09 September 2008

Ike heading into Gulf...

Ike is now just an hour or two away from exiting western Cuba and entering the Gulf of Mexico.  It has just tracked over the same swath that Gustav did as a CAT4 hurricane... a very devastating situation for Cuba.  As of 15Z, Ike's intensity was 70kts and 965mb... tracking WNW at 11kts.

The radar loop from Casablanca, Cuba can be found at http://einstein.atmos.colostate.edu/~mcnoldy/tropics/ike08/Ike_08-09Sep08_csb.gif

The forecast track has continually been shifting westward, and is now centered on Corpus Cristi, TX midday Saturday as a major hurricane.  Under the forecast track, the oceanic heat content is maximized, allowing Ike the most time over the deepest and warmest water.  Vertical shear is also expected to remain very low.  Intensity should start increasing within hours of exiting Cuba, and the storm is already looking impressive on satellite imagery.  It could certainly regain CAT4 status by the central to western Gulf.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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