for a more recent update on tropical storm, soon to be hurricane Gustav, CLICK HERE
Louisville Weather: The forecast holds. A front coming through on Friday may kick off a few showers or errant t’storms but nothing substantial areawide. Bad news cause we need the rain. But, it will leave us with a spectacular Labor Day weekend with tons of sun and warm afternoons and relatively mild nights.
Tropical Storm Gustav: The forecast generally holds with this cat. Tropical Storm Gustav is holding together pretty well as it moves across Jamaica. In fact its satellite
image looks really impressive. It will emerge over the open water and probably strengthen rather rapidly. I still think that this guy has a chance to explode after it moves away from Jamaica. The forecast track is farther west than it has been with it going inland in western part of Vermillion Bay in Louisiana and then to Lake Charles. This is fairly close to the spaghetti model consensus except there is a bit of a difference. Several models become more muddled at the end of the track and move the storm west as it approaches the coast. The intensity graph also reflects a general consensus in the cat 2 or cat 3 range. The track is reflective of the notion that a ridge of high pressure moves across the
southern part of the US and slows the forward track then keeps moving east, picks up the storm and resumes its course northwest. What the outlying models seem to be wanting to do is to have that ridge hang tough in the south US and drive the storm west along the coast. What the ridge does I think will end up being a key to the fate of Gustav. There is also a trof in the Gulf. That will be what breaks down the ridge that is currently steering Gustav and allows for its turn northwest. That trof should help increase a southwesterly shear and the models seem to agree that will inhibit the storm. They key, I think, as to whether or not Gustav becomes excessively strong will be if the southwesterly shear materializes and, if so, how much. If the trof is weak enough…or retreats west as many models suggest…it may not have the storm move to the northwest to the extent that the official forecast calls. Texas should still not write this guy off…there are a couple of real scenarios that I can draw that would move the target farther west.
Tropical Storm Hanna: This storm is rather interesting because, until now, there was a general consensus of the storm moving northwest and then swinging out to sea. Earlier data supported the idea that a ridge builds in the Atlantic and
blocks it, leaving it hung out to dry. The latest spaghetti tracks now even have it moving Southwest toward the Islands. I suppose that might be the ridge that is supposed to move across the southern US blocking and then driving Gustav, emerging offshore to shove Hanna southwest. Either way, I may have to reverse course a bit and say that this guy may be worth paying attention to after all. The forecast is so muddled that there are numerous scenarios. But I will continue to focus on Gustav until Hanna proves its meddle.
On a side note…yes oil prices rose then fell. Why? (story) Well, the dollar went up and, in my view, the weak dollar is probably the biggest reason for the rise in oil prices. Lately, the dollar has risen and oil prices have fallen. Today there a report came out that the economy expanded by some 3.6% which hardly is evidence of a recession. Anyway, I saw a trader on CNBC today who commented that the rigs were very strong and he thought that the markets would recognize the resiliency of the offshore industry. We’ll see. But so far, it seems the fate of the dollar is more important to the price of oil today than Gustav. We’ll see if that holds…let’s hope the Uncle Sam is stronger than Gustav. The 11pm National Hurricane Center 11pm Discussion for Gustav is at the bottom of this post.
On This Date In History: On this date in 1948 Lyndon Baines Johnson, who grew up on the Perdanales River in the Texas Hill Country, was basking in the glow of victory. Johnson had forever gained the moniker “Landslide Lyndon.” The night before the young representative had secured the nomination from his party as the
candidate for the United States senate from Texas. His margin of victory? 87 votes. State politics was pretty wild in the Lone Star State at that time and this case it was no different. After the polls closed a “block of votes” just happened to turn up in Duval County. In Jim Wells County, which often had such a high turnout there were more votes cast than eligible voters, the voting totals kept changing. Each side charged corruption. An investigation was held, then halted when the voting lists in Jim Wells county were either “lost” or “stolen.” The ballots on Duval County were burned by the courthouse janitor. And so, Lyndon Baines Johnson was on his way to the United States Senate and later to the White House as the 36th President of the United States.
TROPICAL STORM GUSTAV DISCUSSION NUMBER 17
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL072008
1100 PM EDT THU AUG 28 2008
THE CENTER OF GUSTAV HAS BEEN MOVING NEAR OR OVER THE SOUTH COAST OF
JAMAICA DURING THE EVENING. SURFACE OBSERVATIONS FROM THE KINGSTON
AREA SHOWED WINDS OF TROPICAL STORM FORCE…AND THE LOWEST OBSERVED
PRESSURE WAS 990 MB. GUSTAV IS PRODUCING A LARGE AREA OF COLD
CONVECTIVE TOPS NEAR AND EAST OF THE CENTER…WITH SATELLITE
INTENSITY ESTIMATES OF 65 KT FROM TAFB AND 55 KT FROM SAB. THE
INITIAL INTENSITY REMAINS 60 KT.
