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.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Gustav Radar (Courtesy: Weather Underground)

Combined Windspeed, Gust and Pressure data

From National Data Buoy Center

Station 42040 - MOBILE SOUTH 64 nm South of Dauphin Island, AL

Station PSTL1 - 8760922 - Pilot's Station East, SW Pass, LA

Aftermath of Gustav in Cuba

Gustav destroys homes, sparks flooding in Cuba
By WILL WEISSERT Associated Press Writer

HAVANA (AP) -- Hurricane Gustav smashed tens of thousands of homes, toppled trees and telephone poles and washed out roads in Cuba, but no deaths were reported Sunday as the massive storm roared away from the island.

Gustav made a direct hit on the Isla de la Juventud south of the Cuban mainland as a powerful Category 4 hurricane on Saturday with screaming 140 mph (220 kph) winds. It then passed across the country's western tip before heading
into the Gulf of Mexico on a collision course with the southern United States.

The storm damaged or destroyed 86,000 homes and downed 80 electricity towers across the island, said Col. Miguel Angel Puig, head of operations for Cuban civil defense.

Speaking on a government news round-table program, Puig said 19 people were injured, though none gravely. Most of the 250,000 residents who were evacuated to shelters were back home by Sunday evening.

Even with all of the damage, no deaths were reported. Gustav hit western Cuba as a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds as high as 150 mph. Five miles per hour faster winds would have upgraded Gustav to a Category 5 hurricane. As teh storm crossed the island, the intensity dropped to a Category 3 with 125 mph winds. As the day progressed, winds dropped even further to the current 115 mph even though he passed over some very warm waters.

Incluso con todo el daño, no se divulgó ningunas muertes. Gustavo golpeó Cuba occidental como huracán de la categoría 4 con los vientos continuos de hasta 150 mph. Cinco kilómetros por hora de vientos más rápidos habrían aumentado a Gustavo a un huracán de la categoría 5. Pues la tormenta cruzó la isla, la intensidad cayó a una categoría 3 con 125 vientos del mph. Mientras que progresó el día, los vientos cayeron incluso más lejos a la corriente 115 mph aunque él pasó sobre algunas aguas muy calientes.

Target: New Orleans

The outer rain bands of Hurricane Gustav have started to come ashore in far west Florida, coastal Alabama and southeast Louisiana. All forecast predictions are showing that Gustav will come ashore just west of New Orleans. As a result, the city will recieve the highest winds and strongest storm surge of the storm.

Gustav is currently a Category 3 hurricane with 115 mph winds. The Weather Channel has reported that the central pressure has dropped approximately 20 mbar indicating that some intensification may be occurring but in general Gustav is not expected to strengthen too much. Compared to the beating that Cuba and the Grand Caymans took from the high Cat 4 intensity of Gustav, New Orleans will apparently receive an order of magnitude lower intensity.

We have to keep in mind that Gustav will hit New Orleans with the strongest winds from the northeast quadrant of the storm. As a comparison, when Katrina hit, the city only saw the weaker western side of the storm with high winds of around 75 mph. The problem there was the slamming of the levees from the "back" side. This time will truely be a worst case scenario with a direct hit of the strongest winds.

Landfall is now expected around 1 pm local time (2 pm EDT) with increasing severity throughout the night until the eye crosses the area. As the day goes on, then Gustav is expected to slow down and sweep to the west. It will then become a major inland flooding threat.

Fortunately, the evacuation is essentially complete. 90 - 95% of the people who live in the parishes of southest Louisiana have evacuated including 95% of the city of New Orleans. In additiona to the evacuation, the city and the surrounding parishes are enforcing a curfew as well and anyone remaining in the area will be approached with suspicion by the police. In addition to southeast LA evacuating, southwest LA also evacuated. It is the first time in history that the entire Louisiana coast evacuated simultaneously.

For everyone interested in following Gustav's landing locally, WDSU is now broadcasting nationwide on Direct TV Channel 361 and is available via streaming video on their website.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mandatory Evacuation Information for Orange County, TX

A mandatory evacuation has been ordered for Orange County, TX beginning 6AM Sunday August 31.

Hurricane Gustav Hits Cuban National Territory (ACN)

Link is from the Cuban News Agency.

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 30 (acn) Hurricane Gustav hit the Isle of Youth Special Municipality, south of Havana, today in the afternoon and is now heading for the western province of Pinar del Rio at 22 km per hour and with 220-kilometer sustained winds.

Hurricane Gustav Made Devastating Landfall on Isle of Youth (ACN)

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 30 (acn) The passage of Hurricane Gustav was devastating, said a witness in the Isle of Youth, the first Cuban territory to be hit by the category 4 phenomena on Saturday.

Raul Castro said the People will Win the Battle against Gustav (ACN)

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 30 (acn) Cuban President Fidel Castro expressed his confidence that citizens in western Pinar del Rio province, where Hurrican Gustave will soon make landfall, are experienced enough to face the natural phenomena and to
win this battle against nature.

The Weather Channel Reports that Hurricane Gustav has intensified further and now has sustained winds of 150 mph
El acoplamiento es de la agencia de prensa cubana.

LA HABANA, Cuba, huracán Gustavo del 30 de agosto (acn) golpeó la isla del municipio especial de la juventud, sur de La Habana, hoy por la tarde y ahora está dirigiendo hacia la provincia occidental del Pinar del Rio en 22 kilómetros por hora y con los vientos continuos 220 kilómetros.

El huracán Gustavo hizo avistamiento de tierra devastador en la isla de la juventud (ACN)

LA HABANA, Cuba, 30 de agosto (acn) el paso del huracán Gustavo era devastadora, dijo un testigo en la isla de la juventud, el primer territorio cubano que se
golpeará por los fenómenos de la categoría 4 el sábado.
Raúl Castro dijo que la gente ganará la batalla contra Gustavo (ACN)
LA HABANA, Cuba, presidente cubano Fidel Castro del 30 de agosto (acn) expresó
su confianza que los ciudadanos en la provincia occidental del Pinar del Rio, donde Hurrican Gustavo pronto hará avistamiento de tierra, son bastante experimentados hacer frente a los fenómenos naturales y a gane esta batalla contra la naturaleza.

El canal de tiempo divulga que el huracán Gustavo se ha intensificado más lejos y ahora ha sostenido los vientos de 150 mph

Aviso de Ciclón Tropical. Hurrican Gustav

Hurricane Gustav has increased suddenly to a Category 4 with sustained winds of 145 MPH and gusts up to 167 mph. This is an extremely dangerous storm that is in the process of making landfall on western Cuba this evening. Fox News reported this afternoon that windspeds of 140 mph was recorded on the Isle of Youth just prior to the weather station being disabled. NOAA officials are expecting Gustav to increase to Category 5 status after crossing Cuba.

The link is to the Advisory from The Cuban National Weather Institute (in spanish).

Translation of this below provided courtesy of Yahoo! Babel Fish


El huracán Gustavo ha aumentado repentinamente a una categoría 4 con los vientos continuos de 145 MPH y las ráfagas hasta 167 mph. Ésta es una tormenta extremadamente peligrosa que está pasando sobre la isla de la juventud y será Cuba occidental llamativa esta tarde. Fox News divulgó esta tarde que los windspeds de 140 mph fueron registrados en la isla de la juventud apenas antes de la estación meteorológica que era lisiada. Los funcionarios de NOAA están esperando que Gustavo aumentara al estado de la categoría 5 después de cruzar Cuba.

El acoplamiento está al Advisory del instituto nacional cubano del tiempo (en español).

Traducción de esto debajo de la cortesía proporcionada de Yahoo! Babelfish

Southeast Texas Evacuation Routes

PDF file showing emergency routes out of the Golden Triangle (Beaumont, Port Arthur and Orange, TX) along with expected flood zones associated with storm surge from each storm category.

City of Beaumont Hurricane Information

Evacuation Tips for Jefferson County, TX

Hurricane Gustav rapidly intensifies, New Orleans begins evacuations

Hurricane Gustav insensified quickly from a Category 1 to a Category 3 last night becoming a very dangerous storm. Current predictions are expecting that Gustav will reach a Category 4 somewhere in the center of the Gulf of Mexico and the drop back to a Cat 3 before landfall. The path of Gustav brings the storm through the warmest water in the region so intensification is a near certainty.

In anticipation of the oncoming storm, New Orleans has begun voluntary evacuations. The city has also begun evacuating those in need of assistance and those without transportation. As opposed to the issues with Katrina, this time there will be no shelters of last resort. The Superdome will be locked and the police will arrest anyone found outside after the evacuation is complete.

This time there will be no shelter of last resort – the doors to the Superdome will be locked. Those who ignore orders to leave the city of more than 300,000 accept "all responsibility for themselves and their loved ones," an official has warned. A curfew is planned that calls for the arrest of anyone still on the streets after a mandatory evacuation order goes out.

FEMA Deputy Administrator Harvey Johnson said Friday that he anticipates that a "huge number" of Gulf Coast residents will be told to leave the area this weekend. Those most in need of help – the elderly, the sick, and those without transportation – are to be moved first. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said buses and trains will begin to evacuate those people beginning early this morning. Those on buses will go to shelters farther north. Those on trains will go to Memphis, Tenn. Neighboring states already were offering to house evacuees.

Counterflow lanes out of the city will likely be opened on Sunday.

The computer models have all converged with a landfall on the central Louisiana coast. This puts the rough northeast quadrant right over the city with the storm reaching land sometime between early Tuesday morning and Wednesday night. Evacuation at this time is the only smart option. Other areas along the Louisiana Gulf Coast and southeast Texas have also begun evacuating.

Special-needs buses roll out at noon today; other evacuations on volunteer basis (Beaumont Enterprise)

All of the storm models show that Gustav will curve west after coming ashore so eastern Texas will be affected greatly by this storm.

Friday, August 29, 2008

New Orleans Evacuation Plan

Houston evacuation plan

Galveston and Houston need to prepare for Gustav

Both Louisiana and Texas have declared states of emergency. Louisiana has activated 3,000 National Guard troops and placed an additional 2,000 on stand-by. Texas has 5,000 troops on stand-by. Current news reports discuss the preparations by New Orleans, the plans to evacuate New Orleans and whether the levees are repaired to the point of being able to handle another category 3 storm.

Houston and Galveston must also prepare and be ready to evacuate, probably by the beginning of next week. A look at the 5-Day storm track from the National Hurricane Center shows a jog to the west in the cone of uncertainty as Gustav approaches landfall on the northern Gulf Coast.

This western jog is due to the potential that a high pressure system may develop and move south within the continental US. Currently weather reports from The Weather Channel, CNN and Fox News are all discussing the possibility that if this high pressure is in the right place as Gustav approaches, it will act to slow down the forward speed of the hurricane thereby delaying the storm's arrival.

Additionally, as the storm slows, if the shearing winds aloft remain calm or reasonably low, then the ability for Gustav to intensify increases. This creates a scenario that could allow Gustav to grow to a Cat 4 or even 5 level storm before coming ashore.

Another issue that has been implied but not explicitly stated is that if the high pressure system does present itself as a blocking force to prevent or slow Gustav from coming ashore in Louisiana, the steering winds will be set up to drive Gustav to the west. High pressure systems have a clockwise wind current around them in the northern hemisphere. This circulation will steer Gustav further west and could drive this storm right into the Texas coast at or west of Galveston.

The assessment in italics is my personal assessment of the conditions I am seeing now. I do not have access to the sophisticated computer analysis that the experts have nor the level of education. The potential for a turn to the west is obvious to me and Texas better be prepared. Houston and Galveston need to be prepared to evacuate within the next few days. The plans have been laid to prevent another Rita gridlock, now is the time to put them into action.

Looking at the computer models, landfall is evenly split between New Orleans, LA and Freeport/Galveston, TX.
As Governor Jindal of Louisiana said the other day, "we need to pray for the best and prepare for the worst."

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Gustav death toll rises to 59

Tropical Storm Gustav took a sharp left turn in the Caribbean and struck Jamaica with fury. Roofs were torn off and entire villages flooded from 50 - 60 MPH winds and heavy rains. The death toll in Haiti rose to 51 from heavy flooding and mudslides.

Tropical Storm Gustav nears hurricane strength
Meanwhile, Hanna becomes the eighth named storm of the season
(Wall Street Journal)

Forecasters warned of potential flash floods and mudslides with Gustav expected
to produce 6 to 12 inches of rain across Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.

Gustav claims 59 lives in Haiti and Dominican Republic (CBC News)

On Thursday afternoon, Gustav was 65 kilometres off Jamaica but already lashing the island with tropical storm-force winds. U.S. forecasters said it could grow to a hurricane before hitting the low-lying capital of Kingston on Thursday night.

Forecasters said parts of Jamaica could get 635 millimetres of rain, which could trigger landslides and cause serious crop damage. Authorities told fisherman to stay ashore, and hotel workers secured beach umbrellas in the resort city of Montego Bay.
Jamaican authorities ordered residents to evacuate low-lying areas including Portmore, a crowded and flood-prone area outside Kingston, and move into shelters. Kingston's main airport was closed and buses stopped running even as people streamed into supermarkets for emergency supplies.

The storm is expected to pick up more strength from the warm waters south of Cuba and hug Jamaica's southern shore before making an almost direct hit on the Cayman Islands by late Friday, likely as a strong Category 1 hurricane.

Tropical Storm Hanna and other Atlantic developments

Tropical Storm Hanna has developed in the Atlantic Basin and is currently a weak tropical storm with 40 MPH winds. The current predictions are very well converged for the next few days and then all bets are off. Sometime early next week Hanna has the potential to get caught up by the jet stream and be cast off into the North Atlantic away from land.

If the storm does not reach the jet stream at the right time, then landfall along the southeastern US or in the Bahamas is possible. Earlier this evening this seemed to be an even chance but the models have already been updated indicating less of a chance of this scenario playing out. This means that the Bahamas and the SE US may see activity from Hanna by the middle of next week.

Additionally, wind shear in the Atlantic is quite low which will allow Hanna to develop into a hurricane.

Overall at the moment, there are six areas of activity that are being watched in the eastern US, Atlantic and Gulf Basins. One of these is the remnants of Fay which is now raining out over the northeast. Fay has provided strong storms and flooding over most of the Appalachian Mountains. Two other areas of concern are, of course Gustav and Hanna.

Additionally an area of disturbed weather in the Bay of Campeche has a moderate chance of organizing into a tropical depression or tropical storm. Wind shear is low and water temperatures are high, but the proximity to land will prevent the storm from coming together. If this storm stays off the coast for enough time, we could have a 3rd named storm this weekend.

Another tropical wave has formed off of the African coast and could organize but it is far enough out that it will not affect our interests for at least a couple of weeks. And another area of disturbed weatehr in the central Atlantic could develop although the liklihood of that right now is fairly low.

Looks like 2008 has decided to be quite an active season.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

NOLA Times Picayune shares readers' tips for emergency food supplies

The New Orleans Times-Picayune published these emergency food tips from its readers for preparation for an oncoming storm. I am reprinting these with full reference to NOLA and ask their support.

These emergency food tips came from the real experts: Our readers
by The Times-Picayune
Wednesday August 27, 2008, 5:08 PM

Most of these food ideas for dining and preparing in an emergency came from the storm-hardened readers of the Times-Picayune.

*Salty snacks will just make you want more water. Avoid them. Look for low-salt crackers, broth, soups, etc., for your emergency food supplies.

*Do not waste money buying any food you know your family will not eat.

*Plan for your water. Most emergency planners advise storing enough food and water to last for two weeks. The Red Cross and FEMA advise that every household to have a three-day supply of one gallon of water per person per day, plus more for any instant foods that require water for preparation (such as instant oatmeal, dry milk, bouillon cubes).

*Don't just fill up your bathtub. Fill up clean liter-size soda bottles and any other containers.

*Have some long-lasting fruit and vegetables on hand to eat raw: apples, oranges, lemons, limes, tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, uncut melons. All will last several days without refrigeration, as will potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes, which you can cook on a grill.

*Fill empty space in the freezer with water bottles or water in plastic freezer bags. A full freezer will stay cold longer if the power goes out.

*If your freezer is not full, shove all the food in it close together, which helps the food stay cold if the power goes out. *Store ice pops or ice cream (in their original packaging) inside plastic bags closed with twist-ties. If the power goes out and the freezer temperature goes up, you will avoid a terrible mess.

*An emergency cooking kit (for home or on the road) should include a cast-iron skillet for cooking over a camp stove or on a grill; a pot for boiling water; waterproof matches; heavy-duty foil; scissors or knife to cut open packages; paper plates and plastic cutlery; gallon-size plastic zip-top bags; and a jar with a screw-top lid, to blend foods by shaking.

*Foil pans are useful for baking and cooking on a grill. Foil is the improvisational cook's duct tape.
*When shopping, select can or jar sizes that will make one meal with no leftovers, because the contents of opened cans will spoil quickly without refrigeration.

*The most healthful canned foods for an emergency: beans, canned seafood, instant oatmeal, peanut butter and nut butters, powdered and boxed milk.

*The most versatile canned vegetables: tomatoes, potatoes, corn, green beans, artichoke hearts, garbanzo beans, red bell peppers, asparagus.

*Menu-brighteners: Cryovac-packed fish and meat, which is more expensive than canned, but great quality; canned coconut milk, shredded coconut; Boboli, pizza sauce in a squeeze bottle, summer sausage, dry salami, parmesan cheese; instant rice; bulghur wheat to make tabouli, which does not require cooking.

*Also: low-salt broth; canned, chunk high-quality ham; Dijon and Creole mustard; real bacon bits to flavor bland dishes; instant pudding; dried fruit of all kinds; unsalted nuts; individual tea bags that don't require hot water; small jar of instant coffee plus creamer packets; and small packets of condiments.

*If you have a home vegetable garden, pick vegetables before the bad weather comes. Do not pick or eat any produce touched by floodwater.

*Home-grown herbs will really perk up canned food. Pick leafy herbs before the storms and store them with stems in jars of water at room temperature.

*A good, easy-to-use manual can opener is an essential tool.

*If the power goes out for only a few days, the following will not spoil in the refrigerator: Catsup, mustards, jams, jellies, peanut butter, oils, butter and margarine (really); unopened salad dressing or other condiments, hard cheeses, barbecue, soy and Worcestershire sauces.

*High-salt canned goods can be rinsed to remove some of the sodium (if you have enough water).

*In an emergency, you can heat or cook food on: an outdoor grill (have extra fuel) or have on hand a small, inexpensive portable grill plus charcoal; a camping cookstove plus fuel; or in a candle- or Sterno-fired fondue pot, chafing dish or candle warmer. Food can also be heated in a working indoor fireplace. Be sure to open the flue.

*NEVER use a charcoal or gas grill indoors. This mistake has claimed many lives.

Tropical Storm Gustav growing and deadly

Hurricane Gustav caused over 22 deaths as it slammed into Haiti and the Dominican Republic as a category 1 hurricane Tuesday. Interaction with the mountains of Hispanolia reduced Gustav to a tropical storm with winds of 60 MPH but the flooding and mudslides have already created havoc.

As Gustav crosses the warm waters of the western Caribbean and then enters the Gulf, he will strengthen back to a hurricane and intensify to a major category 3 storm or higher.

Gustav is going to strengthen into a major hurricane, and it will reach the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday. Before it reaches the Gulf, it is going to cause some pretty harsh weather through the Caribbean. During the next 72 hours, the center of the storm will be tracking close to Cuba, Jamaica, the Caymans and the northern
Yucatan. All these places will experience high winds and heavy rain though none
of them may be hit directly.

A stronger storm is a certainty. Wind shear, which commonly weakens tropical systems, is non-existent where the storm is gathering forces. In other words, there are no mid-latitude winds that would directly oppose the storm's circulation. Furthermore, Gustav will be tracking over the warm Caribbean which is a storehouse of energy. In the end, it is the heat extracted from the ocean that drives the powerful winds of a storm like this.

After Sunday, the track of the storm becomes increasingly uncertain, and landfall early next week could be anywhere between Brownsville, Texas, and Mobile, Ala.

Story by Expert Senior Meteorologist John Kocet.

The predicted storm path is taking Gustav directly into the same area that was so heavily affected by Katrina and Rita. The track puts the highest probability of landfall between Houston and New Orleans. Gustav's current forward speed is only 7 MPH. A slow moving storm has more of a chance to strengthen by increasing the time that the storm stays in the warm waters compared to a faster moving storm.

In anticipation of Gustav's landing, Louisiana has already delcared a state of emergency activating 3,000 NAtional Guard Troops. Evacuation plans are already being made in the event that evacuations are necessary early next week.

Gov. Bobby Jindal declares pre-storm state of emergency (NOLA Times Picayune)

New Orleans officials began planning a possible mandatory evacuation (KHOU)

Galveston officials keeping eye on Gustav (KHOU)

Still haunted by Katrina, New Orleans not taking chances
Days away from the 2005 hurricane's anniversary, city may evacuate ahead of Gustav
(Houston Chronicle)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Tropical Disturbance in the Caribbean

UPDATE: Tropical Depression 7 has formed in the central Caribbean. The developing system will closely follow the track of Tropical Storm Fay, which continues to pound the Deep South despite being downgraded to a tropical rainstorm. (AccuWeather)

Tropical depression Fay has finally broken up and is spreading her moisture far and wide across the southland. We have had heavy clouds and frequent rain here in north Georgia but so far the heaviest rain has been south and west of Atlanta. Rain chances are expected to increase through the week so we should see a good deal of much needed rain. Practically all of the northern counties of Georgia from Alabama to North and South Carolina are under a flash flood watch.

In the Caribbean, a tropical disturbance is poised on the edge of very warm water and is expected to organize into a tropical depression sometime today. The computer models from Weather Underground show that at this time, this disturbance could go anywhere from Central America to the North Atlantic. The National Hurricane Center has estimated a greater than 50% chance of these storms organizing into a tropical cyclone.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Tropical Storm Julio - the west coast version of Fay?

Tropical Storm Julio has formed on the Mexican west coast and is heading essentially due north across the length of Baja California. The AccuWeatehr graphic looks a lot like what we saw with Fay this past week and a half. As Julio moves north, a high pressure system will block the storm from moving too quickly or too far north. Teh result will be heavy rain and potentially dangerous flooding over the next few days.

Activity in the Pacific has been rather high. We haven't said too much about if because all of the storms in the eastern Pacific so far have formed and then headed to the west with no threat to land. A continuous parade of storms have essentially followed the same path until now. Julio will affect many people as he moves up the Mexican coast.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Fay makes 4th landfall; Keeps on going

Tropical Storm Fay continues to maintain strength and meander across Florida. Yesterday afternoon Fay entered te Gulf of Mexico and pulled up a little more energy from the warm Gulf waters increasing her sustained windspeed from 45 to 50 mph. This morning she came ashore once again for a record 4th landfall in Florida at such high intensity.

STEINHATCHEE, Fla. — Tropical Storm Fay's path Saturday crossing the Florida Panhandle vaulted the stubborn weather system into the record books.

The tropical storm crossed over the central Florida Panhandle at 5 a.m., the first in recorded history to hit the state with such intensity four different times.

The center of the storm was reported to be over the Florida panhandle about 15 miles north-northeast of Apalachicola, Fla., according to the National Weather Service's National Hurricane Center.

Fay was expected to be near or over the western Florida Panhandle's coast Saturday and near or over the coast of Mississippi and Alabama on Sunday, the center said

Fay is expected to hug the northern gulf coast along the Florida pan handle toward Mobile Bay throughout the weekend. There is a slight possibility that she may re-emerge into the Gulf and the come ashore one more time in southern Alabama. Technically this would be a 5th landfall but as close as Fay is to the coast, there is no potential for her to gain any strength or to generate any storm surge.

Somewhere around the beginning to middle of the week, Fay should reach western Mississippi or eastern Louisiana and then turn north and east to head towards northern Georgia, northern Alabama and Tennessee. Once again there is hope that we may get a good dose of rain to put a dent in the drought and fill up the lakes.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fay strikes a third time and finally starts moving

After spending a Day just off the eastern Florida coast, Tropical Storm Fay finally decided to come ashore landfalling for the third time just south of Jacksonville, Fl. Fay has been sitting on the Atlantic coast for a few days just dumping water on most of the state for the past five.

What I find rather amazing with Fay is that she does not seem to be weakening at all. When Fay first hit the Florida Keys, she had 60 MPH winds. Those winds stayed just as strong as she came ashore in southern Florida despite predictions that she might intensify to a small grade hurricane. Then as she slowly meandered across the state, the windspeed stayed at 60 mph. Storms are supposed to lose their strength while over land by Fay had other ideas.

Now Fay is heading across northern Florida towards the Alabama coast. The projected storm track ranges from southern Alabama to just into the Gulf of Mexico. I am predicting that Fay will not weaken much and will remain a tropical storm for the next 24 hours as she approaches the coast.

The high pressure system that is holding Fay to the south seems to be moving slowly towards the east (at least according to the graphic from AccuWeather). If this is true then the potential for increased rain and winds to drift north is a real possibility. Some remnants of Fay are expected to reach the Atlanta area this weekend.

The computer models have so much uncertainty that there is still no convergence on a single path. Four of the models even show Fay taking a sharp right turn and moving into northern Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.

The only sure thing is that Fay will be with us for a long time.

Typhoon Nuri strikes China at Hong Kong

Typhoon Nuri came ashore this morning (US time) at a much lower intensity than originally expected. A couple of days ago Nuri reached a Cat 3 status when it crossed the northern Phillipines and was projected to increase to a level 4 storm before coming ashore in china. depending on which source you read, the storm was projected to hit Taiwan, Hong Kong or somewhere in between.

When Nuri actually came ashore, the storm made landfall first in Hong Kong and then onthe mainland as a triopical Storm. Nuri is expected to decrease in intensity to a tropical depression by the weekend and then dissipate.

As we are seeign with Fay in the US, jsut because Nuri is no "just" a tropical storm does not mean that there are no worries. A heavy rain maker that is slow moving can create a much flooding. Tropical storms can cause much loss of life due to inland flooding. The southeast region of China has been hit with a lot of heavy rain this year between a few typhoons and the monsoon rains earlier int he summer. A heavy rainmaker could cause a lot of flooding so the people there need to be on the watch a head to high ground as necessary.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Typhoon Nuri batters Phillipines; threatens China

Typhoon Nuri dumps heavy rains in Philippines

MANILA, Philippines: A powerful typhoon packing winds of 87 mph battered the Northern Philippines with heavy rains Wednesday, closing schools and putting authorities on alert for flash floods and landslides.

The eye of Typhoon Nuri, with gusts of up to 106 mph, skirted the northeastern tip of the archipelago in Cagayan province, but its outer bands engulfed most of the mountainous northern provinces where schools were closed and storm alerts raised.

The head of the Philippine weather bureau, Nathaniel Cruz, said Nuri was a powerful system and would likely gain strength as it slowly moves northwest at 13 mph across Babuyan and Calayan islands in the Luzon Strait toward Hong Kong and Guangdong in eastern China.

He said the typhoon was enhancing monsoon rains and that strong winds would continue until Thursday morning.

Nuri is currently a Category 2 Typhoon and is expected to strengthen as it approaches the southeast Chinese coast.

The eye of Nuri, the twelfth tropical storm of this year, was monitored 620 kilometers southeast offshore from Taiwan's Hengchuncity at 5 p.m. Tuesday,
according to the Central Meteorological Station.

It was moving towards the country's southeastern coastal areas with a speed of 20 kilometers per hour, said the station.

The MOA called on local government departments to prepare for disaster-relief services, strengthen dykes and mobilize farmers to harvest mature crops against

Nuri is expected to be a major Category 3 or possibly a Cat 4 storm by the time it reaches the Chinese coast.

Both the northern Philippines and southeastern China have been hit with quite a few strong typhoons this season with 500 - 700 people being killed a few months ago in the Philippines when Typhoon Fengshen (Frank) struck in late June capsizing a ferry and causing severe flooding.

Path and Intensity of Fay uncertain

Fay May Become A Hurricane
Tom Moore, & Tim Ballisty Meteorologists,

The Weather Channel
6:58 p.m. ET 8/19/2008

After making its first U.S. landfall Monday afternoon over Key West, Florida; Tropical Storm Fay made its second landfall near Cape Romano, Florida on Tuesday morning at about 4:45am ET.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for the central Atlantic coast of Florida. Meanwhile, in preparation for a stalled out tropical system off the northeast Florida coast, a hurricane watch has been posted from Flagler Beach, Florida northward to Altamaha Sound, Georgia.

As of 7 pm EDT, Tropical Storm Fay is located about 45 miles south-southwest of Melbourne, Florida. Fay is moving to the north-northeast at just 7 mph. This northward motion is expected to continue through the night as Fay sluggishly crosses the Florida Peninsula. View Fay's projected path.

Currently, even though over land, Fay is holding up quite well with a well-defined depiction on radar. The tropical storm reached its peak intensity and overall best organization over land during the early afternoon hours of Tuesday. With the overall good appearance on satellite and radar, surface observations, and along with Fay's central pressure falling to 986 millibars, the surface winds remain at 65 mph.

At this time, Fay is battering the east-central state of Florida. This portion of the state will continue to experience squally weather with very heavy, flooding tropical downpours accompanied with some minor-to-moderate wind damage. Watch the latest tropical update.

Fay is currently nearly stationary just south of Palm Bay and Orlando with winds still in the 50 - 60 mph range. When she enters the Atlantic, the likelihood of Fay becoming a hurricane is fairly high.
The short of it is that right now there is no telling what Tropical Storm Fay will do over the next 48 hours. Looking at the computer models above, it is possible that Fay could cross into the Atlantic, grow to a Cat 1 hurricane - cross Florida again and reemerge into the Gulf where it could strike the Florida panhandle or drift further west threatening Alabama or Louisiana. Likewise, Fay could come ashore around Savannah and the head toward north Georgia and South Carolina where we really need some heavy steady rain. Right now the models are far too diverse to tell what she will do.

Fay makes landfall

UPDATE: Fay Over the Florida Peninsula

AccuWeather is predicting that Fay will re-emerge over the Atlantic and has the potential to strengthen slightly before coming back on shore and threatening the Georgia-South Carolina coast. The National Hurricane Center shows the projected storm path to stay south along the Florida Alabama state line. Basically somewhere along the southland there will be storms associated with Fay.
An interesting bit is the fact that Fay has been over land for a few hours now and still has not lost any strength. High winds may still be an issue for areas throughout Florida and in south Georgia so it is best to keep all loose objects indoors or tied down.


Tropical storm Fay crossed over Key West yesterday afternoon and then made a second landfall just south of Naples, FL early this morning.

From the Naples Daily News:

The National Weather Service reports that the eye of Fay has come ashore at Cape Romano, just south of Marco Island. Cape Romano also is the spot where Hurricane Wilma came ashore in Collier County in October 2005.

During the overnight hours, power outages have been reported on Marco Island, Isles of Capri and some parts of East Naples with some street flooding also being reported. Marco officials are requesting that residents stay off the roads until power has been restored and flooding recedes. There were also reports of isolated tornado sightings in the county.

Current storm track predictions call for Fay to essentially stall as it crosses over the Florida peninsula and the turn more westerly. The strong high over the mid-Atlantic states may impede any northward progress of Fay. Fay's winds are not going to be an issue with this storm, but flooding could be if the storm's motion slows. Predictions are still calling for Fay to end up over the North Georgia and South Carolina area and may help relieve some of the drought issues we have been facing over the past two years.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

State of Emergency Issued in Florida

From Florida State Emergency Response Team:

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for all of the Florida Keys from Ocean Reef to the Dry Tortugas. This includes all adjacent coastal waters including Florida Bay. A Tropical Storm watch is also in effect for the Southeast Coast of Florida From Ocean Reef northward to Jupiter Inlet and for Lake Okeechobee.

A hurricane watch is issued by the National Hurricane Center when a hurricane is about 36 hours away from landfall. A hurricane warning is issued when the storm is 24 hours, or less away from land and when winds are expected to reach 74 mph or greater.

Residents in these areas should closely monitor this storm and tune in to local media outlets for the most current information and guidance from local officials. All Floridians should review their emergency plans and be prepared to take action if required by local officials.

Fay has sustained winds of 50 MPH and is moving to the northwest at 13 MPH. A low pressure system in the Gulf and over the US southeast coupled with a high in the Atlantic will combing to steer Fay directly through the center of Florida and then over eastern Georgia. The predicted storm track has shifted further to the east bringing Fay over the central and eastern half of Georgia and into South Carolina. If the winds stay low, Fay will be a blessing by bringing much needed rain to drought stricken areas of the southeast.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tropical Storm Fay tracks toward Florida west coast

Tropical Storm Fay has formed in the Caribbean despite the friction from the mountains of Hispanola. Current track predictions have all converged on Fay coming up the west coast of Florida and coming ashore near the Georgia-Alabama state line.

Steering currents include a high pressure system off the east coast that will pull Fay northward as she approaches the US. Very warm water in the Gulf of Mexico will greatly increase the liklihood of further development and the chance of Fay becoming a hurricane.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Tropical disturbance growing - likely to become Fay

A tropical low pressure system that has steadily tracked across the Atlantic continues to intensify. Hurricane hunter aircraft has not been able to locate a closed center of circulation at lower altitudes so the system has not yet been classified as a tropical depression. Even so, winds of 35 - 39 MPH and heavy downpours are battering Puerto Rico and Hispaniola this morning.

The storm system is moving to the west northwest at approximately 15 MPH or so. Three factors will have a great influence on just how strong this system gets and how much it develops. On the "positive" side (for the storm - not for us), is that the system is entering into some very warm water in the Caribbean Sea. Sea surface temperatures in the upper 80's will drive intensification. Additionally, the wind shear in this area is very low so there will be no forces from the wind tearing apart the storm as it is trying to increase in strength. Countering this development is the presence of the islands it is currently passing over. The land masses, especially the mountain regions on these islands will prevent significant strengthening for the next 24 hours or so.

Over the weekend, though, this system will be entering the warm Caribbean waters and could become Tropical Storm Fay. It is even possible (I won't say likely yet) that Fay could become a hurricane by next week.

Current storm track predictions show good agreement until the storm gets to Florida. It appears that the more likely path will be for the system to curve to the north and come ashore somewhere along the southeastern coast.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Tropical Storm Kammuri batters Hong Kong - no apparent threat to Olympics

A tropical cyclone has developed in the western Pacific over the past couple of days. Now at tropical storm strength with 80 km/hr (50 mph) winds, TS Kammuri is crossing over Hong Kong and has disrupted air and ferry services between Hong Kong, Taiwan and the China mainland. Earlier reports when Kammuri was forming, discussed the potential for this storm to disrupt the Olympic opening ceremonies, but the storm track shows that this storm will stay well south of any of the festivities.

The following are from GDACS (Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System - link in sidebar)

Storm batters Hong Kong news24 2008-08-06 13:00 Flights have been suspended and businesses closed in Hong Kong as tropical storm Kammuri battered the territory.
Cebu Pacific cancels Manila-HK-Manila flights abs-cbnnews 2008-08-06 11:52 Cebu Pacific announced earlier today that its operations at NAIA Terminal 3 have already normalized. However, due to Typhoon Kammuri (known as Typhoon Igme in the Philippines ), which is currently over Hong Kong , flights 5J 118 and 5J 119 (Manila-Hong Kong-Manila) will be cancelled.
Typhoon batters Team GB Olympic camp eadt 2008-08-06 11:16 THE team GB Olympic training camp in Macau has been hit by a typhoon. Heavy rain and strong winds battered the region as tropical storm Kammuri lashed the area, prompting a category eight typhoon warning which meant that all offices and shops closed and public transport was suspended.
South China prepares for evacuations as storm approaches straitstimesSG 2008-08-06 09:48 BEIJING - MILLIONS living along China's southern coast braced themselves Wednesday for an approaching tropical storm, as officials ordered the evacuation of vulnerable areas. Severe Tropical Storm Kammuri was heading north across the South China Sea and expected to make landfall in south China's....
Tropical storm forces closures in Hong Kong IHT 2008-08-06 08:17 The approach of severe tropical storm Kammuri affected businesses, government offices, financial markets and schools.
Hong Kong shut down by storm ahead of Olympic equestrian events IHT 2008-08-06 06:14 Businesses, government offices, financial markets and schools were closed in Hong Kong and Macau on Wednesday morning with the approach of severe tropical storm Kammuri, but Olympic officials said that the storm was not affecting horses and riders in town for the Olympic equestrian events.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Tropical Storm Edouard poses flooding threat for Houston area

The center of Edouard made landfall at Cameron Parish Louisiana this morning and then became lopsided very quickly. The heaviest rains are now on the NW side of the sotrm presenting the potential for flooding in teh Houston area. Galveston missed the strongest winds but may soon be seeing some heavy rains as the worst areas of the storm move westward towards both cities.

HOUSTON -- Tropical Storm Edouard had surprises in store for everyone Tuesday morning.

After making early landfall in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, the storm became "lopsided," according to 11 News Meteorologist David Paul. Normally, the worst weather is to the right of a tropical system.

But with Edouard, the worst is to the left. That means Houston is on the “dirty side” of the storm. “We’re still going to have a flooding threat. We could see five inches or more of rain as it moves inland,” 11 News Meteorologist David Paul said.

In Liberty County, wind gusts up to 50 mph were reported. The storm knocked out power on Bolivar Island Tuesday morning. As of 9 a.m., the Bolivar Ferries were still running.

Galveston was seeing gusts of 38 miles an hour just before 8:30 a.m. but the wind was blowing offshore. That means it's not stirring up the water so tides are much lower than expected.

