for a more recent update on hurricane ike, CLICK HERE
This is a reason why I’ve been harping for some time about there being so many variables. I think I mentioned that something could change and that it usually did. Well, it has. I had talked about the ECMWF model wanting to take the storm to Brownsville. Now, while I was pin point on my assessment that Ike had a good chance of crossing Cuba into the Caribbean….I was truly foolhardy to suggest that it was a far-fetched idea that the ridge driving the storm would be so big and fat as to drive it into South Texas. Well…that is exactly what a large number of models are suggesting. The GFS has been all over the place and now goes with Brownsville. I think over the past week the GFS has had a landfall anywhere from Savannah to Brownsville. Just today it started off with New Orleans, then by midday it was Houston and by late afternoon it was Brownsville. Real consistent.
But, if you note the spaghetti models, suddenly have changed their consensus from a nice cluster pointing toward Houston to the storm getting shoved west quicker and therefore a farther southern landfall. One thing that is conistent in some of the graphical depictions of the storm is that it is very strong at landfall. But, the Spaghetti models are of no consistency in that department. As I said before, I’m suspecting that may be more of a result of the lousy initiation. While the storm maintained a pretty good structure over Cuba, the winds fell off quite a bit and there may be a shade of dry air messing it up. There is nothing to indicate any upper level features in the Gulf to prevent it from getting going again and it should keep a decent structure so will have a good chance of redevelopment. The NHC continues the 100 kt forecast but the jury is still out.
The overall players in this story will be a trof coming through the Ohio Valley on Tuesday and it will be sharp enough to take our temperatures in Louisville to the 50’s on Tuesday night. The idea is that this feature will draw the storm up as it weakens the ridge. Okay fine. Now, after that, the models insist on rebuilding the ridge big and fat and driving the storm to the west. The hurricane gods must be Saints fans because this scenario would protect New Orleans. Should the ridge just rebuild, then it goes west to between Houston and Corpus Christi. If the ridge builds in a shade less, then its Houston to Beaumont. But, more and more support is coming in from most of the models for the ridge to really build in and
drive it down to Brownsville or other parts of South Texas. I just saw the 18Z GFS paint a picture of it going to Brownsville and then Southwest into Mexico as a big pile of cold air comes down from Canada into the Ohio Valley. On the one hand, the models have trying to bring down the cold air for days. On the other, it would be a bit unusual for a ridge to get broken down and then build it so quickly. The National Hurricane Center, methinks, is either trending their track farther south and will continue to move it that way over the next few forecast periods or they don’t believe that the ridge will build in that much because the official track has a landfall between Houston and Corpus Christi, near Port Lavaca.
This is really really going to be interesting how it shakes out. My guess is that it will be a physically large storm of at least formidable intensity with the potential for big bopper status. But, its just a guess. The National Hurricane Center has its track north of the Spaghetti Model consensus.
HURRICANE IKE DISCUSSION NUMBER 31
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL092008
500 PM EDT MON SEP 08 2008
AN AIR FORCE RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT CURRENTLY INVESTIGATING IKE
RECENTLY REPORTED A CENTRAL PRESSURE OF 965 MB. DATA FROM THE
AIRCRAFT INDICATES THAT THE CORE OF IKE HAS BEEN DISRUPTED DUE TO
LAND INTERACTION…AND THE WINDS HAVE DECREASED. THE INITIAL
INTENSITY IS LOWERED TO 70 KT…BUT THIS MIGHT BE GENEROUS.
HOWEVER…IF THE CENTER REMAINS OVER WARM WATERS…RESTRENGTHENING
COULD OCCUR BEFORE ITS SECOND LANDFALL IN CENTRAL OR WESTERN CUBA.
FLUCTUATIONS IN INTENSITY ARE POSSIBLE DURING THE NEXT 36 HOURS
UNTIL IKE MOVES INTO THE SOUTHEASTERN GULF OF MEXICO AND AWAY FROM
CUBA. ONCE IKE MOVES INTO THE GULF…ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS LOOK
FAVORABLE FOR STRENGTHENING AND THE OFFICIAL FORECAST CALLS FOR
INTENSIFICATION. THE NEW OFFICIAL INTENSITY FORECAST IS SIMILAR TO
THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY BEYOND 48 HR.
IKE HAS BEEN WOBBLING WESTWARD THROUGHOUT THE DAY AND OUR BEST
ESTIMATE OF THE MOTION IS NOW 275/12. TRACK MODELS ARE TIGHTLY
CLUSTERED ABOUT A GENERAL WEST-NORTHWEST TRACK DURING THE NEXT
COUPLE OF DAYS TAKING THE CENTER OF IKE ALONG OR JUST SOUTH OF CUBA
TONIGHT…THEN INTO THE SOUTHEASTERN GULF OF MEXICO TOMORROW. ONCE
IN THE GULF…IKE COULD SLOW DOWN AS A SHORTWAVE TROUGH MOVES OVER
THE EASTERN UNITED STATES AND WEAKENS THE RIDGE TO THE NORTH OF THE
HURRICANE. THE TROUGH IS FORECAST TO QUICKLY SWING BY AND BE
REPLACED BY A MID-LEVEL RIDGE OVER THE SOUTHERN UNITED STATES. SUCH
A PATTERN SHOULD FORCE IKE TO TURN MORE WESTWARD. DYNAMICAL MODELS
HAVE BEEN TRENDING TOWARDS A STRONGER RIDGE AT DAYS 3 THROUGH
5…AND NEARLY ALL OF THE GUIDANCE HAS SHIFTED SOUTHWARD. SINCE
THE MODELS ARE IN REASONABLY GOOD AGREEMENT…THE OFFICIAL FORECAST
IS ALSO SHIFTED SOUTHWARD BUT STILL LIES NORTH OF THE DYNAMICAL
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
INITIAL 08/2100Z 21.4N 79.7W 70 KT
12HR VT 09/0600Z 21.8N 81.4W 80 KT
24HR VT 09/1800Z 22.6N 83.2W 80 KT…INLAND
36HR VT 10/0600Z 23.6N 84.8W 75 KT
48HR VT 10/1800Z 24.4N 86.0W 85 KT
72HR VT 11/1800Z 25.5N 89.0W 95 KT
96HR VT 12/1800Z 27.0N 92.5W 100 KT
120HR VT 13/1800Z 29.0N 96.0W 95 KT…INLAND