Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker

A single source reference on tropical weather predictions. With a traditional focus on the upper Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast we've maintained links to track all Atlantic Basin, Caribbean and eastern Pacific storm systems. We are now expanding our view to tropical storms throughout the world intending to be a comprehensive global storm tracking resource.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Hurricane IKE explodes to Cat 4

Hurricane Ike has suddenly grown from a tropical storm to a category 4 hurricane essentially overnight. Early predictions did not expect such a high intensity storm but the lack of wind shear in the area and the warm central Atlantic water temperatures have provided the conditions to allow Ike to grow.

Current tracking indicates that the path Ike will follow is somewhat similar to the path currently being followed by Hanna. Ike will approach the Bahamas and then turn north towards the eastern US. The Bahamas, Florida, Cuba and Hispanola are all at risk for heavy rains and winds beginning Friday morning.

(Fox News) Hurricane Ike was upgraded to an 'extremely dangerous' Category 4 storm by the National Hurricane Center late Wednesday as the system roared west across the central Atlantic.

The latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center, issued at 5 a.m. Thursday, increased Ike's maximum sustained winds to 145 mph, with higher gusts. Hurricane-force winds extended 35 miles from the storm's center of circulation.

The hurricane center's official forecast puts Ike on a path toward the south Florida coast sometime early next week, though the storm's path and strength can change without warning.

Based on these predictions, we can expect Ike to landfall in the US between Florida and North Carolina less than a week after Hanna does the same. Preparations for evacuations and securing property against this double hit need to begin now.

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