Hurricane Warning Issued
At 10:00am CDT –
– Hurricane Warning issued for Morgan City, Louisiana westward to
Baffin Bay, Texas.
– The center of Category 2 Hurricane Ike was located 470 miles
east-southeast of Galveston, Texas. Movement is towards the
west-northwest at 10mph and this motion is expected to continue for
the next 24 hours. Maximum sustained winds are 100mph and Ike may
become a major hurricane before landfall. Minimum surface pressure is
measured at 945mb.
– Ike is a very large tropical cyclone, do not focus on the pinpoint
track or location. Tropical storm force winds will reach the coast
long before the center.
– Hurricane force winds extend outward to 115 miles from the center
and tropical storm force winds to 275 miles.
– Persons in the warned area should prepare for Ike.
– Landfall is expected is expected near Freeport, Texas around 2-4am Saturday.
– Storm surge of up to 20 feet above normal is possible near and east
of where the center makes landfall.
Ike continues to maintain 100mph winds despite a pressure of 944mb.
This low of pressure would be similar to Cat 3 or 4. However, Ike is
a large cyclone and the inner core is not well defined. As such, it
may be difficult for Ike to strengthen much more. The 12z intensity
guidance has obviously picked up on this and NHC's official forecast
is 105kts. This would still make Ike a major hurricane, but a low end
one at that (mid-end Cat 3). Recent hurricane hunter recon shows a
Cat 2 hurricane. Satellite showed a burst of convection on the east
side, where cloud tops have warmed just a little recently. This
could be related to the inner core attempting to restructure. Water
vapor/IR imagery shows something of interest going on with Ike right
now. There is dry air just west-northwest of the center and an
overall break in cold cloud tops in the northwest quadrant. NHC notes
shear impacting the northwest quadrant, but should not be enough to
significantly impact the structure. Ike remains an odd tropical
cyclone. The intensity could rapidly fluctuate if the wind field can
There is no change to the track forecast or philosophy from the past
few days. Ike is now heading west-northwest on the southern side of a
strong mid/upper level ridge. A shortwave trof remains forecast to
move into the central U.S. on Friday. This should weaken the ridge
near Ike and allow it to turn north. The turn will be rather
dramatic, as noted by the NHC official track. Where this happens is
anyone's guess. And, to make things a little worse, the turning point
is paramount to the landfall location. The 12z guidance envelope is
spread out between Corpus Christi and Galveston. There are reliable
models clustered near Freeport and this remains NHC's official track.
This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.