Caribbean-On-Line's Caribbean Hurricane Blog



Hurricane Gustav

Tropical Update, Monday September 2, 2008

Published on September 2, 2008 5:04 AM | Comments

Here is our update on the current named storms:

Gustav is winding down over land - it will probably be a TD when the NHC comes out with their morning update:

THE RADAR PRESENTATION OF GUSTAV HAS CONTINUED TO DEGRADE THIS EVENING AS THE STORM HAS MOVED INLAND OVER LOUISIANA. RECENT MAXIMUM DOPPLER VELOCITIES FROM THE LAKE CHARLES RADAR HAVE BEEN AROUND 65-70 KT AT ABOUT 4500 FT. THIS EQUATES TO ABOUT 50 KT AT THE SURFACE...THEREFORE GUSTAV IS DOWNGRADED TO A TROPICAL STORM. GUSTAV SHOULD CONTINUE WEAKENING AND IT IS EXPECTED THAT IT WILL BECOME A TROPICAL DEPRESSION ON TUESDAY... AND A REMNANT LOW IN A COUPLE OF DAYS.

Hanna seems to have drifted to the south a bit - it must be soaking the Turks & Caicos islands. It is also closer to Cuba and Hispaniola which can not be good news for those islands that are already drenched. Max sustained winds are 70 miles an hour. The NHC still has this heading north west at some point soon. Only time will tell.

CONVENTIONAL AND PASSIVE MICROWAVE SATELLITE IMAGERY INDICATE HANNA HAS MOVED SOUTHWARD OVER THE PAST 6 HOURS WHILE MAINTAINING A PRONOUNCED EYE FEATURE IN A 02/203Z AMSU OVERPASS. SATELLITE INTENSITY ESTIMATES ARE T4.0/65 KT AND T4.5/77 KT FROM TAFB AND SAB...RESPECTIVELY. THEREFORE...THE INITIAL INTENSITY REMAINS UNCHANGED AT 70 KT FOR THIS ADVISORY.

Ike is making a brisk move westward:

THE STRUCTURE OF IKE HAS NOT CHANGED SIGNIFICANTLY THIS EVENING WITH SUBSTANTIAL CONVECTIVE BANDING EMBEDDED IN A LARGE SURFACE CIRCULATION. THE DVORAK CLASSIFICATIONS FROM TAFB AND SAB REMAIN 3.0 OR 45 KT...WHICH IS THE CURRENT INTENSITY.

AN AMSU PASS AT 0020Z PROVIDED SOME CONFIDENCE IN ESTIMATING A TRACK AT 280 DEGREES AT 13 KT. THE TROPICAL STORM WILL BE MOVING BRISKLY OFF TOWARD THE WEST OR WEST-NORTHWEST UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF A DEEP LAYERED SUBTROPICAL RIDGE TO ITS NORTH.

And... TD 10 (!) has formed way out in the open Atlantic:

ROPICAL DEPRESSION TEN FORECAST/ADVISORY NUMBER 1 NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL102008 0900 UTC TUE SEP 02 2008

TROPICAL DEPRESSION CENTER LOCATED NEAR 12.4N 23.9W AT 02/0900Z POSITION ACCURATE WITHIN 30 NM

PRESENT MOVEMENT TOWARD THE WEST OR 275 DEGREES AT 14 KT

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE 1007 MB MAX SUSTAINED WINDS 30 KT WITH GUSTS TO 40 KT. 12 FT SEAS.. 40NE 0SE 0SW 40NW. WINDS AND SEAS VARY GREATLY IN EACH QUADRANT. RADII IN NAUTICAL MILES ARE THE LARGEST RADII EXPECTED ANYWHERE IN THAT QUADRANT.

You can find all the latest NHC updates on these systems in the left hand navigation on the Hurricane blog home page.

In short - the Turks & Caicos, the Bahamas, Cuba, Hispaniola, and the US east coast from Florida to at least South Carolina need to be on alert for these next couple of storms - Hanna and Ike. TD 10 is a little too far out yet but the initial path looks to take it towards Ike's path if not a little more to the north. Again though, it is early and you never know. The NHC didn't have the jog to the south for Gustav that took it to the south coast of Jamaica, and they also had not imagine Hanna stalling around the T&C for a couple of days. The models do what they can - but every scenario is a new one. The only thing we know for sure is that the hurricane season is in full swing. Stay safe.




