for a more recent update for hurricane ike, CLICK HERE
The radar return is limited due to Ike’s distance from US radar locations, but you can navigate to the Gulf if you CLICK HERE. Navigate down to see what you can see and hit “animate” to loop the radar.
Hurricane Ike continues to have a bit of a more northerly component to the track than I suspect was anticipated because now its moving at 315 degree and earlier it was 310 degrees. That is not west-northwest. The weakness in the ridge caused by a trof that came through Louisville on Tuesday has been fairly pronounced. Thats why we fell to the 50’s overnight and will again tonight. But, the ridge should build back in as the trof goes by and the storm should turn back toward the west-northwest and then perhaps more westward for awhile. It will be well south of Louisiana but could produce a tidal rise of 3-5 feet and the area is under a tropical storm watch.
As had been suggested previously (wonder who suggested that?) the storm is getting very large and its effect will be pretty vast. Ike is a very big boy.
A hurricane watch has been hoisted from just north of Brownsville all the way to Cameron, LA. Part of it is due to the somewhat variety of scenarios for the storm, but more to the point that it is a very large storm.
The official forecast track is somewhere between Galveston and Port Lavaca. This NHC forecast discussion claims its not much different than the last forecast track but it looks like a continued trend of nudging farther north to me. I’ve been
suggesting that this guy might be slower than the forecast and I see now that the Friday night landfall forecast has been pushed back to Saturday morning. I’m not sure why the storm would accelerate much so a slow and steady movement across the Gulf seems like a reasonable assumption so an even later landfall may also be reasonable. With a slower pace, the likelihood of it starting a turn before it gets to the coast, in my view, becomes more viable and that, along with the size of the storm, is why I have been suggesting that those to the right of the forecast track make a decision of what you will do and then carry out the plan.
Forecast intensity is interesting in that the spaghetti model intensity graph’s
extremes have come down a shade but the NHC continues to put the official forecast on the higher end of the range. The pressure is very low (944 mb) relative to the current winds and would theorhetically support much higher winds than the current 100 mph. Dry air earlier that showed up in the water vapor doesnt seem to be showing up too much now. There still seems to be some disruption to some western disruption of the outflow. However, the NHC really doesn’t see much out there to mess it up and so has made the forecast accordingly. It will be interesting to see just how the intensity will shake out. Big Bopper status is still likely in my view. Storm surges to the right of the track could be pretty tough. The Houston Ship Channel was built as a protector of the Texas’ main port of entry after the 1900 Galveston Hurricane. This storm may end up being a test.
HURRICANE IKE DISCUSSION NUMBER 40
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL092008
1100 PM EDT WED SEP 10 2008
