for a more recent update on Hurricane Ike, CLICK HERE
For a radar loop of Tropical Storm Hanna as it approaches the US Coast, CLICK HERE. This site allows for navigation to street level and is not clouded by pixels. Keep in mind that radar returns may be sparse until the storm comes in range of US radar installations.
Hurricane Ike continues to be quite strong. It seems to have a demeanor more akin to Wyatt Earp nemesis Ike Clanton than Ike Turner. The Ike of Tombstone, AZ fame managed to escape the famed Gunfight at the OK Corral in 1881unscathed. But, he continued his life of crime and violence. After being tracked down by a detective on his trail after charges of cattle-rustling, Ike refused to surrender and was shot and killed by Jonas Brighton on June 1, 1887.
Now, Hurricane Ike is violent and, like Ike Clanton, will get into a bit of a tussle that could threaten its life, but will probably emerge unscathed. Ike will encounter some pretty decent shear that will diminish its intensity as it disrupts the upper outflow. But, Ike is moving right along and should escape the shear and move back into a more favorable environment. Data
still suggests that a ridge builds in and the storm takes on about a vector of 240 degrees, which is a bit unusual and indicates just how strong the ridge building in
really is. Because the ridge is so strong, I doubt if the storm will stall, though the forward speed may be reduced as it reaches the periphery of the ridge when it gets to the Bahamas. The National Hurricane Center mentions in their discussion the cold upwelling produced by Hanna’s residency in the Bahamas that I mentioned previously. But, they don’t reach a strong conclusion given that the storm will be moving over very warm water prior to reaching the area of probable upwelling and because the storm is not projected to stall.
I have thought for days that Ike would be a trouble maker and I would think it would be wise of folks in
Florida to be of the same mind. Earlier the general track took the storm across Cuba or Florida into the Gulf. But, a strong trof associated with a cold front, that might drop our overnight temperatures in the Ohio Valley to the 40’s, will traverse the nation. The last couple of days the models had picked up on this feature and advertised a turn from the Bahamas. It was, and still remains, possible that the storm may get caught up in the trof and turn safely away from the US. There was always the possibility that the trof did not dig down far enough south to pick up the storm. The latest models are trying to inch the outlying track farther west, with one even taking it back to the old crossing-Cuba solution. For that reason, Gulf Coast residents should probably keep their ears on. I can’t imagine a cold front of the stature that I described not digging far enough so south. My limited imagination notwithstanding, there remains the possibility that the ridge between the front and the hurricane may get squished and elongated, but stay in place, thus presenting a more westerly track.
The NHC does not go that far but has shifted the late day track farther west. Given the forecast track, there is a very real possibility that South Florida may be in the way of a very strong hurricane by the middle of next week.
That is not the case this week. Hanna has dry air intrusion, has hung around over the same place for so long that it is killing itself by bringing cold water to the surface. It is in a very bad spot and there is not any data that suggests that Hanna will become a hurricane again. Nevertheless, it is still a threat for strong ripe tides…not a good idea to go surfing. It will bring some rise in tides and bring strong storms with heavy rain and gusty winds along the coast. The landfall with a storm such as this is not overly important, except that the strongest winds will be near what should be a rather broad area of low pressure affecting the Carolinas. Should be a pretty tough day on the Outer Banks and a wet day or so up the Eastern Sea Board. While it will be dangerous, the risk of a catastrophic event is low.
Josephine is still a long way out and I’m not overly concerned nor excited about it at this time. Here is the National Hurricane Center Forecast Discussion for Hurricane Ike followed by the National Hurricane Center Discussion for Tropical Storm Hanna:
HURRICANE IKE DISCUSSION NUMBER 15
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
AL092008 500 PM EDT THU SEP 04 2008
