Tropical Storm Gustav Likely Becoming a Hurricane


Gustav 2145Z 0825

for a more recent update for hurricane gustav CLICK HERE

Gustav Spaghetti Model 0826 00Z

Tropical Storm Gustav Spaghetti Model 0826 00Z

If you look back and read between the lines of my comments on the previous post,

Gustav Official NHC Forecast Track 0825 11pm EDT

Gustav Official NHC Forecast Track 0825 11pm EDT

you might be able to gleen a bit of a suspicion that they would continue to shift the official track farther south to the solution that takes Gustav south of Cuba. If you got my hurricane newsletter, then you got a more direct submission. In any event, the National Hurricane Center made an initial forecast track today running the storm north of Cuba but they also cautioned that the confidence was not high. Not unusual as the storm really sprang to life today after being relatively docile for most of its life. Except for one set of runs, the spaghetti chart indicated that numerous models wanted to take it to the south of

Tropical Storm Gustav Spaghetti Intensity Graph 0826 00Z

Tropical Storm Gustav Spaghetti Intensity Graph 0826 00Z

Cuba and now the official forecast reflects that the consensus is a little more clear and that, indeed, there is evidence that a ridge is building over Florida that will steer the storm west. Gustav should spend most of Tuesday as a strengthening hurricane and if anything, the forecast track is more likely to shift farther south than north.

That is good news for Florida and bad news for the Gulf of Mexico and potentially for all of our pocketbooks. Should it follow the forecast track, the likelihood of it increasing in intensity ever looms larger. Four of the models in the spaghetti

Invest 95L Spaghetti Model 0826 00Z

Invest 95L Spaghetti Model 0826 00Z

intensity graph now indicate a storm well into the category 3 area with winds approaching 110 kts. It is not unreasonable at this point that its not out of the question that there could be more beyond that. Keep in mind that six models keep it below hurricane status with two of them going from a strong cat 1 back to a tropical storm, which indicates a landfall over one of the islands. Five models go between cat 1 and cat 2.

Bottom line: If this guy stays mainly over water and follows the general forecast track, which seems like a pretty real possibility, then it will have the potential to become a big bopper because it would then have the opportunity to move into the wide warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. But, there is a lot of time between now and then so don’t buy the plywood just yet. But, in my mind of all the storms that have developed this year, this one is probably the one that has the greatest need to be watched very closely by all maritime and coastal interests, particularly the Gulf Coast from Brownsville to Mobile. Invest 95L shows up on some models as a strong tropical storm or weak hurricane but, as I’ve said before, it still looks to be mainly a concern for maritime interests, except for Bermuda. Here is the 11PM National Hurricane Center Discussion for Tropical Storm Gustav:

TROPICAL STORM GUSTAV DISCUSSION NUMBER 4 NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL072008 1100 PM EDT MON AUG 25 2008 THE CLOUD PATTERN HAS BECOME BETTER DEFINED OVER THE PAST FEW HOURS…WITH A WELL-DEFINED EYE AND A THICKENING EYEWALL. DVORAK CLASSIFICATIONS AT 00Z WERE T3.5 FROM BOTH TAFB AND SAB BUT THE STRUCTURE HAS IMPROVED SINCE THEN. THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS INCREASED TO 60 KT AND THE NEXT AIRCRAFT AT 06Z WILL MOST LIKELY FIND A HURRICANE. A MICROWAVE PASS AT 2243Z SHOWED A LOW-LEVEL EYEWALL. GIVEN THIS STRUCTURE…AND A SHIPS RI INDEX WELL ABOVE CLIMATOLOGY…SIGNIFICANT STRENGTHENING IS LIKELY PRIOR TO THE CENTER OF GUSTAV REACHING HAITI. AFTER THAT…THE INTENSITY OF GUSTAV WILL DEPEND LARGELY ON HOW MUCH THE CIRCULATION INTERACTS WITH THE LAND MASSES OF HAITI AND CUBA. GLOBAL MODELS FORECAST AN UPPER LEVEL PATTERN THAT…WHILE NOT ANTICYCLONIC…IS AT LEAST DIFLUENT AND OF LIGHT SHEAR. THE LATEST FORECAST TRACK INDICATES MORE TIME OVER WATER THAN THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY AND SO THE INTENSITY FORECAST HAS BEEN INCREASED TO REFLECT THAT. BOTH THE GFDL AND THE HWRF SHOW GUSTAV AVOIDING NEARLY ALL OF CUBA AND HAVE GUSTAV AS A MAJOR HURRICANE IN FIVE DAYS. THE INITIAL MOTION IS 310/10. A MID-TROPOSPHERIC ANTICYCLONE CENTERED IN THE NORTHWESTERN BAHAMAS IS FORECAST TO REMAIN LARGELY IN PLACE FOR THE NEXT THREE DAYS OR SO. THIS PATTERN SHOULD RESULT IN A SLOWING OF GUSTAV’S FORWARD SPEED AND A TURN TO THE LEFT. EXCEPT FOR THE NOGAPS…THE DYNAMICAL GUIDANCE MODELS KEEP GUSTAV SOUTH OF CENTRAL CUBA. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST IS ADJUSTED SOUTHWARD OF THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY BUT MOST OF THE PRIMARY GUIDANCE IS EVEN FARTHER SOUTH. FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS INITIAL 26/0300Z 16.6N 71.4W 60 KT 12HR VT 26/1200Z 17.5N 72.6W 65 KT 24HR VT 27/0000Z 18.5N 73.9W 80 KT…INLAND 36HR VT 27/1200Z 19.3N 75.1W 75 KT 48HR VT 28/0000Z 19.8N 76.2W 80 KT 72HR VT 29/0000Z 20.5N 78.0W 75 KT 96HR VT 30/0000Z 21.5N 80.5W 75 KT 120HR VT 31/0000Z 23.0N 83.5W 75 KT $$ FORECASTER FRANKLIN

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