Hurricane Ike-This Week’s Top Story


Hurricane Ike non-enhanced IR Satellite Image 0908 0145Z

Hurricane Ike non-enhanced IR Satellite Image 0908 0145Z

Hurricane Ike IR satellite image 0908 0115 Z

Hurricane Ike IR satellite image 0908 0115 Z

for a more recent update on Hurricane Ike, CLICK HERE

You can bet that Hurricane Ike will be at the top of the news this week, ,unless the national news picks up on Senator Obama’s reference to his “muslim faith” (oops!…but be careful….be fair…these videos cut off awfully fast so you don’t see the rest of the clip) on ABC’s This Week, in which case it may fall to second on the list…but not at the end of the week. Not even the Presidential election will knock Ike off the top. In any event, Hurricane Ike will emerge off of the Communist island of Cuba into the Gulf of Mexico in some sort of shape. Ike made landfall on Northeastern Cuba at 9:45 pm EDT. The satellite images shown are from about the time of landfall. About half of the models want to take it to Cat 3 or above while the other half weaken it to between Cat 1 and Cat 2. To have a big storm get ripped up and disrupted by land and then regain its former ferocity

Hurricane Ike Forecast Track 0907 11pm

Hurricane Ike Forecast Track 0907 11pm

would be rather unusual, but not impossible. First there is the question of how long it stays over Cuba or if it wobbles back over water. Then the timing would have to be perfect and the environment in which it moves into would have to be perfect and there would have to be sufficient time for redevelopment. I think that the only certainty of these three would be the time as it should enjoy several days roaming the Gulf of Mexico. But…where does it go? That’s where there remains a great divergence. Oh, not so much in the near term. There is a strong consensus of it getting to central Gulf. But after that the big question arises.

The 18Z GFS continues to insist on a Galveston/Houston landfall. The ECMWF 12Z liked Brownsville. The NOGAPS 18Z is a bit different than the 12Z version in that it takes it to New Orleans but instead of running it due east along the Gulf Coast, it takes it inland. I’ve seen

Hurricane Ike Spaghetti Model 0908 00Z

Hurricane Ike Spaghetti Model 0908 00Z

another model that makes it look like its going to Houston and suddenly turns it to the northeast toward SW Louisiana, with a landfall similar to Audrey which I believe was in 1957. All of this hinges on the ridge steering the storm. All week long we have a series of trofs running across the lower 48. We had thought that there would be a strong one on Tuesday. That didn’t materialize too much….so it was Friday. Now, that looks like it too gets hung up, which is why the general forecast is toward the west northwest with the ridge not breaking down. There are some indications that perhaps the Tuesday trof would break down the ridge enough to turn the storm toward New Orleans, thus, the NOGAPS solution. There are those who suggest a break down by the Friday trof, thus the upper Texas coast scenario. Then there

Hurricane Ike Spaghetti Model Intensity Graph 0908 00Z

Hurricane Ike Spaghetti Model Intensity Graph 0908 00Z

are those that do not break the ridge at all but instead run it more westerly toward

Hurricane Ike Intensity Probability Table 0907 11pm

Hurricane Ike Intensity Probability Table 0907 11pm

South Texas. The NHC has chosen the consensus but admits that the intensity and track after a few days is very difficult at this juncture. What else is new. But, I will tell you….if they have this one nailed like they did with Gustav so many days before, then you are talking about a major hurricane potentially hitting the nations 4th largest city with a metro population of over 5.5 million people as well as an area that represents a large part of the nations petrochemical and oil refining capacity…not to mention all of those off shore installations. Stay tuned.

HURRICANE IKE DISCUSSION NUMBER 28
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL092008
1100 PM EDT SUN SEP 07 2008