NY Times Gustav coverage

Published on September 2, 2008 4:52 AM | Comments

Here is a good feature from the NY Times on Gustav as it hit Louisiana.



HURRICANE GUSTAV DISCUSSION NUMBER 32

Published on September 1, 2008 12:53 PM | Comments

THE CENTER OF GUSTAV MADE LANDFALL ALONG THE LOUISIANA COAST NEAR COCODRIE ABOUT 1430 UTC. DURING THE PAST FEW HOURS...THE EYE BECAME BETTER DEFINED ON RADAR. HOWEVER...WIND DATA FROM AIR FORCE RESERVE AND NOAA AIRCRAFT ALONG WITH DOPPLER RADAR WINDS SUGGESTS THAT GUSTAV WEAKENED TO A CATEGORY TWO HURRICANE BEFORE LANDFALL. THE INITIAL INTENSITY OF 95 KT IS BASED ON THE AIRCRAFT DATA...AND THIS MIGHT BE A LITTLE GENEROUS.

Of course they may change that when they crunch the data later...



Hurricane Gustav downgraded to category two

Published on September 1, 2008 12:47 PM | Comments

So the NHC did downgrade the storm to a Category 2 before it made land fall. That is a huge difference - it could have been much worse. From the Guardian:

Hurricane Gustav weakened to a category two storm as it continued on its path towards the largely deserted coast of Louisiana, with predictions that New Orleans could avoid its full force when it reaches the city later today.

The National Hurricane Centre said Gustav had weakened to a category two hurricane by 8am (2pm BST) -- a storm with winds of 155-180kph (95-110 mph), which can generate a storm surge of around 2-3 metres.



Morgan City, La. Nearly Empty As Gustav Hits

Published on September 1, 2008 12:46 PM | Comments



Raw Video: Gustav Lashes Houma, La.

Published on September 1, 2008 12:44 PM | Comments



Hurricane Gustav hits US coast

Published on September 1, 2008 12:41 PM | Comments

From AFP, it seems like Gustav did lose a little steam before land fall:

Despite a slight weakening of Gustav as it neared the coast, forecasters warned of an "extremely dangerous" surge of up to 4.2 meters (14 feet), not as high as earlier predicted but still enough to worry locals after Hurricane Katrina burst New Orleans' levees in 2005 and flooded the city for days.


Hurricane Gustav slide show

Published on September 1, 2008 12:38 PM | Comments

A slide show of Gustav images from the NY Times:

palm-house-gustav.JPG




The Eye of Gustav

Published on September 1, 2008 11:45 AM | Comments

Looks like the eye on Gustav is dead in the middle of the coast now - at about 11:45 AM EST:

avn-gustav.jpg




Gustav update, September 1, 2008

Published on September 1, 2008 6:14 AM | Comments

At about 9 AM EST Gustav was just a bit off the coast of Lousiana: HurTrack1.9.1.08.gif

Gustav does not seem to be strengthening at all, and will now degrade as it goes over land. It looks like the Gulf Coast got a little bit of break right now (relatively - this is still a major storm) - Gustav is definitely not as strong as it once was and could have been:

OBSERVATIONS FROM AN AIR FORCE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT INDICATE THAT GUSTAV IS NOT STRENGTHENING. THE CENTRAL PRESSURE HAS RISEN SLIGHTLY AND...BASED ON RECENT FLIGHT-LEVEL AND SFMR SURFACE WIND MEASUREMENTS...100 KT IS A GENEROUS ESTIMATE FOR THE CURRENT INTENSITY. WSR-88D RADAR IMAGES SHOW THAT THE EYE WALL IS OPEN OVER THE SOUTHERN SEMICIRCLE...PERHAPS DUE TO THE MID- TO UPPER-LEVEL DRY AIR INTRUSION FROM THE SOUTH THAT WAS DISCUSSED EARLIER. IN FACT...THE AIR FORCE HURRICANE HUNTERS DID NOT REPORT AN EYEWALL. WATER VAPOR IMAGERY ALSO SUGGESTS A DRY INTRUSION AND A RESTRICTION OF THE UPPER-LEVEL OUTFLOW OVER THE SOUTHERN PORTION OF THE HURRICANE. ALSO THE CLOUD PATTERN HAS BECOME A BIT MORE RAGGED ON GEOSTATIONARY SATELLITE PICTURES. BASED ON CURRENT TRENDS AND THE PROXIMITY TO THE COAST...NO SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN STRENGTH APPEARS LIKELY PRIOR TO LANDFALL.


