for a more recent update of hurricane ike, CLICK HERE
For a Hurricane Ike Radar Loop, CLICK HERE. You can track Ike on radar as it moves inland. Just navigate away from the default in the Ohio Valley and go to street level anywhere in the country. Hit “animate” to loop and add clouds and lightning as desired.
Hurricane Ike did Galveston a favor. For days I have been suggesting that the key
to this guy was the turn. Ike turned just prior to landfall. The ECMWF was on the money. The storm moved into Galveston moving at about 315 degrees. The eye went over Galveston Bay sorta straddling the eastern side. It seems to me to be moving more north. Downtown Houston probably won’t get the eye but instead will stay in the western eyewall all night. Not good. Will be interesting to
see how the windows in the big buildings held up. If you look at the water vapor image, you get an idea of the strongest part..the eastern part. The big blob is just east of Galveston toward Beaumont. That is the area that saw the maximum storm surge. Look at the surge probability table and note the probability of 5 foot or higher surge east of Galveston into Louisiana. It would appear to
me from the data from gauges in Galveston that the water rise topped out at about 12 feet. It was highest from say, High Island just east of the inlet to Galveston over toward Port Arthur. Galveston will get blasted by the southern eye wall and perhaps stronger winds than earlier(often the backside with opposite wind direction is worse so it wouldn’t surprise me if wind damage mulitplies with the backside), but the
storm surge probably won’t be affected too much. I suspect the western end of Galveston, which is inaccessable, probably sustained pretty significant damage. Most of the beach houses there…and there are many…had many a party time down there at Jamaica Beach and Pirates Beach back in my days of misspent youth….are on stilts but they have no seawall and most are literally right on the beach. Wind and water I am sure took their toll as the water was high for a long time with some pretty big waves. I’m sure that the numerous houses on the west end have been severely damaged as well as many structures in Galveston.
I’ve been thinking about the water rise so early in the story and how it was similar to September 1900. I suspect that it has as much to do with the geography as with the storm. A storm coming at that angle of attack pushes up the water so that it has no where to go but up. I think the differences between this guy and the one in 1900 was that “Isaac’s Storm” or the “Big Blow” as it used to be known, was stronger and it hit about 15 miles farther west. Because this guy had such a big eye..about 36 miles at landfall, if it had been about 25 miles farther west, the surge would have been 50 to 80 percent higher in Galveston Bay than my perceived 12 feet. I won’t be surprised if you hear higher surges in Galveston but I haven’t seen it on any gauges. The highest surges I’ve seen were in Sabine Pass (12-15 feet) and that is where some of the highest winds have been as of 5AM EDT. Anyway, the another important difference is the seawall. They literally raised the entire island, which is a barrier island or a giant sandbar, by some 15 feet. So, in 1900 there was no seawall and the island was not as high and the surge was probably higher. Regardless of the damage, and it will be extensive, in Galveston…Galveston got off much better than it would have had the storm followed its forecast track and passed about 25 miles farther west.
Damage in Houston I suspect will be similar to Alicia in 1983 and power will be out, especially on the east half of the city, for quite some time. Keep in mind, the refineries are on the east side mainly. It will be interesting how they faired and how long they will be shut down. Damage will extend into Louisiana where homes have flooded and levees are in danger of failing.
Ike will bring heavy rain well inland as well as strong winds all the way to Oklahoma. The heavy rain will move into the plains and perhaps the Ohio Valley. LOUISVILLE The SPC has us in the “see text” section for Sunday. It remains to be seen how the severe threat shakes out. They are kinda riding the fence by giving us a 5% chance right now but the HPC has the heavy rain to our west. Those two things don’t seem to jive. We’ll keep you informed on Saturday about what to expect on Sunday….Ike should show itself by then as to what shape it is in and how it interacts with a cold front moving across the area. There have been lots of tornado warnings in Louisiana.
HURRICANE IKE DISCUSSION NUMBER 49
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL092008
500 AM EDT SAT SEP 13 2008
THE 40 NM WIDE EYE OF IKE MADE LANDFALL ON THE UPPER TEXAS COAST JUST AFTER 0700 UTC. AIRCRAFT AND RADAR DATA INDICATE THAT THE LANDFALL INTENSITY WAS 95 KT…CATEGORY 2 ON THE SAFFIR SIMPSON SCALE. SURFACE OBSERVATIONS SUGGEST THE LANDFALL PRESSURE WAS NEAR 952 MB. THE STORM HAS NOT YET HAD TIME TO SIGNIFICANTLY WEAKEN… SO 95 KT IS THE INITIAL INTENSITY FOR THIS ADVISORY. IKE SHOULD WEAKEN AS THE CENTER MOVES FARTHER INLAND…WITH THE CYCLONE FORECAST TO DROP BELOW HURRICANE STRENGTH BY LATE SATURDAY AFTERNOON AND BELOW TROPICAL STORM STRENGTH ON SUNDAY. IKE IS EXPECTED TO LOSE TROPICAL CHARACTERISTICS BY 48 HR AND BE ABSORBED INTO A FRONTAL ZONE THEREAFTER. THE INITIAL MOTION IS A RATHER WOBBLY 325/11. IKE IS ROUNDING THE WESTERN PERIPHERY OF A DEEP-LAYER RIDGE OVER THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES…AND IT SHOULD RECURVE AND ACCELERATE INTO THE WESTERLIES DURING THE NEXT 24-36 HR. ALL GUIDANCE AGREES WITH THIS SCENARIO…WITH THE GUIDANCE SHOWING A LITTLE SPREAD IN THE FORWARD SPEED AFTER RECURVATURE. THE NEW FORECAST TRACK IS NUDGED A LITTLE TO THE EAST OF THE PREVIOUS TRACK AND LIES NEAR THE CENTER OF THE GUIDANCE ENVELOPE. EVEN THOUGH IKE HAS MADE LANDFALL…IT REMAINS A VERY LARGE AND DANGEROUS HURRICANE WITH EFFECTS FELT AT LONG DISTANCES FROM THE CENTER. WATER LEVELS ALONG PORTIONS OF THE UPPER TEXAS AND SOUTHWESTERN LOUISIANA COASTS MAY CONTINUE TO RISE FOR SEVERAL MORE HOURS. ADDITIONALLY…HURRICANE-FORCE WINDS MAY OCCUR WELL INLAND NEAR AND TO THE EAST OF THE CENTER OF IKE.
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
INITIAL 13/0900Z 29.7N 95.0W 95 KT…INLAND
12HR VT 13/1800Z 31.5N 95.2W 65 KT…INLAND
24HR VT 14/0600Z 34.6N 93.9W 35 KT…INLAND
36HR VT 14/1800Z 38.6N 89.2W 30 KT…INLAND
48HR VT 15/0600Z 42.5N 81.0W 30 KT…EXTRATROPICAL
72HR VT 16/0600Z…ABSORBED INTO FRONTAL ZONE INLAND
$$ FORECASTER BEVEN