Another Colonel Klink Moment? Hurricane Ike Trying to Repeat History?


Hurricane Ike Visible Satellite 0908 1745Z

Hurricane Ike Visible Satellite 0908 1745Z

Hurricane Ike Rainbow IR Satellite 0908 1745Z

Hurricane Ike Rainbow IR Satellite 0908 1745Z

for a more recent update on Hurricane Ike, CLICK HERE

Several days ago I suggested that Hurricane Ike might decide to move just off the southern Communist Cuban coast and then I relented as I mentioned that the boys at the NHC didn’t like my great idea too much. Well, it may be time to break out Colonel Klink for another “I Told You So” moment. Notice how I don’t advertise when my great ideas go into the tank? See…it’s the old Jackson Browne strategy. “Forget About the Losses; Exaggerate the Wins.” In any event, it looks like Ike will be emerging over the Caribbean…though barely. The biggest significance of this turn of events is that the storm will be back over water and its structure will not be subject to 36 hours

Hurricane Ike Forecast Track 0908 11AM

Hurricane Ike Forecast Track 0908 11AM

worth of disruption by land. Provided it does not wobble or start more west-northwest ahead of schedule, it will have its core back over water, then over the relatively flat western tip of Cuba…the way Ike is going though maybe it will manage to miss the rest of Cuba. Anyway, the intensity has always been of a concern and now that concern may be increased. Don’t be too encouraged by the Spaghetti intensity graph that shows several models have dropped since the last run. That may be more indicative of the initialization over Cuba and weaker initial intensity than anything else.

The track of the storm still has some variables. This is the deal. We’ve had from time to time the models showing a big trof digging down far enough to turn Ike north. First it was one to turn it toward Florida. Then it was one that would turn it to New Orleans. In my view, there is a pile of cold air trying to come down. But

Hurricane Ike Spaghetti Model 0908 12Z

Hurricane Ike Spaghetti Model 0908 12Z

there are so many fronts coming across the nation in such rapidity that they are not allowing the cold air/strong trof to come down. The trof coming through Louisville on Tuesday may be a shade more worthwhile than thought a day or so ago but nothing like it was a week ago. The trof on Friday looked like to me Sunday night that the front wouldn’t even come through here and the analysis of Young Mr. LIncoln this morning confirms my analysis. What this means is that there really isn’t anything beyond the Coriolis force to cause Hurricane Ike to turn dramatically. Now, its tough for a ridge this time of year to be so strong as to keep the storm moving due west so there will be some curving. The spaghetti

Hurricane Ike Spaghetti Model Intensity Graph 0908 1745Z

Hurricane Ike Spaghetti Model Intensity Graph 0908 1745Z

models have come into a pretty tight pattern suggesting a gentle turn with it

Hurricane Ike Intensity Probabilty Table 0908 11AM

Hurricane Ike Intensity Probabilty Table 0908 11AM

 ending up a couple of hundred miles SSW of the central Louisiana coast. The track seems reasonable and the SE Texas coast seems like a decent bet. I have some personal concerns about the intensity. It would be unusual for a storm to be a big bopper, get its circulation messed up and then regain its former glory. But, it’s not impossible and there are always exceptions to the rules. In case you missed it in the prior post. Houston is the 4 largest city in the nation. The metro area has over 5.5 million people and the Port of Houston is one of the busiest and largest in the world. A large chunk of the nations refining capacity is within 50 miles of downtown Houston with most of those refineries along the 44 mile Houston Ship Channel that extends south of the city to Galveston. There is also an enormous petro-chemical base there. Throw in the offshore rigs and you have potential problems. With all of that in mind, here is a rather sobering this date in history. The greatest natural disaster in United States history. The National Hurricane Center Hurricane Ike follows.

On This Date in History: On September 8, 1900 Galveston, Texas in many regards ceased to exist. A hurricane slammed into the island and it changed history. It was the greatest disaster in US history as the death toll ranges between 6,000 and 12,000. The exact number will never be known. There are a couple of good books on the subject, the most recent being Isaac’s Storm. It got that moniker because the man in charge of the National Weather Bureau in Galveston was a man named Isaac Cline. The NWB had issued advisories on the storm and said it was moving up the East Coast. But Cline was making observations and taking observations from ships coming into port. From this he concluded that he had a major hurricane heading toward Galveston.

Now much of the history is based on Cline’s later report but it has come under some criticism and scrutiny. Cline reported the weather was great the day before but he rode his white horse in vain up and down the beach warning people of impending doom. This is one of the items that some now question. In any event, the storm did hit at night. Galveston had had storms in the past. They called them a “big blow.” Water began filling the streets but some observers noted the water was salt water. Cline knew the storm surge had covered the island. Houses floated by with people inside. Galveston homes had slate roofs to prevent the spread of fire. The bits of slate chipped off in the high winds and became bullets, cutting down people as they tried to get shelter. It was a terrible situation. The bridges and ferries were long before the height of the storm cut off by the high tide and there was no escape for anyone.

There are many tragic tales, including the death of Cline’s wife, whom he identified weeks later by her wedding ring. Also, the St. Mary’s Orphanage totally collapsed killing almost all of the nuns and children. I think one or two kids survived in a tree. The nuns had tied a rope to the children. The next day in the sand, they found a hand sticking up with a rope around the wrist. As they pulled up the rope, they found a nun with a string of children still attached.