Deadly Gustav Ready to Wallop Gulf Coast

Published on September 1, 2008 4:38 AM | Comments



National Hurricane Center Gustav Forecast

Published on August 31, 2008 6:19 PM | Comments



Carnival cruise extended by Gustav

Published on August 31, 2008 6:15 PM | Comments

If you were looking forward to seeing friends or family from this ship, you'll have to wait a couple of more days:

A five-day voyage on a cruise ship that was scheduled to dock in Galveston on Monday has been extended two days because of Hurricane Gustav, Carnival Cruise Lines announced Sunday.

The Carnival Ecstasy, which visited Progreso in the Mexican state of Yucatan, will "remain at sea at a safe distance away from the storm" and will return to Galveston on Wednesday, the cruise line said in a written statement.



HURRICANE GUSTAV DISCUSSION NUMBER 29

Published on August 31, 2008 6:12 PM | Comments

HURRICANE GUSTAV DISCUSSION NUMBER 29 NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL072008 500 PM EDT SUN AUG 31 2008

VISIBLE SATELLITE IMAGERY DURING THE PAST COUPLE OF HOURS SUGGESTS THAT GUSTAV IS GETTING A LITTLE BETTER ORGANIZED...WITH A HINT OF AN EYE RETURNING. ADDITIONALLY...THE CENTRAL PRESSURE REPORTED BY AN AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER HAS FALLEN TO 957 MB. ON THE OTHER HAND...THE MAXIMUM 700 MB FLIGHT-LEVEL WINDS WERE 105 KT WHILE THE MAXIMUM SFMR WINDS WERE 93 KT. ALSO...THE CONVECTION...WHILE VIGOROUS...IS STILL RATHER ASYMMETRIC AROUND THE 30 NM WIDE EYE THAT IS OPEN TO THE SE. BASED ON THE AIRCRAFT DATA...THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS LOWERED TO 100 KT.

THE INITIAL MOTION IS WOBBLING BETWEEN 315 AND 320 DEGREES AT 15-16 KT...WITH 320/16 BEING THE ADVISORY MOTION. THERE IS NO CHANGE IN THE TRACK FORECAST PHILOSOPHY...WITH A MID-LEVEL RIDGE OVER THE EASTERN UNITED STATES EXPECTED TO STEER GUSTAV NORTHWESTWARD INTO THE NORTHERN GULF COAST. THE NEW GUIDANCE RUNS...MOST NOTABLY THE HWRF...SHOW A SLIGHT LEFT TURN AFTER 12 HR WITH A LEFTWARD SHIFT IN THE LANDFALL POINT ON THE LOUISIANA COAST. THE NEW FORECAST TRACK IS SHIFTED SLIGHTLY TO THE LEFT OF THE PREVIOUS TRACK...AND SINCE IT LIES NEAR THE EASTERN EDGE OF THE GUIDANCE ENVELOPE SOME ADDITIONAL SMALL SHIFTS MAY BE NECESSARY LATER. AFTER 48-72 HR...THERE REMAINS MAJOR DISAGREEMENT BETWEEN THE DYNAMICAL MODELS ON WHETHER GUSTAV WILL RECURVE INTO THE WESTERLIES...SHEAR APART AND STALL OVER LOUISIANA OR TEXAS...OR TURN SOUTHWESTWARD. THE FORECAST TRACK AFTER 72 HR FOLLOWS THE SHEAR-APART-AND-STALL SCENARIO...CALLING FOR GUSTAV TO MOVE SLOWLY WESTWARD AS IT WEAKENS OVER LAND.

