for a more recent update on Hurricane Gustav, Hurricane Hanna and Tropical Storm Ike, CLICK HERE
For a Radar Loop to track Hurricane Gustav, CLICK HERE. You can navigate anywhere in the country to street level. The image can be looped with clouds and lightning added.
Hurricane Gustav made landfall about 70 miles SW of New Orleans and 100 miles SE of Lafayette. Pretty close to Houma. The structure got fairly decent and the
pressure was at a level that could have supported higher winds, but the satellite photo indicates to me that the dry air that the hurricane hunter reported last night has worked into the center. So, while the pressure was still at 955 mb, the winds fell just prior to landfall to 110 mph and is moving NW at 15 mph. If you want to play the category game, it was a Cat 2 at landfall….if it had stayed 5 mph stronger, it would have been a Cat 3. I sometimes think this “what category is it?” stuff is silly. Anyway, it still remains to be seen how the water piling up into Lake Borgne will affect the Intercoastal Waterway and Industrial Canal. However, cautiously it would appear the distance from New Orleans and the lesser strength was sufficient to keep the storm surge rather manageable in New Orleans. But, they thought that about Katrina too. The reporters were in the French Quarter saying that “we dodged a bullet” when the east side of town had been under water for 6 hours. I suspect that the levees will be under pressure and perhaps even topped to some degree but probably not to the degree of Katrina. On Sunday evening, it was interesting that while the central winds were not that great, the hurricane force winds were somewhat broad and that seems to be holding true with winds in MIssissippi running close to hurricane force. There may be a lot of tornados with this one, but one cannot really tell for certain.
The boys at the National Hurricane Center have done a great job as the track went almost exactly as forecast for several days. Despite the variables, the track is pretty much running up the eastern side of Vermilion Bay toward Fort Polk. It is still anticipated to slow to a crawl in west Louisiana. Rainfall will be excessive. The main difference between this and Fay is that the upper support is anticipated to be chopped off in the next few days. That probably won’t limit the rainfall, but should limit the winds a bit and also prevent the storm from being as long lived as Fay.
Tropical Storm Hanna is getting better organized. It is expected to approach
minimal hurricane status and loop through the Bahamas, along the east coast of Florida and into Georgia or South Carolina and then up the east coast. However, the most recent path of toward the SW is rather interesting and is not part of the plan and looks similar to the track from a few days ago when the data supported a run down and around into the Gulf. Stay tuned. A tropical Depression has also formed and and is expected to increase in intensity. There are also other areas of interest in the Atlantic. Here is the National Hurricane Center Gustav Discussion for 11AM Monday:
HURRICANE GUSTAV DISCUSSION NUMBER 32 NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL072008 1100 AM EDT MON SEP 01 2008 THE CENTER OF GUSTAV MADE LANDFALL ALONG THE LOUISIANA COAST NEAR COCODRIE ABOUT 1430 UTC. DURING THE PAST FEW HOURS...THE EYE BECAME BETTER DEFINED ON RADAR. HOWEVER...WIND DATA FROM AIR FORCE RESERVE AND NOAA AIRCRAFT ALONG WITH DOPPLER RADAR WINDS SUGGESTS THAT GUSTAV WEAKENED TO A CATEGORY TWO HURRICANE BEFORE LANDFALL. THE INITIAL INTENSITY OF 95 KT IS BASED ON THE AIRCRAFT DATA...AND THIS MIGHT BE A LITTLE GENEROUS. THE INITIAL MOTION IS 310/13. GUSTAV IS BEING STEERED NORTHWESTWARD BY A MID-LEVEL RIDGE OVER THE EASTERN UNITED STATES. THE CYCLONE IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE NORTHWESTWARD WITH A DECREASE IN FORWARD SPEED AS A LOW-LEVEL RIDGE BUILDS TO THE THE NORTH AND NORTHWEST. THE FORECAST TRACK IS ESSENTIALLY AN UPDATE OF THE PREVIOUS FORECAST THROUGH 48 HR. AFTER THAT TIME...THE GUIDANCE IS NOW IN BETTER AGREEMENT ON A SLOW NORTHWARD MOTION...SO THE 72-120 HR PART OF THE TRACK IS CHANGED FROM A WESTWARD DRIFT TO A NORTHWARD DRIFT. GUSTAV SHOULD WEAKEN AS IT MOVES INLAND...ALTHOUGH THE WEAKENING WILL LIKELY BE SLOW AT FIRST AS THE CENTER CROSSES THE SOUTH LOUISIANA MARSHES. A FASTER WEAKENING IS EXPECTED IN 6-12 HR AS THE CENTER REACHES MORE SOLID GROUND. AFTER 48 HR...GUSTAV IS LIKELY TO SHEAR APART...WITH THE UPPER-LEVEL PORTION OF THE CYCLONE MOVING NORTHEASTWARD AND LEAVING THE SURFACE CENTER BEHIND. THUS...THE FORECAST SHOWS THE SYSTEM BECOMING A REMNANT LOW BY 72 HR. THE THREAT OF HIGH STORM SURGE WILL CONTINUE ALONG THE LOUISIANA COAST FOR SEVERAL MORE HOURS...AND THE THREAT OF HEAVY RAINS WILL CONTINUE FOR SEVERAL DAYS. FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS INITIAL 01/1500Z 29.2N 90.8W 95 KT 12HR VT 02/0000Z 30.3N 92.4W 70 KT...INLAND 24HR VT 02/1200Z 31.3N 93.8W 40 KT...INLAND 36HR VT 03/0000Z 31.9N 94.6W 30 KT...INLAND 48HR VT 03/1200Z 32.4N 95.3W 25 KT...INLAND 72HR VT 04/1200Z 33.0N 95.5W 20 KT...INLAND REMNANT LOW 96HR VT 05/1200Z 33.5N 95.5W 20 KT...INLAND REMNANT LOW 120HR VT 06/1200Z 34.0N 95.5W 20 KT...INLAND REMNANT LOW $$ FORECASTER BEVEN