THE INITIAL MOTION IS A SOMEWHAT UNCERTAIN 270/6…AFTER A SOUTH OF
WEST MOTION FOR A FEW HOURS. GUSTAV IS ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF A
MID-LEVEL RIDGE OVER FLORIDA AND THE ADJACENT WESTERN ATLANTIC.
THE DYNAMICAL GUIDANCE FORECASTS GUSTAV TO TURN NORTHWESTWARD ON THE
SOUTHWEST SIDE OF THE RIDGE DURING THE NEXT 48 HR…THEN CONTINUE IN
A GENERAL NORTHWESTWARD DIRECTION THROUGH 96 HR. THE GUIDANCE IS
RATHER TIGHTLY CLUSTERED DURING THIS TIME PERIOD. AFTER 96
HR…THERE IS SOME SPREAD…AS THE DYNAMICAL MODELS DO NOT AGREE ON
WHETHER A RIDGE WILL BUILD TO THE NORTH AND WEST OF GUSTAV. THE
GFDL MOVES THE STORM QUICKLY INLAND…WHILE THE LATEST GFS RUN
SHOWS IT SLOWING DOWN OVER SOUTHERN LOUISIANA. THE NOGAPS CALLS
FOR A LEFT TURN AFTER 96 HR TOWARD THE TEXAS COAST. THE NEW
FORECAST TRACK IS AN UPDATE OF THE PREVIOUS PACKAGE THAT IS DOWN
THE MIDDLE OF THE GUIDANCE ENVELOPE. THE TRACK IS SHIFTED ONLY
SLIGHTLY TO THE LEFT AFTER 72 HR….WITH RELIABLE MODEL FORECASTS
REMAINING ON EITHER SIDE OF THE TRACK. SINCE TRACK FORECASTS ARE
ALWAYS SUBJECT TO LARGE ERRORS AT 3-5 DAYS…IT IS SIMPLY
IMPOSSIBLE AT THIS TIME TO DETERMINE EXACTLY WHERE AND WHEN GUSTAV
WILL MAKE FINAL LANDFALL.
THE INTENSITY FORECAST IS PROBLEMATIC. GUSTAV IS SHOWING GOOD
OUTFLOW IN ALL DIRECTIONS AT THIS TIME…BUT THERE IS EVIDENCE OF
NORTHERLY VERTICAL SHEAR UNDERCUTTING THE OUTFLOW. THE LARGE-SCALE
MODELS SUGGEST THIS SHOULD SUBSIDE IN ABOUT 24 HOURS…WHICH WOULD
ALLOW SIGNIFICANT AND POSSIBLY RAPID INTENSIFICATION OVER THE WARM
WATERS OF THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN. A COMPLICATING FACTOR IS THE
UPPER-LEVEL TROUGH CURRENTLY SEEN IN WATER VAPOR IMAGERY OVER THE
GULF OF MEXICO. THE LARGE-SCALE MODELS FORECAST THIS FEATURE TO
RETREAT WESTWARD AS GUSTAV APPROACHES…WITH HIGH PRESSURE BUILDING
OVER THE SOUTHEASTERN GULF. HOWEVER…THE MODELS DO NOT AGREE ON
HOW MUCH THE TROUGH WILL MOVE…WITH THE UKMET IN PARTICULAR
SHOWING THE POSSIBILITY OF SHEAR AS GUSTAV APPROACHES THE NORTHERN
GULF COAST. THE SHIPS MODEL CALLS FOR A PEAK INTENSITY OF 99
KT…THE LGEM MODEL 94 KT…THE GFDL 111 KT…AND THE HWRF 137 KT.
THE LATTER IS DEFINITELY NOT OUT OF THE QUESTION. THE INTENSITY
FORECAST IS INCREASED OVER THE PREVIOUS FORECAST IN BEST AGREEMENT
WITH THE GFDL. HOWEVER…IT WOULD BE NO SURPRISE IF RAPID
INTENSIFICATION OCCURRED AND GUSTAV BECAME A CATEGORY 4 OR 5
HURRICANE BY 72 HR.
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
INITIAL 29/0300Z 17.8N 77.3W 60 KT
12HR VT 29/1200Z 18.3N 78.6W 60 KT
24HR VT 30/0000Z 19.1N 80.4W 75 KT
36HR VT 30/1200Z 20.4N 82.3W 90 KT
48HR VT 31/0000Z 21.9N 84.2W 100 KT…NEAR COAST OF CUBA
72HR VT 01/0000Z 25.5N 87.5W 110 KT
96HR VT 02/0000Z 28.5N 90.5W 100 KT
120HR VT 03/0000Z 30.0N 92.5W 90 KT…INLAND