ANALYSES FROM CIMSS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN INDICATE THAT GUSTAV REMAINS IN ABOUT 20 KT OF SOUTHERLY SHEAR...WITH A LOT OF MID/UPPER-LEVEL DRY AIR SEEN IN WATER VAPOR IMAGERY SOUTH AND WEST OF THE CYCLONE. THE EYE HAS MOVED NORTHWEST OF THE DEEP WARM WATER OF THE LOOP CURRENT...AND THAT COMBINED WITH THE LIKELIHOOD OF CONTINUED SHEAR REDUCES THE CHANCES OF SIGNIFICANT INTENSIFICATION. THE SHIPS MODEL FORECASTS NO STRENGTHENING BEFORE LANDFALL...WHILE THE GFDL AND HWRF FORECAST ABOUT 10 KT OF STRENGTHENING. GIVEN THE FALLING PRESSURES AND THE COLD CONVECTION...THE INTENSITY FORECAST CALLS FOR WINDS TO INCREASE TO 110 KT BEFORE LANDFALL...WITH GUSTAV MAKING LANDFALL AS A MAJOR HURRICANE. GUSTAV SHOULD WEAKEN AFTER LANDFALL AND BECOME A REMNANT LOW IN ABOUT 120 HR.



Category 5 Hurricane Gustav Hits Cuba

Published on August 31, 2008 3:19 PM | Comments



Gulf Coast Prepares As Gustav Slams Cuba

Published on August 31, 2008 3:18 PM | Comments



"Officials measured gusts of 212 mph"

Published on August 31, 2008 3:13 PM | Comments

Wow - not much is usually left at that point (from the NY Times):

Officials measured gusts of 212 mph (340 kph) in the western town of Paso Real del San Diego -- a new national record for maximum wind speed in a country often hit by major hurricanes, said Miguel Angel Hernandez of the Cuban Institute of Meteorology.

A Cuban television reporter on the Isla de la Juventud said the storm had felt like ''the blast wave from a bomb.''



Photos from Cayman as Gustav passed through

Published on August 30, 2008 5:34 PM | Comments

Here are some pictures from Ann in the Cayman Islands from Friday, August 29:

jpgwPMT20bpom.jpg

jpg7EXW2PlQul.jpg

jpgwhAuKAZNBo.jpg




HURRICANE GUSTAV DISCUSSION NUMBER 25

Published on August 30, 2008 5:22 PM | Comments

THE CENTER OF THE EYE OF GUSTAV HAD BEEN HUGGING THE EASTERN COAST OF THE ISLE OF YOUTH EARLIER THIS AFTERNOON...BUT IS NOW OVER WATER IN BETWEEN THAT ISLAND AND MAINLAND WESTERN CUBA. AIRCRAFT FIXES CONTINUE TO COME IN JUST ABOUT RIGHT ALONG THE PREVIOUS FORECAST TRACK. VISIBLE SATELLITE IMAGERY SUGGESTS GUSTAV HAS BEEN WOBBLING SLIGHTLY...BUT THE INITIAL MOTION APPEARS RELATIVELY WELL-ESTABLISHED AT 315/13...WITH STEERING PROVIDED BY A MID-LEVEL RIDGE OVER THE WESTERN ATLANTIC. THE VARIOUS MODELS HAVE COME INTO BETTER AGREEMENT ON A TRACK INTO THE NORTH-CENTRAL GULF COAST WITHIN THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. THE HWRF...UKMET...AND NOGAPS...WHICH HAD PREVIOUSLY FORECAST A STALL JUST OFFSHORE...HAVE COME INTO THE FOLD WITH THE GFS...GFDL...AND ECMWF...RESULTING IN A CONSENSUS TRACK THAT FALLS VERY CLOSE TO THE PATH OF THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY. THIS AGREEMENT HAS ALSO RESULTED...HOWEVER...IN A CONSENSUS TRACK THAT REACHES THE COAST A LITTLE FASTER. THE NEW OFFICIAL TRACK IS ALMOST EXACTLY ALONG THE PATH OF THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY...BUT MAINTAINS THE CURRENT HEADING AND SPEED ALL THE WAY TO THE COAST...ARRIVING THERE A LITTLE SOONER THAN BEFORE. WHILE THERE IS INCREASED CONFIDENCE IN BOTH THE PATH AND SPEED OF THE TRACK THROUGH ABOUT 48 HOURS...THE MODEL SPREAD IS STILL SUFFICIENTLY LARGE TO SERVE AS A REMINDER THAT WE CANNOT SPECIFY EXACTLY WHERE OR WHEN THE CENTER OF GUSTAV WILL MAKE FINAL LANDFALL. AFTER LANDFALL...ALL OF THE MODELS RESPOND TO WEAKENING STEERING CURRENTS...WELL TO THE SOUTHWEST OF THE HIGH OVER THE NORTHEASTERN UNITED STATES...BY FORECASTING A DRAMATIC SLOWING OF THE FORWARD SPEED OVER LOUISIANA AND EASTERN TEXAS...AND THE OFFICIAL FORECAST AGAIN FOLLOWS SUIT.


Gustav update

Published on August 30, 2008 5:14 PM | Comments

Gustav is now a category 4 and could become a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. This already deadly storm is now at a much higher danger level than it was when it came through Hispaniola and the Cayman Islands. Western Cuba, and eventually the Gulf Coast need to be prepared for the severity of Gustav.



Gustav Swells to 'Dangerous' Category 3

Published on August 30, 2008 5:11 PM | Comments



Gustav becomes a hurricane

Published on August 30, 2008 10:28 AM | Comments



Living in Grand Cayman

Published on August 30, 2008 10:21 AM | Comments

Living in Grand Cayman is a blog by someone... living in Grand Cayman. Check out their recent posts, many that are about Gustav. Thankfully it is looking like the Caymans didn't get hit that hard.



Gustav swells to dangerous Cat 3 storm off Cuba

Published on August 30, 2008 9:28 AM | Comments

From the AP:

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands (AP) -- Gustav swelled to a fearsome Category 3 hurricane with winds of 120 mph as it shrieked toward the heartland of Cuba's cigar industry Saturday on a track to hit the U.S. Gulf Coast three years after Hurricane Katrina.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami called the storm, which has already killed 71 people in the Caribbean, ''dangerous'' and said it had become the second major hurricane of the Atlantic season, following Bertha in July.

Cuban state television announced that all buses and trains to and from Havana were suspended, as was ferry service to the Isla de Juventud, the outlying Cuban island next in Gustav's path.

Authorities announced they were prepared to ''protect'' the 20,000 tourists in Matanzas province, which includes the famous beach resort of Varadero.

Gustav rolled over the Cayman Islands Friday with fierce winds that tore down trees and power lines.

At first light Saturday, Associated Press journalists found that Grand Cayman island was spared major damage. Big surging waves pounded at the island, but there was little flooding, and wind damage was limited because islanders had removed signs and other items that could blow away.



Gustav swells to dangerous Cat 3 storm off Cuba

Published on August 30, 2008 7:59 AM | Comments

From the AP:

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands (AP) -- Gustav swelled to a fearsome Category 3 hurricane early Saturday with winds of 115 mph as it approached western Cuba on a track to hit the U.S. Gulf Coast three years after Hurricane Katrina.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami called the storm "dangerous" and said it had reached the status of a major hurricane, the second one of this Atlantic season after Bertha in July.

Gustav, which killed 71 people in the Caribbean, rolled over the Cayman Islands Friday with fierce winds that tore down trees and power lines. It was expected to cross Cuba's cigar country Saturday and head into the Gulf of Mexico by Sunday.

Gustav first struck Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, the smaller easternmost "Sister Islands" in the chain. Storm surge and heavy rains flooded the streets.



Tropical Storms Hanna and Gustav August 29, 2008

Published on August 29, 2008 9:10 PM | Comments

From the NOAA:

112467_m.jpg




A hurricane again, Gustav plows toward Caymans

Published on August 29, 2008 9:03 PM | Comments

From the AP:

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands (AP) -- Gustav became a hurricane again on Friday as it plowed toward Cayman Islands resorts, the start of a buildup that could take it to the U.S. Gulf Coast as a fearsome Category-3 storm three years after Hurricane Katrina.

Gustav, which killed 71 people in the Caribbean, was expected to swirl through the Cayman Islands, a tiny offshore tax haven studded with resorts and cruise-ship souvenir shops, before crossing Cuba's cigar country and heading into the Gulf of Mexico by Sunday.

Well-heeled tourists fled Cayman hotels by air, while Katrina victims in Mississippi still living in emergency cottages and trailers were told to evacuate beginning this weekend.

Hotels on the Cayman Islands asked guests to leave, then after the airport closed prepared to shelter those who remained. Chris Smith, of Frederick, Maryland, said his hotel handed out wrist bands marked with guests' names and room numbers so that "if something happens they can quickly identify us."

"That was a little bit sobering," he said, standing outside the hotel with his luggage.



Gustav Set to Batter Cuba, Enter Gulf of Mexico

Published on August 29, 2008 9:01 PM | Comments



Collapsed bridge in Kingston

Published on August 29, 2008 8:44 PM | Comments

Dramatic photo from the AP - (Collin Reid/Associated Press) of a bridge collapsed in Kingston, Jamaica, on Friday after heavy rains from Tropical Storm Gustav.

gustav_span.jpg



HURRICANE GUSTAV ADVISORY NUMBER 20

Published on August 29, 2008 5:32 PM | Comments

HURRICANE GUSTAV ADVISORY NUMBER 20 NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL072008 500 PM EDT FRI AUG 29 2008

...GUSTAV BECOMES A HURRICANE OVER THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN...

AT 500 PM EDT...2100 UTC...A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS ISSUED FOR THE LOWER FLORIDA KEYS FROM WEST OF THE SEVEN MILE BRIDGE WESTWARD TO DRY TORTUGAS. A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...GENERALLY WITHIN 36 HOURS.

A HURRICANE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE CAYMAN ISLANDS...AND FOR THE WESTERN CUBAN PROVINCES OF ISLA DE JUVENTUD...PINAR DEL RIO...LA HABANA...AND CIUDAD DE LA HABANA.

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR JAMAICA...AND FOR THE CENTRAL CUBAN PROVINCES OF MATANZAS...CIENFUEGOS...VILLA CLARA...SANCTI SPIRITUS...CIEGO DE AVILA...CAMAGUEY...AND GRANMA.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

AT 500 PM EDT...2100Z...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE GUSTAV WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 19.2 NORTH...LONGITUDE 79.7 WEST OR ABOUT 100 MILES... 160 KM...EAST OF GRAND CAYMAN AND ABOUT 380 MILES...610 KM... EAST-SOUTHEAST OF THE WESTERN TIP OF CUBA.

GUSTAV IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST NEAR 12 MPH...19 KM/HR...AND THIS GENERAL MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. ON THIS TRACK...THE CENTER OF GUSTAV WILL PASS NEAR OR OVER THE CAYMAN ISLANDS TONIGHT...OVER THE WESTERN PORTIONS OF CUBA ON SATURDAY...AND INTO THE SOUTHERN GULF OF MEXICO ON SATURDAY NIGHT OR SUNDAY.

DATA FROM AN AIR FORCE RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT INDICATE THAT MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 75 MPH...120 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. GUSTAV IS A CATEGORY ONE HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE. STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS...AND GUSTAV COULD BECOME A MAJOR HURRICANE NEAR THE TIME IT CROSSES WESTERN CUBA.

HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 30 MILES...45 KM...FROM THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 160 MILES...260 KM.

THE MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE RECENTLY REPORTED BY THE RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT WAS 980 MB...28.94 INCHES.

COASTAL STORM SURGE FLOODING OF 2 TO 5 FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDE LEVELS IS POSSIBLE IN THE CAYMAN ISLANDS...WITH 8 TO 13 FEET POSSIBLE NEAR WHERE THE CENTER OF GUSTAV CROSSES WESTERN CUBA...INCLUDING ISLA DE JUVENTUD.

GUSTAV IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 TO 12 INCHES ACROSS JAMAICA...THE CAYMAN ISLANDS...AND WESTERN CUBA...WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF UP TO 25 INCHES POSSIBLE. THESE RAINS WILL LIKELY PRODUCE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES. RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 2 TO 4 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE OVER SOUTHERN CUBA.

REPEATING THE 500 PM EDT POSITION...19.2 N...79.7 W. MOVEMENT TOWARD...NORTHWEST NEAR 12 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...75 MPH. MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...980 MB.

AN INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER AT 800 PM EDT FOLLOWED BY THE NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY AT 1100 PM EDT.



Gustav Grows Stronger, Aims for Cayman Islands, Western Cuba

Published on August 29, 2008 5:28 PM | Comments

From the VOA:

U.S. forecasters say Gustav has returned to hurricane strength as the storm crosses the Caribbean towards the Gulf of Mexico.

Gustav was expected to pass near or over the Cayman Islands later Friday and western Cuba on Saturday. Forecasters say the storm that has already caused at least 72 deaths could produce more than half a meter of rain in some areas.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Center said Gustav had sustained winds of up to 120 kilometers per hour mid-afternoon Friday. The center says the Category one storm is likely to grow into a major hurricane over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.



Cayman Webcams for Gustav

Published on August 29, 2008 5:24 PM | Comments

We have a Cayman Islands webcam up courtesy of Cayman Chillin, a rental villa in the Cayman Islands. The owner has several webcams on the property - it is a good chance to get a look at Gustav, as long as the electricity and the web server can hold out!



Gustav morning news

Published on August 29, 2008 7:44 AM | Comments

Looks like the center of Gustav is nearly clear of Jamaica this morning. There is still lots of wind and rain, and reading some of the first hand reports it sounds like the back side of the storm was worse than the front.

Some headlines:

Gustav batters Jamaica, expected to strengthen

Hurricane Gustav kills nearly 70 in Caribbean



TROPICAL STORM GUSTAV DISCUSSION NUMBER 18

Published on August 29, 2008 7:36 AM | Comments

Gustav is looking tricky - the track could still go almost anywhere - and the NHC is expecting to strengthen rapidly into a hurricane:

TROPICAL STORM GUSTAV DISCUSSION NUMBER 18 NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL072008 500 AM EDT FRI AUG 29 2008

SATELLITE IMAGES SHOW THAT GUSTAV HAS AN EXPANDING CLOUD SHIELD AND IMPRESSIVE BANDING FEATURES. AN AIR FORCE RECONNAISSANCE PLANE THAT HAS BEEN SAMPLING THE STORM'S CIRCULATION FOUND THAT THE SIZE OF GUSTAV HAS SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASED. ALTHOUGH THEY HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO SAMPLE THE CENTER...PEAK FLIGHT LEVEL WINDS OF 52 KT WERE OBSERVED...ALONG WITH SIMILAR VALUES FOR THE SFMR. THE INITIAL INTENSITY REMAINS 55 KT.

THE BEST ESTIMATE OF INITIAL MOTION IS 285/7. THERE IS A COMPLICATED EVOLUTION TO THE STEERING CURRENTS AROUND GUSTAV DURING THE FORECAST PERIOD. THE MID-LEVEL RIDGE OVER FLORIDA THAT HAS BEEN STEERING THE STORM WESTWARD IS FORECAST TO WEAKEN TODAY. THE BERMUDA HIGH IS THEN EXPECTED TO BUILD IN FROM THE WESTERN ATLANTIC AND CAUSE GUSTAV TO MOVE MORE TOWARD THE NORTHWEST OVER THE WEEKEND. ONE BIG QUESTION IS THE EVOLUTION OF A MID- TO UPPER- LEVEL LOW OVER THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES. SOME OF THE MODELS...SUCH AS THE GFS/GFDL/HWRF...ARE SHOWING THIS LOW CREATING ENOUGH OF A WEAKNESS IN THE BERMUDA HIGH TO ALLOW A MOTION MORE TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHWEST AS THE SYSTEM CROSSES CUBA. IT WOULD NOT BE SURPRISING IF THAT TRACK BRIEFLY OCCURRED...BUT IN THE LONGER-TERM...A HIGH OVER THE OHIO VALLEY IS EXPECTED TO CAUSE GUSTAV TO GRADUALLY BEND TO THE LEFT. HOWEVER...THERE IS A LARGE UNCERTAINTY IN THE TIMING AND SHARPNESS OF THE BEND. THE UKMET AND GFS HAVE HAD LARGE CHANGES TO THEIR FORECAST FROM THE PREVIOUS RUNS...AND GIVEN THE INCREASING MODEL SPREAD...WE'VE OPTED TO KEEP THE FORECAST SIMILAR TO THE PREVIOUS ONE. HOPEFULLY A G-IV MISSION LATER TODAY WILL HELP RESOLVE SOME OF THESE DIFFERENCES.