THERE HAS BEEN LITTLE CHANGE TO THE OVERALL APPEARANCE OF IKE DURING THE PAST FEW HOURS. IKE IS MAINTAINING A WELL-DEFINED EYE…THOUGH CLOUD TOPS HAVE WARMED SOME IN THE EYEWALL RECENTLY. IT IS INTERESTING THAT WHILE IKE STARTED OUT AS A LARGE SYSTEM…THE CLOUD CANOPY HAS NOTICEABLY SHRUNK TODAY WITH FEW OUTER BANDS. THERE HAS BEEN ONLY A SMALL DECREASE IN OBJECTIVE T-NUMBERS…SO THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS REDUCED SLIGHTLY TO 115 KT. STRONG NORTHEASTERLY SHEAR IS LIKELY DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO…WHICH SHOULD CAUSE WEAKENING. IN FACT…THE SHIPS MODEL RESPONDS TO THE SHEAR BY WEAKENING THIS SYSTEM TO A CATEGORY ONE HURRICANE…THOUGH THE GFDL/HWRF ARE CONSIDERABLY HIGHER. IN A COUPLE DAYS…VERTICAL WIND SHEAR IS FORECAST TO WEAKEN AND…COMBINED WITH RATHER WARM WATER WATERS EAST OF THE BAHAMAS…SHOULD RESULT IN RESTRENGTHENING. THE HURRICANE’S EXACT TRACK IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE IT COULD BE IMPACTED BY COOLER WATERS UPWELLED BY HANNA. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST IS CLOSE TO THE PREVIOUS ONE BUT IS A LITTLE LOWER FOR THE FIRST 36 HOURS OUT OF RESPECT FOR THE SHIPS/LGEM MODELS. IKE IS EXPECTED TO BE A POWERFUL HURRICANE AS IT APPROACHES THE BAHAMAS IN A COUPLE OF DAYS. THE INITIAL MOTION ESTIMATE IS 285/12…SLOWER THAN BEFORE AND A LITTLE TO THE LEFT. RIDGING FROM THE CENTRAL ATLANTIC IS FORECAST TO BUILD TO THE NORTH AND NORTHWEST OF THE TROPICAL CYCLONE… CAUSING A WEST…AND THEN WEST-SOUTHWEST MOTION OF IKE BY LATE TOMORROW. THE STRENGTH OF THE RIDGING BETWEEN IKE AND HANNA WILL BE CRITICAL TO WHEN AN EVENTUAL TURN TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST WILL OCCUR IN THE LONG-RANGE. THERE HAS BEEN A NOTICEABLE WESTWARD SHIFT IN ALMOST ALL OF THE GLOBAL MODEL GUIDANCE TODAY…WITH THE GFDL/ECMWF EVEN TAKING THE SYSTEM AS FAR SOUTHWEST AS CUBA. THE OTHER MODELS ARE PRETTY CLUSTERED ON A TRACK NEAR OR THROUGH THE CENTRAL AND NORTHWESTERN BAHAMAS. THE NHC FORECAST IS SHIFTED WESTWARD AND IS PRETTY CLOSE TO THE HWRF MODEL. ONE SHOULD NOT FOCUS ON THE EXACT 4 AND 5 DAY FORECAST POSITIONS BECAUSE LARGE UNCERTAINTIES EXIST AT THOSE TIMES. FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
INITIAL 04/2100Z 23.6N 58.2W 115 KT
12HR VT 05/0600Z 23.9N 60.0W 105 KT
24HR VT 05/1800Z 23.7N 62.5W 95 KT
36HR VT 06/0600Z 23.2N 65.1W 95 KT
48HR VT 06/1800Z 22.7N 67.7W 100 KT
72HR VT 07/1800Z 22.5N 72.5W 105 KT
96HR VT 08/1800Z 24.0N 76.0W 110 KT
120HR VT 09/1800Z 25.5N 79.0W 110 KT
$$ FORECASTER BLAKE
TROPICAL STORM HANNA DISCUSSION NUMBER 32
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
AL082008 500 PM EDT THU SEP 04 2008
THE RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT INVESTIGATING HANNA IS FINDING THE CIRCULATION CENTER AT 850 MB DISPLACED TO THE NORTHWEST OF THE MEAN CENTER OF ROTATION APPARENT IN THE LOW CLOUD LINES. THERE ARE ALSO MULTIPLE SWIRLS…BUT IT DOES APPEAR THAT THE LOW-LEVEL CENTER HAS JUMPED A LITTLE BIT TO THE WEST IN RESPONSE TO THE CONVECTIVE ASYMMETRY. ALTHOUGH A COUPLE MORE SHIFTS ARE POSSIBLE…THE ORIENTATION OF THE SHEAR SHOULD TURN MORE SOUTHERLY WITH TIME…THAT IS…MORE ALONG THE TRACK…AND THEN HAVE LESS OF AN IMPACT ON THE TRACK. THE BASIC FORECAST PHILOSOPHY IS UNCHANGED. THE NEW TRACK FORECAST IS VERY CLOSE TO THE PREVIOUS ONE WITH ONLY A SLIGHT LEFTWARD SHIFT…AND IS NEAR THE MODEL CONSENSUS. RECONNAISSANCE DATA THUS FAR DO NOT SUPPORT ANY INCREASE IN THE INTENSITY ESTIMATE. WATER VAPOR IMAGERY CONTINUES TO SHOW VERY DRY AIR IMPINGING ON HANNA FROM THE SOUTHEAST…AND THIS IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE. WHILE THE VERTICAL SHEAR IS FORECAST TO DIMINISH A LITTLE PRIOR TO LANDFALL…NONE OF THE OBJECTIVE GUIDANCE MODELS NOW MAKE HANNA A HURRICANE AND THE OFFICIAL INTENSITY FORECAST NOW TOPS OUT AT 60 KT. HURRICANE WATCHES WILL REMAIN IN EFFECT FOR THE POSSIBILITY THAT HANNA BECOMES A LITTLE STRONGER THAN FORECAST…AND PEOPLE ARE REMINDED THAT THERE IS VERY LITTLE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A STRONG TROPICAL STORM AND A MINIMAL HURRICANE.
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
INITIAL 04/2100Z 25.5N 75.0W 55 KT
12HR VT 05/0600Z 27.2N 76.4W 55 KT
24HR VT 05/1800Z 30.3N 78.0W 60 KT
36HR VT 06/0600Z 33.9N 78.3W 60 KT…ON THE COAST
48HR VT 06/1800Z 37.5N 76.5W 50 KT…INLAND
72HR VT 07/1800Z 46.0N 65.5W 40 KT…EXTRATROPICAL
96HR VT 08/1800Z 51.0N 50.0W 40 KT…EXTRATROPICAL
120HR VT 09/1800Z 52.5N 32.5W 45 KT…EXTRATROPICAL
$$ FORECASTER FRANKLIN