye but looks a little
ragged around the edges. Maybe he drank too much last night?

Although convection increased overnight, it has decreased a bit for now
(again). Alas, Haiti has been getting some more bucket-fulls of rain. From
plane passes, official maximum winds continue at 135 mph (central pressure
948 mb), so he is still a weak cat 4 (cat 4 range: 131-155mph). Surface
water temperatures are over 28 deg C, with waters warmer than 26 deg C in
the upper 50-60m. The significance of the depth of warm waters is that as
a storm passes over, it churns up water from under the surface. If that
water is warm, then the storm can continue to have a fuel source. If those
waters are cold, then it can begin to starve itself – depending on
atmospheric conditions as well of course. Water temperatures of 26 deg C
over the upper 50-60 m are not trivial, but they are not as deep as other
parts of the Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico.

Officially, they say he is heading just south of west (I'd call that
WSW-ish) at 15 mph. He is crossing the Turks & Caicos and is currently at
21.1N, 72.2W, with Cuba as his next port of call. The forecast track is
along the axis of Cuba – perhaps a bit to the north. The forecast calls
for a more westward motion, but at the moment, to me it looks like he will
continue WSW or even SW for today. Waters around Cuba in all directions
are over 28 deg C, and over 30 in some places. Regardless of which side of
Cuba he skirts, they will have problems… so ideally, the best track is
right along the center of the island – that will result in the fastest
reduction in intensity.

The Blobette-Formerly-Known-as-Josephine:
As they say in Monty Python: "I'm not dead yet" ;) She continues to have
some circulation, and this morning convection started to blossom again.
She is still undergoing strong wind shear, but it looks like that will
begin to die down in a day or two. Water temperatures are over 27 deg C.
So, although she is still a tropical depression, it's best to keep an eye
on her as well. Currently, she's somewhere around 18N, 40W.

I'll check in again later today.
Blogs archived at:
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.

No comments: