Hurricane Ike – 2008-2

Ike a Category 4 Hurricane

At 4:00pm CDT –

– Hurricane Warning is posted for the Central and Southeast Bahamas,
parts of east Cuba, and Turks and Caicos Islands.

– the center of Category 4 Hurricane Ike was located 90 miles east of
the Grand Turk Island. Movement is towards the west-southwest at
15mph and this general motion is expected to continue tonight with a
gradual turn to the west on Sunday. Maximum sustained winds are near
135mph and fluctuations in intensity are likely, but Ike is expected
to remain a major hurricane. Minimum surface pressure is measured at
949mb.

– Hurricane force winds extend outward to 45 miles and tropical storm
force winds to 140 miles.

– Hanna made landfall this morning, no further updates will be issued
for this system.

– Josephine has disintegrated and updates will only be issued if
regeneration occurs.

Discussion:

Ike continues to impress as it survived northerly shear the past few
days. Now that the shear has decreased, Ike rapidly intensified. The
current track will likely take Ike south of Hanna's wake, reducing the
impacts on the cyclone. However, the track also includes a pass over
Cuba on Monday into Tuesday. This will likely have a very significant
impact on Ike's structure and intensity. However, there is also
potential that the track will be a little farther south and that would
put Ike back over warm water. If the inner core can remain intact,
Ike should intensify once it leaves Cuba on Tuesday. How much is very
tough to determine this far out, but SST's are still warm and there is
little to no shear. NHC has Ike as a Cat 3 on Thursday and this looks
reasonable.

The track remains very problematic but the overall concept remains the
same. Ike is moving west-southwest on the southeast side of a strong
mid/upper level ridge. Ike should start to round the southern side of
said ridge which will allow for more of a westward motion. The track
guidance through Monday is tightly clustered and see no reason to
disagree. This will bring Ike across the eastern side of Cuba late
Sunday. As the forecast stands now Ike is progged to move
west-northwest across Cuba, which keeps it on land an extended amount
of time. Any deviation north or south will take Ike over water,
resulting in changes to the current intensity forecast. As Ike moves
into the Gulf on Tuesday there are conflicting signals as to what will
happen with the ridge. Some models, albeit a few, turn Ike northwest
and north towards Alabama/Florida panhandle. The majority of models,
including the ECWMF keep Ike on a west-northwest to northwest track.
The other problem is that Ike may slow down some in the 4-5 day time
frame, but this is as uncertain as the track.

Long story short, confidence is increasing that a major hurricane will
be in the Gulf by Wednesday 09/10.

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About Putnam Reiter

Putnam has been storm chasing since 1990 and is a co-founder of Hook-Echo.com. For his day job, Putnam works in emergency management for information technology.
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