In 1900, Galveston was the “Wall Street of the South.” It was the financial center of the South and the largest city in Texas with about 50,000 inhabitants. Perhaps 1/4 of the population died that night. Galveston was the second busiest port in the country. After the storm, the Houston Ship Channel was built as the first public(Federal)/private financed public works project in the nation, which is now quite common. The Army Corps of Engineers literally raised the entire island up to 15 feet. Structures that remained in tact had their bottom floors filled in or they were lifted. A great 15 foot seawall was built to protect the city and it has done so ever since, though much of the beachfront is lost.

By 1970, Houston had become the largest city in Texas, the 4th largest city in the nation, the second busiest port in the world and one of the financial and corporate centers of the country. Galveston still had 50,000 people. Today it has about 60,000, its glorious past lost to its now sprawling neighbor to the north, all because of the Galveston Hurricane of 1900. Everything Galveston was at the turn of the 20th Century, Houston became and more in just 70 years.

One of the first news reels came out of the storm as Thomas Edison sent a film crew to record the devastation. Here are some links with other pictures that include some of the ones above. Other storms have devastated the US coast, in Florida and New England and most recently with Camille in 1969 and Katrina in 2005. I can tell you, it will happen again and all of the government in the world cannot stop it.
http://www.1900storm.com/photographs/index.lasso
http://www.noaa.gov/galveston1900/
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/forcesofnature/forces/h_img_2_1.html

 

HURRICANE IKE DISCUSSION NUMBER 30
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL092008
1100 AM EDT MON SEP 08 2008

 

DESPITE IKE’S TRACK OVER LAND DURING THE LAST 12 HOURS OR SO…THE CYCLONE STILL HAS A GOOD CLOUD SIGNATURE AND RADAR STRUCTURE. THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS THUS ONLY LOWERED TO 85 KT. A RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT WILL INVESTIGATE IKE THIS AFTERNOON AND DETERMINE HOW MUCH WEAKENING HAS OCCURRED. EXTRAPOLATION SUGGESTS THAT THE CENTER WILL BE BACK OVER WATER SOUTH OF CUBA SOON. IF THIS MATERIALIZES…IKE MIGHT NOT WEAKEN AS MUCH AS PREVIOUSLY SHOWN…AND THE NEW OFFICIAL INTENSITY FORECAST IS ADJUSTED SLIGHTLY UPWARD WHILE IKE IS OVER THE WARM WATERS OF THE CARIBBEAN. IN ABOUT 2 DAYS…IKE IS EXPECTED TO MOVE INTO THE GULF OF MEXICO WHERE THE WATERS ARE WARM AND THE SHEAR IS FORECAST TO BE LOW…AND RESTRENGTHENING IS FORECAST. CUBAN RADAR AND VISIBLE SATELLITE IMAGERY INDICATES THAT IKE CONTINUES MOVING WESTWARD OR 270/12. TRACK GUIDANCE REMAINS IN GOOD AGREEMENT THAT IKE WILL SOON TURN WEST-NORTHWEST AND TRACK ALONG OR JUST SOUTH OF CUBA FOR THE NEXT 12 TO 24 HOURS. THIS REQUIRES A SLIGHT SOUTHWARD SHIFT TO THE OFFICIAL TRACK THROUGH 36 HOURS. DYNAMICAL MODELS ARE STILL FORECASTING A SHORTWAVE TROUGH TO MOVE OVER THE EASTERN UNITED STATES IN A COUPLE OF DAYS RESULTING IN SOME WEAKENING OF THE RIDGE TO THE NORTH OF IKE. THIS IS EXPECTED TO CAUSE IKE TO TURN TEMPORARILY TO THE NORTHWEST WITH A REDUCTION IN FORWARD SPEED. ALL MODELS FORECAST THE SHORTWAVE TO BYPASS IKE TO THE NORTH…AND ARE NOW IN MUCH BETTER AGREEMENT THAT IKE WILL TURN SLIGHTLY WESTWARD IN ABOUT 3 DAYS. THIS TURN IS REFLECTED IN THE OFFICIAL FORECAST. HOWEVER…MUCH UNCERTAINTY REMAINS REGARDING THE STRENGTH OF THE MID-LEVEL RIDGE WHICH BUILDS IN THE WAKE OF THE EXITING SHORTWAVE. ACCORDINGLY…IT IS STILL MUCH TOO SOON TO KNOW WHAT PORTIONS OF THE GULF COAST COULD BE IMPACTED BY IKE.

 

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

 

INITIAL 08/1500Z 21.1N 78.5W 85 KT
12HR VT 09/0000Z 21.5N 80.2W 75 KT
24HR VT 09/1200Z 22.2N 82.2W 75 KT
36HR VT 10/0000Z 23.1N 83.8W 70 KT
48HR VT 10/1200Z 24.0N 85.1W 80 KT
72HR VT 11/1200Z 25.5N 87.5W 95 KT
96HR VT 12/1200Z 27.0N 90.5W 100 KT
120HR VT 13/1200Z 28.5N 93.5W 100 KT
$$ FORECASTER RHOME/AVILA

2 Responses

  1. I live in New Orleans. This is very interesting!

  2. I was born in New Orleans! Glad you like it JLandry. Looks like you can probably stay home this week!

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