for a more recent update on Hurricane Ike with damage photos and video CLICK HERE
For a Hurricane Ike Radar Loop as it moves through Texas, CLICK HERE. Navigate from the Ohio Valley default and go to street level anywhere in the nation. Add clouds and/or lightning and hit “animate” to loop.
Really, not much to say. Ike is inland and moving quickly toward North Texas. So far, Ike was difficult and dangerous and caused great problems in the Golden Triangle of SE Texas and also SW Louisiana. It caused damage in Galveston and Houston. World Famous Brennans in Houston burned to the ground. But, it would appear that the turn north just prior to landfall limited the storm surge damage as the greatest surge was in much less populated areas of the coast except for Port Arthur.
Now, the national problem aside from the insurance buisness, which before sunrise was predicting claims second only to Katrina (how they know that before they can
see I don’t know), will be the petroleum and chemical supply. Power outages in the
area could last for a very long time. That could affect the start up of refineries. Storm surges may have affected some refineries. 23% of the refining capacity of the US is on the Houston Ship Channel and it seems to have done its job as it stretches inland 44 miles and helps protect interests along the waterway and in the Port of Houston. Nevertheless, there may be damage. There are many other refineries and
chemical plants from west of Galveston through Port Arthur to Lake Charles that could be damaged or also disrupted. I’m sure you know in your town right now, gasoline prices have risen. In some areas there may be shortages as, the distribution network is disrupted. Not only are the refineries in SE Texas, but also the greatest grid of natural gas pipe line in the nation. Louisiana and Texas have natural gas all over the place and Texas has over 43,000 miles of pipeline. Those pipes were shut down. Until they are restarted and transmitting natural gas, there may be shortages and higher prices. The price rise will probably be difficult for a month.
HURRICANE IKE DISCUSSION NUMBER 50
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL092008
1100 AM EDT SAT SEP 13 2008
IKE IS CONTINUING TO GRADUALLY WIND DOWN AS A HURRICANE AS IT MOVES FARTHER INLAND TOWARD EASTERN TEXAS. MAXIMUM DOPPLER VELOCITIES HAVE DROPPED BELOW 100 KT DURING THE PAST HOUR…SO THE ADVISORY INTENSITY HAS BEEN LOWERED TO 70 KT…WHICH COULD BE A LITTLE GENEROUS. HOWEVER…A SURFACE PRESSURE OF 968.5 MB WAS REPORTED TO THE WEST OF THE EYE AT HUNTSVILLE TEXAS…SO I WOULD RATHER ERR ON THE SIDE OF CAUTION AND NOT BRING THE WINDS DOWN TOO QUICKLY… ESPECIALLY WITH STRONG CONVECTIVE BANDS NOTED IN THE SOUTHERN SEMICIRCLE. THE INITIAL MOTION ESTIMATE IS 360/14. IKE IS MOVING NORTHWARD AROUND THE WESTERN PERIPHERY OF A DEEP-LAYER RIDGE SITUATED EAST-WEST OVER THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES. IKE IS EXPECTED TO GRADUALLY ACCELERATE AND RECURVE TO THE NORTHEAST LATER TONIGHT AS THE CYCLONE COMES UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF FAST SOUTHWESTERLY FLOW AHEAD OF A SHARP FRONTAL SYSTEM FOR THIS TIME OF THE YEAR. BY 24-36 HOURS…IT IS POSSIBLE THAT IKE MAY BE ABSORBED BY THE FRONTAL SYSTEM OR TRANSITION INTO AN EXTRATROPICAL CYCLONE. HOWEVER…THE EXPECTED FORWARD SPEED OF IKE’S SURFACE LOW IS SLOWER IN THE ADVISORY THAN MANY OF THE GLOBAL MODELS ARE SUGGESTING DUE TO ANTICIPATION OF THE MID- AND UPPER-LEVEL CIRCULATIONS DECOUPLING FROM THE LOW-LEVELS AND RACING RAPIDLY OFF TO THE NORTHEAST DUE TO VERTICAL SHEAR INCREASING TO MORE THAN 100 KT. THE FORECAST TRACK IS SIMILAR TO THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY TRACK…AND THE TIMING OF EXTRATROPICAL TRANSITION IS BASED ON INPUT FROM THE NOAA HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL PREDICTION CENTER. ALTHOUGH IKE IS SPINNING DOWN AS A HURRICANE IN TERMS OF MAXIMUM WINDS…UNFORTUNATELY…ATMOSPHERIC CONDITIONS WILL GRADUALLY BECOME MORE FAVORABLE FOR TORNADOES TO DEVELOP ACROSS MUCH OF EASTERN TEXAS…WESTERN LOUISIANA…AND ARKANSAS THROUGH TONIGHT. LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL WILL ALSO BE A THREAT…AS WILL CONTINUED HIGHER THAN NORMAL TIDE LEVELS ALONG MUCH OF THE WESTERN LOUISIANA AND UPPER TEXAS COASTAL AREAS THROUGH AT LEAST THIS AFTERNOON.
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
INITIAL 13/1500Z 31.0N 95.3W 70 KT…INLAND
12HR VT 14/0000Z 33.2N 95.1W 45 KT…INLAND
24HR VT 14/1200Z 36.7N 92.3W 30 KT…BECOMING EXTRATROPICAL
36HR VT 15/0000Z 40.6N 86.2W 30 KT…EXTRATROPICAL
48HR VT 15/1200Z 44.5N 77.2W 30 KT…EXTRATROPICAL
72HR VT 16/1200Z…ABSORBED BY FRONTAL ZONE
$$ FORECASTER STEWART