for a more recent update on Hurricane Ike, CLICK HERE
For a Hurricane Ike Radar Loop, CLICK HERE. Navigate the map to wherever you like all the way to street level. Add clouds and lightning. Hit “animate” to loop.
Louisville: Be prepared for a risk of heavy rain and severe weather on Sunday.
Hurricane Ike to me is a rather interesting storm and continues to be a very odd
character. On the water vapor image, I see quite a bit of dry air. The circulation that was looking rather symmetrical is no longer a nice circle. The outflow to the west is pretty decent. The pressure from the last hurricane hunter that I saw was 956 mb which is pretty formidable but it has not dropped. This will not be the “big one” but it will be quite a more substantial storm than the intensity might otherwise suggest. The problem with this storm is its physically large structure. The windfield is huge. Hurricane force winds extend 120 miles out and Tropical Storm force winds 270 miles. So, the intensity isn’t huge and may top out around 115 mph. But the potential for damaging winds will be perhaps broader than normally expected from a cat 2/cat
3 storm. Because the wind field has been so large, a broad area of the ocean is
really whipped up. So, as the storm approaches the coast, the water will have no where to go but up. There is such a strong on-shore flow so far to the east, that the water cannot escape to the sides. So, the storm surge will be much higher than normally expected. Further, the wave action is greatly enhanced. I’ve told you about the seas offshore running about 30 feet. It would not surprise me to see wave heights of 40 feet closer to the coast as it gets closer to shore. The storm is still probably 18 hours from landfall yet, many parts of Galveston and points to the west are flooded. There are many people in Galveston who have not evacuated and that may be a grave mistake. The key continues to be the turn.
I’ve been suggesting all along that if the storm slows and/or the ridge steering it breaks down a shade, then
the storm will turn sooner and miss Galveston to the east. That is still plausible. The storm has slowed a bit. All this guy has to do is move 25 miles east of the current track and the situation on the Houston Ship Channel will be much improved. The current track still calls for a landfall near San Luis pass or the west end of Galveston Island. This would produce a surge up to 20 feet on Galveston, Galveston Bay and the Ship Channel. The spaghetti model is concentrated near the current track on the west side of Galveston. The ECMWF has it SSE of Galveston and turning NNW just to the east of Galveston.
The seawall in Galveston is 15 feet. The island is cut off at 6 feet. This morning, the winds in Galveston are offshore at just 20-30 mph but the water is crashing over the seawall. In Lake Charles, the water is rising rapidly and they too have a offshore or Northeast wind. I have an observer at Fourchon, LA…south of New Orleans. He reported a 4 foot tide early this morning and the winds were not even coming from the direction that would support his highest tide yet. He said overnight they had a 55 mph gust. What is so ominous to me is that the reports of offshore winds yet rising tides is very reminiscent of the reports from Isaac Cline as the Galveston 1900 hurricane approached. A freighter is disabled in the Gulf and the Coast Guard can’t get to it. In some regard, the actual track makes little difference, particularly for those inland. Also, seas will be quite high and water rises will be extensive, higher than one would normally expect from a storm of this intensity. On the other hand, the track will make a huge difference regarding maximum storm surge because a strike where it is forecast would mean the maximum surge will be in the most concentrated area of oil refineries in the nation. A strike 25 miles east of the forecast will give that region an offshore flow and the surge will be greatly reduced. When you consider that the earth is 25000 miles around and we’re talking about 25 miles, then its such a tiny margin that its impossible to pin point. Either way, the water rise will be extensive all the way to Beaumont and perhaps Cameron, LA.
If I were FEMA, I would not comfortable with so many people remaining on Galveston. Houston will get damage similar to Alicia which was fairly substantial. The affects of this storm will felt over a large area and will have the potential to be quite extensive. As bad as it is, it’s a good thing that Ike has not ramped up.
Parts of the southern plains have gotten 4-7 inches of rain in the last day or so. Ike will bring a real flood threat to the plains and perhaps the Ohio Valley. Fortunately, it should be zipping along by then as it moves along a frontal zone.
HURRICANE IKE DISCUSSION NUMBER 46
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL092008
1100 AM EDT FRI SEP 12 2008
RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT AND MICROWAVE DATA INDICATE THAT IKE HAS NOT DEVELOPED A TIGHT INNER CORE AS ANTICIPATED. ONCE AGAIN THIS REEMPHASIZES THE DIFFICULTIES IN FORECASTING CHANGES IN THE INNER CORE STRUCTURE OF A HURRICANE WHICH LEADS TO CHANGES IN INTENSITY. AN ELEVATED PLATFORM…122 METERS…400 FT HEIGHT NEAR THE CENTER REPORTED SUSTAINED WINDS OF 109 KNOTS EARLIER THIS MORNING WHICH IN COMBINATION WITH DATA FROM BOTH NOAA AND AIR FORCE RECONNAISSANCE PLANES SUPPORT SURFACE WINDS OF 90 KNOTS AS THE INITIAL INTENSITY. IKE CONTINUES AS AN UNUSUALLY LARGE HURRICANE PRODUCING HURRICANE FORCE WINDS ABOUT 105 NMI TO THE NORTHEAST OF THE CENTER. THERE IS STILL A CHANCE THAT IT COULD BECOME A MAJOR HURRICANE BEFORE LANDFALL…BUT BASICALLY THIS IS IRRELEVANT SINCE WE ARE ONLY TALKING ABOUT A 10-KNOT INCREASE. IKE SHOULD WEAKEN AFTER LANDFALL…AND IT IS FORECAST TO BECOME EXTRATROPICAL OR MERGE WITH A FRONTAL SYSTEM BY 72 HOURS. THERE HAS BEEN NO SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN THE STEERING FLOW AND IKE CONTINUES ON A WEST-NORTHWEST TO NORTHWEST TRACK AT 10 KNOTS. THIS GENERAL TRACK IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE UNTIL LANDFALL ON THE UPPER TEXAS COAST WITHIN THE WARNING AREA AFTER MIDNIGHT TONIGHT. THIS IS IN AGREEMENT WITH THE DYNAMICAL GUIDANCE WHICH UNANIMOUSLY HAS THE HURRICANE CROSSING THE UPPER TEXAS COAST IN ABOUT 12 TO 18 HOURS. ONCE INLAND…IKE SHOULD REACH THE WESTERN EDGE OF THE SUBTROPICAL RIDGE AND TURN NORTHWARD. 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.
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
INITIAL 12/1500Z 27.2N 92.6W 90 KT
12HR VT 13/0000Z 28.2N 94.0W 95 KT
24HR VT 13/1200Z 30.0N 95.5W 80 KT
36HR VT 14/0000Z 32.5N 96.0W 40 KT…INLAND
48HR VT 14/1200Z 36.0N 93.5W 30 KT…INLAND
72HR VT 15/1200Z…ABSORBED BY A EXTRATROPICAL LOW
$$ FORECASTER AVILA