SATELLITE AND CUBAN RADAR OBSERVATIONS INDICATE THAT IKE MADE
LANDFALL AROUND 0145 UTC NEAR CABO LUCRECIA. SATELLITE MICROWAVE
DATA SUGGESTED THAT AN EYEWALL REPLACEMENT OCCURRED SHORTLY BEFORE
LANDFALL BUT IMAGES FROM THE GRAN PIEDRA RADAR IN CUBA SUGGESTED
THAT THE INNER EYEWALL WITH A DIAMETER OF ABOUT 20 N MI WAS STILL
INTACT AS THE CENTER CROSSED THE COAST. SFMR AND DROPSONDE
OBSERVATIONS FROM A NOAA RESEARCH AIRCRAFT MISSION INDICATE THAT
IKE PROBABLY RE-STRENGTHENED TO 110-115 KT BEFORE LANDFALL IN
EASTERN CUBA. REGARDLESS…WEAKENING IS NOW EXPECTED AS THE CENTER
MOVES OVER THE LANDMASS OF CUBA. THE OFFICIAL INTENSITY FORECAST
SHOWS LESS WEAKENING THAN INDICATED BY THE DECAY SHIPS MODEL…TO
ALLOW FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF THE CENTER EMERGING OVER WATER SOONER
THAN EXPECTED. ONCE IKE MOVES INTO THE GULF OF MEXICO…THE
COMBINATION OF WARM WATERS AND FAIRLY WEAK VERTICAL SHEAR SHOULD
RESULT IN STRENGTHENING….HOWEVER THERE IS GREAT UNCERTAINTY AS TO
HOW MUCH THE HURRICANE WILL INTENSIFY IN 3 TO 5 DAYS.

INITIAL MOTION IS WESTWARD OR 270/11. NO SIGNIFICANT CHANGES HAVE
BEEN MADE TO THE TRACK FORECAST OR TO THE FORECAST REASONING. THE
STEERING CURRENT ASSOCIATED WITH A DEEP-LAYER RIDGE TO THE NORTH
AND NORTHEAST OF IKE IS EXPECTED TO CAUSE THE TRACK TO GRADUALLY
BEND TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST OVER THE NEXT DAY OR TWO…AND THE
TRACK MODELS ARE FAIRLY WELL CLUSTERED ON A TRACK ALONG MUCH OF
CUBA. LATER IN THE FORECAST PERIOD…AFTER IKE IS PREDICTED TO
MOVE INTO THE GULF OF MEXICO…SOME OF THE DYNAMICAL MODELS SHOW A
WEAKNESS IN THE RIDGE THAT COULD TURN THE HURRICANE MORE NORTHWARD.
HOWEVER A NUMBER OF MODELS DO NOT SHOW MUCH OF A WEAKNESS OR A
TURN. SUFFICE TO SAY THAT IT IS SIMPLY TOO EARLY TO SAY WHAT
PORTION OF THE GULF COAST WILL ULTIMATELY BE AFFECTED BY IKE.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 08/0300Z 21.1N 75.8W 105 KT
12HR VT 08/1200Z 21.4N 77.6W 90 KT…INLAND
24HR VT 09/0000Z 22.1N 79.9W 80 KT…INLAND
36HR VT 09/1200Z 22.8N 81.7W 70 KT…INLAND
48HR VT 10/0000Z 23.6N 83.5W 80 KT…OVER WATER
72HR VT 11/0000Z 25.0N 86.4W 90 KT
96HR VT 12/0000Z 26.5N 89.0W 100 KT
120HR VT 13/0000Z 28.0N 92.0W 100 KT

$$
FORECASTER PASCH

2 Responses

  1. Dear Mr. Symon,

    I didn’t read Sunday’s post until this morning but I did read on Saturday evening. I see two references to “Snow White”. I’m assuming this is Mrs. Symon? Does that mean that you have seven dwarves running around? If so, you’re slightly crazier than I am with five boogers tearing up my house.

    Glad to see you’re going to Bible study!. No doubt that makes you a better weatherman since you probably realize who’s really in charge of things on this planet! It’s good to see that, sir.

    Ike is indeed an ugly storm, to say the least and Cuba needs our prayers! Ike should have plenty of time to strengthen before it makes landfall in the U.S. from what you’ve said. This could be ugly since it will probably wreak havoc on our oil / gas production no matter where it hits. Hopefully there will be no lives lost! It seems to be just a question of how bad it will be, I suppose. I guess we’d better fill up this week while the gas prices are “cheap”, that is, if $3.5-something is really cheap! We might be looking back longingly at $3.5-somthing if Ike gets to be a really bad boy.

    I’m enjoying your posts immensely, Mr. Symon. Keep up the good work!

    Best Regards,

    Eric

  2. Yes…she is Snow White and I am Dopey. You see my picture now and again. I have two fat cats running around the house. It’s their world, we just live there. Yes indeed, I am but a messenger. As to the track of the storm…people don’t realize that over 20% of the refining capacity of the nation is on the Houston Ship Channel. Katrina knocked out 1.8 million barrels a day of refining capacity or about 10% of the national capacity. A shutdown of the refineries of the Houston Ship Channel would knock out 4 million barrels a day or over 20%.

    The ridge is the key to this…the models say one today, but wait until tomorrow.

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