TS Edouard coming ashore in Chambers and Jefferson Counties, TX

Tropical Storm Edouard is coming ashore this morning along the Texas Gulf Coast at Chambers County. Chambers is the county on the east side of Galveston Bay. Heavy rains can be seen in both Jefferson County to the east and Galveston County to the west of the bay. Maximum sustained winds are at 65 MPH currently and there is still some potential for further intensification.

Radar from Weather Underground:

Monday, August 04, 2008

AccuWeather Breaking Weather updates on TS Edouard

The Hurricane Center reports that at 4 p.m. CDT, Edouard was located about 135 miles south-southwest of Lafayette, La., and about 215 miles east-southeast of Galveston, Texas.

Wind speeds remain near 45 mph with higher gusts, while tropical storm-force winds extend 70 miles from the center. Edouard is moving to the west at 7 mph, but is expected to make a turn toward the west-northwest tonight. The storm is nticipated to make landfall near the Galveston-Houston area Tuesday afternoon, as early as midday.

The storm will have an impact along the Gulf Coast well before making landfall. The Severe Weather Center lists the tropical storm warnings in effect from the mouth of the Mississippi River to San Luis Pass and the hurricane watch in effect from west of Intracoastal City, La to Port O'Connor, TX.

Make Preparations for TS Edouard TODAY

The link is from KHOU in Houston and includes David Paul's 8:33 am CDT video report on the storm track of Tropical Storm Edouard.

The center of the storm track crosses directly over Galveston and Houston. Harris and Galveston Emergency management personnel are preparing for a direct hit of this tropical storm. Currently Edouard is a moderate strength topical storm with maximum sustained winds of 50 MPH but is expected to increase over the next 24 hours.

Landfall is expected sometime between 7 am and 12 noon local time and the intensity is expected to be right on the edge between a tropical storm and hurricane. I would guess winds in the mid 70's MPH to low 80's MPH.

Today is the day to secure the boat, and the lawn furniture and bring in the loose items. Tomorrow morning and Wednesday will be wet and windy.

UPDATE: Hurricane hunter aircraft have determined that Edouard has weakened somewhat with 45 MPH winds. However, this does not lessen the potential for some last minute strengthening to a low grade hurricane just prior to landfall. Landfall is now projected at Galveston island between 7 and 8 am Tuesday morning.

Galveston not evacuating but preparing for Edouard (KHOU)

Pre-storm safety tips from CenterPoint (KHOU)

Houston Chronicle Hurricane Central

Weather Channel 06:50 Update - TS Edouard

TS Edouard continues to move slowly across the northern Gulf of Mexico. Winds at 50 mph, Edouard is currently due south of New Orleans. Thunderstorms and heavy rain is possible across the entire Louisiana and Texas coastlines and swimmers need to watch for dangerous waves and rip currents.

As the Weather Channel points out, the longer Eduard stays over the water the greater the potential for development and it is possible that Edouard may reach a Cat 1 hurricane status before making landfall. I've heard wind speed estimates from 69 MPH to 75 MPH making Edouard a very strong tropical storm or low grade hurricane.

If you are in the area where Edouard has the potential for landfall, please remember to bring any loose items indoors and secure all shutters, doors and outside furniture to prevents these items from becoming flying projectiles capable of causing more damage.

Edouard remaining steady
John Desjardins, Lead Meteorologist, The
Weather Channel
5:53 a.m. ET 8/4/2008

In the northern Gulf of Mexico, Tropical Storm Edouard appeared ragged for a time overnight. However, heading towards daybreak the storm has begun to look more organized. The latest hurricane hunters found a central pressure of 1002 mb, so its intensity has been fairly steady since Sunday evening.

Edouard was experiencing some northerly shear which caused much of the thunderstorm activity to be located south of the circulation center. But convection has begun to flare around the center and some rainbands are reaching far southeastern Louisiana.

The forecast is for Edouard to intensify as the upper-level environment becomes more favorable for development. The official forecast keeps Edouard below hurricane strength.

The track of Edouard is towards the west-northwest on the southern periphery of the ridge that is baking the south-central U.S. Hurricane watches and tropical storm warnings are posted for portions of the upper Texas and Louisiana coasts in anticipation of a potential landfall during the first half of Tuesday.

Elsewhere, a weak low continues to swirl several hundred miles northeast of the Leeward Islands. Development is not expected with this system.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Tropical Storm Eduoard tracks along the north gulf coast

Tropical Storm Eduoard formed today just south of Mobile, Alabama. Storm track predictions indicate that Eduoard will parallel the Louisiana gulf coast tonight and throughout the day Monday making land fall Monday night or Tuesday morning just west of Galveston.

The National Hurricane Center is anticipating the potential for Eduoard to strengthen to hurricane status before landfall and has stated that hurricane watches may be needed in southwestern Louisiana and southeast Texas tomorrow. Currently a Tropical Storm warning is in place from the mouth of the Mississippi River to Intracoastal City and a tropical storm watch westward to Port O'Connor, TX.

With the proximity to land, I suspect that development will be stifled somewhat, but the warm Gulf waters will certainly drive intensification. With low shearing winds, development to a low grade hurricane is possible although I think it may be unlikely.
The clockwise rotation around the high pressure system will drive Eduoard towards Texas and of course, the longer Eduoard is over water, the more likely such development is to occur.

2010 Atlantic Hurricanes (courtesy of

NOAA Gulf of Mexico Radar (courtesy of

NOAA West Atlantic & Caribbean Radar (courtesy of

NOAA East Atlantic Radar (courtesy of