Saturday, August 30, 2008

Gustav Grows

Gustav grew larger and stronger overnight, today's early morning NHC discussion report says. It is, for now, a Category 3 storm with maximum winds about 115 mph, as measured by the latest Air Force hurricane hunter airplane.

So large and strong has the storm become that even if it encounters some sheer before landfall, as NHC now expects, "Gustav is expected to be a large and dangerous... major hurricane at landfall."

Forecast models, however, have persuaded the NHC to shift the 3-day predicted storm path (above) a little farther west. This would leave the Pensacola Beach area -- for the moment, anyway -- looking like it just might avoid being a central target. Depending on size of the storm and proximity to its center, however, we still might be on the east side of the storm, where water surges can be more marked.

The computer forecast models runs, seen below, are coming into strong agreement, for now. But things could change at any time, so it's no time to relax just yet.

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