Monday, September 01, 2008

TS Gustav, Hurricane Hanna, TS Ike and the Blob: September 1 Update A

Well I'm back on planet Earth now and have seen snippets of news during
the day and we'll get to that but I wanted to thank everyone for the
overwhelming response on the newspaper article.

It looks like we have business to discuss. And lots of it!

As you all know made landfall this morning in Louisiana, west of New
Orleans, officially as a very strong cat 2 with winds just under 110 mph
(cat 2 range: 96-110mph) - esentially a border-line cat 2/cat 3 storm. I
think we are all watching with baited breath on how the levees are holding
up around New Orleans. The last I heard, although things are not good in
the LA/MS area, the levees were o.k.

He is now inland, at 31.1N, 92.7W, heading NW at about 13mph across LA
towards TX. He's decreased to a TS with winds near 60mph, central pressure
978mb. He'll be a Tropical Depression by Weds.

I expect they will pull the name Gustav from the list because he caused
about 90 deaths in the Caribbean and from what I've read so far, 7 in the

This is my last entry on this storm as we have a few others out there to
look at now...

Here's our next problem child. She is a weak-to-moderate cat 1 storm with
winds of 80 mph, central pressure 978mb. Centered at 21.8N, 72.5W, she's
come to a bit of a stop. That's because she is bumping up against the same
high pressure system that Gustav is following, but he's on the other side.
It basically covers the south-eastern US and extends down to Cuba. As this
high begins to shift, she will be able to move, but for now she's causing
havoc (rains, winds etc) over the Turks and Caicos and southern Bahamas.
Until she starts moving and that high shifts, her exact track is tricky -
she could clip Florida at the moment before moving along the east coast of
the US, but there are a number of other possible scenarios. I'll try and
discuss some of those tomorrow. As I said with Fay, storms that move
slowly or stop are trickier to forecast than your usual beasties.

Water temperatures are over 30 deg C, and she is also over water that is
warm with depth - 26 deg C or higher over the upper 100m. This is one
reason she has increased in intensity, despite fairly strong wind shear
from the north. I am not sure she will increase much more though - at
least not for a couple of days.

Tropical Storm Ike:
This was one of the blobs that I mentioned a few days ago - one that had a
high chance of developing and everyone was watching it as it left Africa.
Well he became a TS this afternoon with winds near 50mph, central pressure
1000mb (TS range: 39-73 mph). He is moving West at a nice 14 mph and is
currently located at 18N, 41.6W. They forecast that he'll become a
hurricane on Wednesday. He is moving west along the southern edge of a
high pressure system in the Atlantic (remember, clockwise motion around
high pressure in the northern hemisphere). Water temperatures are 27-28
deg C, but moderate wind shear and he is surrounded by drier air so
there's a chance he will intensify but very slowly tomorrow.

The Blob:
There's an area of good circulation that is just off the coast of Africa
that may develop further. But I'll wait until it becomes a TD/TS before
mentioning this again. Next name up is Josephine.

Until tomorrow...

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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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