02 September 2008

Gustav, Hanna, Ike, and Josephine: the Atlantic is alive...

Since making landfall on LA yesterday morning, Gustav has drifted inland and is now centered near Shreveport LA, dumping copious amounts of rain over LA, eastern TX, AR, and MS.  It is now a 30kt tropical depression, and will continue to spin down.  Gustav was a very powerful and deadly hurricane, certainly not to be forgotten.  It caused tens of billions of dollars in damage and perhaps a hundred deaths across Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica, and the US.

Leaving no time to recollect a sense of normalcy, Hanna is over the Bahamas, Ike is in the central Atlantic, and Jospehine is near the Cape Verdes.

At the 15Z advisory today, Hanna was still stalled over the eastern Bahamas, and was downgraded to a 60kt (987mb) Tropical Storm.  Vertical shear is taking a toll on the system, and it could be a couple days yet until it relaxes.  Hanna is forecast to regain hurricane intensity on Thursday as it heads NW toward the southeast US coast.  Landfall is expected on Friday, perhaps clipping the Daytona Beach area, then up to the Charleston area.  Again, remember even 3 day forecasts can be off an average of 140 miles.  A hurricane warning is in effect for the eastern Bahamas, as far west as Cat Island and Great Exuma, and all the way east to the Turk Islands.

Since my second update on Labor Day, TD9 was upgraded to TS Ike, and is now a 50kt Tropical Storm with a central pressure of 1002mb.  Ike is located near 19N 45W and moving W at 16kts, and is poised to become the next hurricane in a couple of days (and perhaps a major hurricane after that).  In 5 days, NHC places Ike almost exactly where Hanna is now... down to the mile almost (always keep in mind the expanding envelope of forecast track errors with time though)!  So the Bahamas and Cuba should be preparing for this, and after that, the US in a week or so.

Also since my updates yesterday, the potent easterly wave I mentioned that had just exited Africa was upgraded to TD10, then quickly to TS Josephine, the 10th named storm of the season.  It's now near 13N 25W and tracking W at 13kts.  Intensity is estimated at 35kts, and 1005mb (and probably increasing rapidly).  This could become a hurricane within a day, but is at least a week away from any land or island.  The satellite presentation is very impressive now, with what appears to be an eye already forming.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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