Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Ike to Strengthen, Head West

Ike is now a Category 1 Hurricane, but it's expected to restrengthen after it leaves Cuba late today and enters the Gulf of Mexico. All computer projection models (below) currently are calling for a landfall along the far western coast of the Gulf.

You might say the yellow goes for Texas.

The National Hurricane Center discussion says early this morning:
Ike has a large area of tropical storm force winds but the inner core or eye is very small but well defined... .the maximum flight level winds measured so far were only 69 knots..... Once over the Gulf of Mexico in about 24 hours... Ike will have plenty of opportunity to strengthen since the environment is conducive... and the hurricane will likely move over several areas of high heat content. The official forecast makes Ike a category 3 hurricane... .
* * *
The center should cross western cuba later today. Unfortunately... Ike is expected to move very near to where Hurricane Gustav crossed Cuba a week or so ago. ... Ike is expected to turn more to the northwest during the next 2 days or so as the ridge weakens due to the passage of a short wave. Thereafter... the ridge is forecast to restrengthen and should force Ike on a more westward track. In fact... unanimously...guidance shifted southward and once again the official forecast was adjusted to the left ...
As always, NHC reminds us, "one should not focus on 4 and 5 day forecast points since these can be subject to substantial errors."

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