OVERALL…IKE IS A LARGE CYCLONE…AS DATA FROM BOTH AIR FORCE AND NOAA HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT INDICATE THAT THE EXTENT OF WINDS OF HURRICANE AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE HAS INCREASED…ESPECIALLY NORTH OF THE CIRCULATION CENTER. PARADOXICALLY…IKE HAS A VERY SMALL INNER CORE…AND THE EYE HAS A DIAMETER OF ONLY ABOUT 8 TO 10 N MI. THE CENTRAL PRESSURE HAS BEEN STEADILY FALLING…NOW DOWN TO ABOUT 944 MB…BUT THE WINDS HAVE NOT YET RESPONDED. THE INITIAL INTENSITY REMAINS 85 KT BASED ON RECENT SFMR WIND SPEED RETRIEVALS. THE SHORT-TERM INTENSITY FORECAST IS CONTINGENT UPON HOW LONG THE EXTREMELY SMALL INNER CORE SURVIVES. SINCE IT COULD DISINTEGRATE AT ANY TIME…AND SINCE IKE WILL BE PASSING NEAR OR OVER A COLD EDDY IN THE CENTRAL GULF DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS…THE HURRICANE COULD WEAKEN. IF…HOWEVER…THE TENACIOUS INNER CORE REMAINS INTACT…AND GIVEN THE RECENT PRESSURE FALLS…IKE COULD STRENGTHEN SOME AS REFLECTED IN THE OFFICIAL FORECAST. BEYOND 24 HOURS…THE UNDERLYING OCEAN HEAT CONTENT WILL INCREASE ALONG THE FORECAST TRACK…AND IKE WILL REMAIN WITHIN A WEAK WIND SHEAR ENVIRONMENT…SO MORE ROBUST STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST AT 36-48 HOURS. THE NEW OFFICIAL INTENSITY FORECAST IS A LITTLE LOWER THAN THE PREVIOUS ONE THROUGH 24 HOURS BUT IS SIMILAR THEREAFTER…AND IS ROUGHLY A BLEND OF THE HWRF AND GFDL…BUT HIGHER THAN SHIPS AND LGEM. THE APPARENT WEAKENING BETWEEN 48 AND 72 HOURS IMPLIED BY THE OFFICIAL FORECAST SHOWN BELOW ONLY RESULTS FROM IKE GOING INLAND…BUT NO WEAKENING TREND IS ACTUALLY ANTICIPATED LEADING UP TO FINAL LANDFALL. THE CENTER OF IKE HAS CONTINUED TO MOVE NORTHWESTWARD OR 315/6…A LITTLE TO THE RIGHT OF THE PREVIOUS FORECAST TRACK…BUT VERY RECENT SATELLITE IMAGERY AND THE LAST FIX FROM THE NOAA HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT SUGGESTS THE TURN TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST COULD BE STARTING. ALL MODEL GUIDANCE FORECASTS A WEST-NORTHWESTWARD MOTION DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS TO THE SOUTH OF A STRONG RIDGE OVER THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES THAT IS FORECAST TO BUILD WESTWARD. IN A COUPLE OF DAYS…ALL OF THE MODELS FORECAST A WEAKNESS IN THE RIDGE TO DEVELOP OVER TEXAS AND EVENTUALLY INDUCE A TURN TO THE NORTHWEST AND NORTH…BUT THEY DO NOT AGREE ON WHEN THAT TURN WILL OCCUR. THE HWRF IS ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE GUIDANCE ENVELOPE AND FORECASTS A STRONGER AND LONGER-LASTING RIDGE THAT TAKES IKE INTO DEEP SOUTH TEXAS BEFORE TURNING NORTH. CONVERSELY…THE GFDL IS THE RIGHTMOST MODEL WITH A WEAKER RIDGE THAT ALLOWS IKE TO TURN INTO THE GALVESTON AREA. THE OTHER MODELS ARE IN BETWEEN…AS IS THE OFFICIAL FORECAST….WHICH IS NOT APPRECIABLY CHANGED FROM THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY SINCE THE MODEL CONSENSUS HAS BARELY BUDGED. SINCE THE TIMING OF THE TURN BEFORE LANDFALL IS SO UNCERTAIN AND SO KEY IN WHERE THE CORE OF IKE COMES ASHORE…AND SINCE IKE WILL BE ROUNDING THE RIDGE AND NOT GOING IN A STRAIGHT LINE BETWEEN 48 AND 72 HOURS…ONE SHOULD NOT FOCUS ON THE EXACT TRACK. EVERYONE IN THE HURRICANE WATCH AREA HAS ABOUT THE SAME RISK OF HURRICANE CONDITIONS.
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
INITIAL 11/0300Z 24.9N 86.7W 85 KT
12HR VT 11/1200Z 25.4N 88.0W 90 KT
24HR VT 12/0000Z 26.0N 90.0W 95 KT
36HR VT 12/1200Z 26.7N 92.4W 100 KT
48HR VT 13/0000Z 27.7N 94.6W 110 KT
72HR VT 14/0000Z 31.5N 96.5W 55 KT…INLAND
96HR VT 15/0000Z 36.0N 93.0W 30 KT…INLAND
120HR VT 16/0000Z…ABSORBED
$$ FORECASTER KNABB