for a more recent update on Hurricane Ike, CLICK HERE
For a Hurricane Ike Radar Loop, CLICK HERE. Navigate to street level, add clouds and lightning(though there probably won’t be much of that) and hit “animate” to loop.
Hurricane Ike does not have a well formed center…it is very large….60 miles wide.
It doesnt have a true eyewall but is just huge. That means a couple of things. It shouldn’t get much stronger than what it is. But, it also means that the windfield remains huge with hurricane force winds extending 120 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds 275 miles outward. In the report below, they report parts of Galveston have seen a 9 foot rise in the tides and the storm is still at least 12 hours away. I think the broadness of the circulation also means that the storm surge not only will be very high to the east of landfall and not only extend way to the east as far as significant storm surge, even west
of the storm should see a pretty good rise. The water is getting pushed ahead like a big ship and the wake
ahead has no where to go but up the coast. These water rise reports, well ahead of the storm are eerily similar to the 1900 Galveston Hurricane. Galveston Island is now cut off from the mainland and will probably continue to be inaccessible until Saturday afternoon.
The mission to rescue a freighter 90 miles south of Galveston has been aborted.
A Shell Oil Company rig located at 27.55 N and 92.49 west at 3:15 CDT reported
sustained winds at 91 kts. However, its been reporting the same wind speed and identical data for several hours and I suspect it has been damaged.
It is a very good thing that Ike is not more intense but the broadness of the windfield poses quite a problem. If you look at the storm surge probability map, you notice that the 70% probability of a surge of greater than 5 feet extends all the way up the Houston Ship Channel….44 miles…then up Buffalo Bayou into west Houston and up the San Jacinto River into East Houston. Both of those locations are well inland and the 30% probability extends well off those waterways.
Power outages will be enormous and long lasting. Damage in Houston should
probably be similar to Alicia in 1983. There is the real chance that Galveston Island may be completely covered by the Gulf of Mexico. The east side of Galveston Bay will be highly susceptible to a very large water rise. High Island will prove not to be too high and surges into the Port Arthur region will be significant. Earlier today, Lake Charles….all the way up to I-10 had a water rise of over 3 feet and that was this morning. Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect all the way to north of Dallas to the Red River. I have no idea why the spaghetti model intensity graph has so many models increasing the winds after landfall.
I’ve heard on the news that up to 50% of Galveston did not evacuate. That may prove to be a grave mistake. If Galveston has the worse case scenario, then the loss of life may be much higher than it should have been. This storm surge will be greater than a typical Cat 2.
HURRICANE IKE DISCUSSION NUMBER 47
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL092008
500 PM EDT FRI SEP 12 2008
IKE HAS BEEN UNDER CONSTANT SURVEILLANCE BY BOTH NOAA AND AIR FORCE RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT. THE DATA INDICATE THAT THE STRUCTURE OF IKE HAS CHANGED VERY LITTLE AND THE HURRICANE CONTINUES WITH A LARGE WIND FIELD AND LACKS A WELL-DEFINED TIGHT INNER CORE. INITIAL INTENSITY IS KEPT AT 90 KNOTS. AS MENTIONED EARLIER…THERE IS STILL A CHANCE THAT IKE COULD BECOME A MAJOR HURRICANE BEFORE LANDFALL…BUT BASICALLY THIS IS LARGELY IRRELEVANT SINCE WE ARE ONLY TALKING ABOUT A 10-KNOT WIND INCREASE. STATE OF THE ART TECHNIQUES TO FORECAST INTENSITY AND MY SKILLS ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO PREDICT SUCH CHANGE WITH PRECISION. ALL WE NEED TO DO AT THIS THIS TIME IS TO BE READY FOR A CATEGORY THREE HURRICANE. IKE WILL WEAKEN AFTER LANDFALL…AND IT IS FORECAST TO BECOME EXTRATROPICAL BY 48 HOURS…AND MERGE WITH A FRONTAL SYSTEM BY 72 HOURS. IKE HAS CONTINUED ITS PUSH TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST AND NORTHWEST AT ABOUT 10 KNOTS. THE STEERING CURRENTS ARE NOT EXPECTED TO CHANGE DURING THE NEXT 12 TO 24 HOURS AND THIS GENERAL MOTION SHOULD CONTINUE UNTIL LANDFALL ON THE UPPER TEXAS COAST AFTER MIDNIGHT TONIGHT. I AM CONFIDENT IN THE TRACK FORECAST SINCE THE GUIDANCE ENVELOPE IS VERY TIGHT AND MODELS TAKE IKE NOWHERE BUT TO THE UPPER TEXAS COAST. ONCE INLAND…IKE SHOULD REACH THE WESTERN EDGE OF THE SUBTROPICAL RIDGE AND TURN NORTHWARD AND NORTHEASTWARD UNTIL IT BECOMES ABSORBED BY A FRONTAL SYSTEM IN 2 TO 3 DAYS. ONE SHOULD EMPHASIZE THAT IKE IS A VERY LARGE HURRICANE AND REGARDLESS OF WHERE THE CENTER OF THE HURRICANE MAKES LANDFALL…THE EFFECTS WILL BE FELT AT LARGE DISTANCES FROM THE CENTER. IN ADDITION…THE LARGEST STORM SURGE WILL OCCUR WITHIN THE ONSHORE FLOW NEAR OR JUST AFTER LANDFALL. A GAGE INDICATES THAT THE WATER LEVEL HAS ALREADY RISEN MORE THAN 9 FEET ON PART OF GALVESTON ISLAND.
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
INITIAL 12/2100Z 27.7N 93.5W 90 KT
12HR VT 13/0600Z 29.0N 94.8W 95 KT
24HR VT 13/1800Z 31.5N 96.0W 65 KT…INLAND
36HR VT 14/0600Z 35.0N 94.5W 30 KT…INLAND
48HR VT 14/1800Z 38.5N 89.5W 30 KT…EXTRATROPICAL
72HR VT 15/1800Z…ABSORBED BY A COLD FRONT
$$ FORECASTER AVILA