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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Dangerous Ike heading for Cuba then US Gulf Coast

Hurricane Ike is a very dangerous category 4 storm and is currently passing over the Turks and Caicos Islands and scraping against Haiti. Ike is forecast to cross over Cuba few days.

Aviso de Ciclón Tropical.
Centro de Pronósticos, INSMET.
Fecha: 7 de Septiembre de 2008 Hora: 12:00 M.
(INSMET)

As Ike crosses over Cuba it is likely that significant weakening will occur due to both the mountainous terrain of the island as well as cooler water in the wake of Tropical Storm Hanna. Diminishing wind shear indicates that it is possible that Ike could intensify further before striking Cuba.

The weakening of Ike to a Cat 1 or 2 storm as a result of crossing the island is not likely to mean too much, though because once Ike reaches the warm gulf waters he is expected to intensify back to a Cat 3 or higher before making landfall in the US.


On Monday, the dangerous hurricane will make landfall over the northern coast of Cuba. The mountainous terrain and the loss
of fuel from churning over the warm water will weaken Ike into a Category 2 storm. On Tuesday, the storm will re-emerge over the open water, the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. There it is expected to gain major hurricane strength once again. (AccuWeather).

Once Ike enters the Gulf of Mexico, the path is quite uncertain with predictions for landfall ranging from Corpus Christi, TX to the western panhandle of Florida. This is another repeat of Gustav from the standpoint of a very intense storm approaching the US without a clear path. Many coastal communities will have to prepare for Ike's approach including considerations for evacuation. Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal has already formed a task force to begin preparations in the event evacuation is required. A mandatory evacuation of the Florida keys has already been ordered as the keys are within the cone of uncertainty for the storm track.











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