for a more recent update on Hurricane Ike, CLICK HERE
Not a whole lot to add this time except that earlier it looked like the center of
circulation may have snuck onshore while the security guards of the Communist Cuba weren’t looking but now its just off the southern shore moving right along. As long as the Hurricane Ike’s core of circulation remains offshore, it should be in decent shape for its Gulf of Mexico run. The water vapor imagery doesn’t seem to indicate any dry air intrusion. It will cross western Cuba on schedule and then we have to see what happens. The models have been consistently wanting to run the storm into South Texas. The ECMWF was the first to go with it and now the rest seem to be jumping on the European Bandwagon. It would seem that the National Hurricane Center is doing their trending routine with the track taking it from a SE
Texas appointment to off to the north of the consensus but still farther south to
near Port Lavaca about 125 miles north of Corpus Christi and now they’ve moved it farther south still to near Corpus. That is fairly close to the consensus of the spaghetti track. Rather interesting that the two real outliers go to the Florida Panhandle but I don’t think that is any thing to get alarmed about.
I wouldnt get married to this track just yet though. The models just this morning were all agreeing on Houston and then started shifting on the 18Z run. The GFS at 00Z was at New Orleans, at 12 Z was at Houston, at 18Z was at Brownsville and now the 00Z run it seems to have settled on Brownsville. What’s going on is that the
ridge stays strong, runs the storm west and then there is some sense of the big pile of cold air that I’ve been talking about the models trying to bring down for a week, finally just blows it into the lower 48. But the time it does, the storm is so far west that it gets shoved west, even southwest into Mexico as the big Canadian high builds in. Again…let’s see if the pattern holds for another day or so. I still think that its going to be a formidable storm. About half of the models on the spaghetti intensity graph go for a cat 3 or higher. If its a big bopper, the best place in perhaps the entire United States is between Corpus and Brownsville in, I believe, Kennedy County. Its the King Ranch. More cows than people. Padre Island is a National Seashore at that point so there is zero development on the barrier island. Seems like a good place and the current over pattern prog would support something like that. Nevertheless, I saw a couple of models earlier today that took it toward Corpus and then due north to Houston. But, as i said, lets see if it lasts. During the change in seasons, the models can flip and flop as we have already seen. Still a long way out…Its not even in the Gulf yet. Confidence in the forecast from the NHC seems marginal. They are hinting that it could be stronger than advertised and keep the door open on the forecast track.
HURRICANE IKE DISCUSSION NUMBER 32
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL
092008 1100 PM EDT MON SEP 08 2008
THE LAST AIR FORCE HURRICANE HUNTER PENETRATION OF IKE’S EYE INDICATED THAT THERE WAS A CLOSED WALL AND SATELLITE IMAGERY SHOWS COLD TOPS DEVELOPING VERY NEAR THE CENTER. THERE HAD BEEN LITTLE CHANGE IN THE CENTRAL PRESSURE OVER THE LAST FEW AIRCRAFT FIXES. THE CURRENT INTENSITY IS KEPT AT 70 KT EVEN THOUGH THERE WERE NO RECENT FLIGHT-LEVEL WINDS TO SUPPORT THIS VALUE. SURFACE WINDS AS HIGH AS 74 KT WERE REPORTED FROM THE SFMR INSTRUMENT ON BOARD THE AIRCRAFT…BUT THOSE DATA WERE QUESTIONABLE. SINCE THE INNER CORE APPEARS TO BE REDEVELOPING…SOME STRENGTHENING COULD OCCUR AS LONG AS THE CENTER REMAINS OFFSHORE OF THE SOUTH COAST OF CUBA. AFTER IKE MOVES INTO THE GULF OF MEXICO…GLOBAL MODELS SUGGEST A FAVORABLE LARGE-SCALE UPPER-LEVEL WIND PATTERN WITH BROAD ANTICYCLONIC FLOW AND SOME EVIDENCE OF OUTFLOW CHANNELS OVER THE EASTERN PORTION OF THE TROPICAL CYCLONE’S CIRCULATION. THE OFFICIAL 3- TO 4 DAY INTENSITY FORECAST COULD BE CONSERVATIVE…BUT WE HAVE LITTLE SKILL IN INTENSITY PREDICTION AT THESE TIME RANGES. AFTER WOBBLING A BIT TO THE NORTHWEST AND ALMOST MOVING ASHORE ON THE SOUTH COAST OF CUBA…THE MOTION HAS SHIFTED BACK TO THE WEST-NORTHWEST OR 290/11 AND IKE IS MOVING ROUGHLY PARALLEL TO…AND JUST OFFSHORE OF…THE COAST. THE TRACK MODELS ARE IN VERY CLOSE AGREEMENT ON THE MOTION OF IKE OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. IN 3-5 DAYS…THE GUIDANCE SPREADS OUT SOMEWHAT. THE GLOBAL MODELS DEPICT A PRONOUNCED MID-TROPOSPHERIC RIDGE OVER THE NORTHERN GULF COAST IN THE LATTER PART OF THE FORECAST PERIOD. THE GFS AND ITS ENSEMBLE MEAN…ALONG WITH THE NOGAPS…SHOW THAT THIS RIDGE WILL BE STRONG ENOUGH TO CAUSE IKE TO TURN TOWARD THE WEST IN 96-120 HOURS. SOME OF THE GUIDANCE SUCH AS THE HWRF AND GFDL INDICATE THAT A SHORT WAVE TROUGH MOVING FROM THE ROCKIES WILL ERODE THE RIDGE ENOUGH TO INDUCE A MORE NORTHWARD TURN NEAR THE END OF THE PERIOD. I AM FAVORING THE MORE WESTWARD OPTION AT THIS TIME SINCE IT WOULD SEEM THAT THE GFDL AND HWRF…WHICH ARE REGIONAL MODELS…WOULD NOT HANDLE THE EVOLUTION OF MID-LATITUDE SHORT WAVE TROUGHS AS WELL AS A GLOBAL MODEL. THE OFFICIAL TRACK FORECAST IS SHIFTED SOUTHWARD FROM THE PREVIOUS ONE AT DAYS 4 AND 5 BUT IS STILL GENERALLY NORTH OF THE DYNAMICAL TRACK MODEL CONSENSUS. AS ALWAYS…IT CANNOT BE OVEREMPHASIZED THAT ONE SHOULD NOT FOCUS ON 4 AND 5 DAY FORECAST POINTS SINCE THESE CAN BE SUBJECT TO SUBSTANTIAL ERRORS.
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
INITIAL 09/0300Z 21.8N 80.8W 70 KT
12HR VT 09/1200Z 22.4N 82.3W 80 KT
24HR VT 10/0000Z 23.2N 84.0W 85 KT
36HR VT 10/1200Z 24.0N 85.7W 90 KT
48HR VT 11/0000Z 24.8N 87.2W 95 KT
72HR VT 12/0000Z 26.0N 91.0W 100 KT
96HR VT 13/0000Z 27.0N 94.5W 100 KT
120HR VT 14/0000Z 28.0N 98.0W 95 KT…INLAND
$$ FORECASTER PASCH/BERG