Ike Heading for Cuba
At 4:00pm CDT –
– Hurricane warning continues for much of the Cuban Coastline.
– The eye of Category 3 Hurricane Ike was 75 miles north-northeast of
Guantanamo, Cuba. Movement is towards the west at 14mph and a
west-northwest motion is expected on Monday. Maximum sustained winds
are near 120mph and some fluctuations in intensity are likely prior to
landfall at Cuba. Ike will weaken after landfall on Monday. Minimum
surface pressure is measured at 945mb.
– Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the center
and tropical storm force winds to 145 miles.
– Interests in the Gulf of Mexico should closely monitor the progress of Ike.
No changes to prior forecast or reasoning. This issuance is to update
the location of Ike and intensity. Ike is expected to move onshore at
Cuba on Monday. The current forecast track takes Ike length wise
along Cuba, resulting in a prolonged period over land. If this
happens, Ike will weaken to a Cat 1 hurricane and maybe lower.
However, if Ike deviates north/south over the water the intensity
forecast will change.
12z ECMWF takes Ike into Brownsville next Saturday. However, this
model has been flipping between the southern Texas coast and eastern
Texas coast the past few days. What I think is important is that the
model consistently takes Ike west with impact in either Texas or
Louisiana. As such, confidence is high that a tropical storm or
hurricane will be in the central Gulf on Thursday. Whether or not Ike
can restrengthen to its prior strength is a tough call and won't be
known until Ike completes passage over Cuba. If the structure can
survive, then rapid restrengthening would certainly be possible given
warm waters and low shear.
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