AFTER THE STORM MOVES AWAY FROM JAMAICA...SIGNIFICANT INTENSIFICATION IS POSSIBLE. VERTICAL WIND SHEAR IS FORECAST TO BE VERY LIGHT DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS...AND COMBINED WITH THE DEEP WARM CARIBBEAN WATERS...COULD PRODUCE A STRONG HURRICANE VERY QUICKLY. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST WILL SHOW RAPID INTENSIFICATION BEFORE IT REACHES WESTERN CUBA AND COULD BE CONSERVATIVE AS SOME MODELS SHOW CATEGORY FOUR STRENGTH AT THAT TIME. A LARGE TROUGH CURRENTLY SEEN IN WATER VAPOR IMAGES OVER THE CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO IS EXPECTED TO MOVE WESTWARD SLOWLY DURING THE NEXT DAY OR TWO. THIS TROUGH MAY IMPART SOME SOUTHWESTERLY SHEAR ON GUSTAV AS IT ENTERS THE CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO. ALTHOUGH THE FORECAST SHOWS SOME WEAKENING DUE TO THE SHEAR...GUSTAV IS EXPECTED TO BE A LARGE POWERFUL HURRICANE AS IT APPROACHES THE NORTHERN GULF COAST.



TROPICAL STORM GUSTAV DISCUSSION NUMBER 16

Published on August 28, 2008 6:11 PM | Comments

Gustav could become a major hurricane:

...DUE TO THE VERY WARM WATERS SOUTH OF CUBA...COMBINED WITH ANTICYCLONIC FLOW ALOFT...IT IS POSSIBLE THAT GUSTAV COULD RAPIDLY INTENSIFY AT SOME POINT WITHIN THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS...ALTHOUGH THAT IS NOT EXPLICITLY SHOWN IN THE OFFICIAL FORECAST...

It appears from various news reports that Jamaica is having wind and rain but not getting hit too hard, and currently Gustav is only classified as a tropical storm. It has a long way to go and could lose more steam than expected traveling the length of Jamaica, but if it makes it to the other side a lot of warm water (fuel) will be waiting for it - and the Cayman Islands unfortunately look to be directly in line at the moment.



Tropical Storm Hanna forms as Gustav soaks Jamaica

Published on August 28, 2008 5:55 PM | Comments

From McClatchy:

Tropical Storm Gustav closed in on Jamaica Thursday at near-hurricane strength while Tropical Storm Hanna formed in the Atlantic.

Hanna, the eighth named storm of the 2008 hurricane season, is spinning about 1,500 miles east-southeast of Miami with 40 mph winds. Forecasters said Hanna could grow into a hurricane by Labor Day but likely wouldn't threaten the U.S. coast until later next week, if at all.

Meanwhile, Gustav's winds increased to 70 mph from 45 mph overnight as it took a turn toward Jamaica. The center of Gustav was moving over the island's eastern shoreline at 2 p.m., about 40 miles east of Kingston.



51 Haitians die in Hurricane Gustav

Published on August 28, 2008 5:53 PM | Comments

Just terrible news from Haiti:

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- Haitian officials are reporting 51 deaths from Gustav, raising the storm's overall toll to 59.

Civil protection department director Marie Alta Jean-Baptiste says the death count increased fivefold on Thursday as news reached officials from remote areas.

At least 25 people were killed near Jacmel, on the country's southern peninsula, where Gustav came ashore Tuesday as a Category 1 hurricane.

Civil protection official Jean-Michel Sabbat says most of those people were killed by landslides and falling trees in the mountains.



Tourists flee as Gustav churns toward Jamaica

Published on August 28, 2008 1:50 PM | Comments

From the AP:

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) -- Tourists and oil workers fled Thursday as Gustav churned toward Jamaica and the Cayman Islands with winds near hurricane force. Louisiana called a state of emergency and put the National Guard on standby, hoping to avoid the chaos of Hurricane Katrina three years ago.

Gustav moved away from the island of Hispaniola, where it killed 23 people in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and inched toward Jamaica's low-lying capital, 80 miles (130 kilometers) to the west. Forecasters predicted it would hug Jamaica's southern shore before making a near-direct hit on Grand Cayman.

Even as tourists searched for flights off the islands, officials urged calm. Theresa Foster, one of the owners of the Grand Caymanian Resort, said Gustav didn't look as threatening as Hurricane Ivan, which destroyed 70 percent of Grand Cayman's buildings four years ago.

"Whatever was going to blow away has already blown away," she said.



Tropical Storm Gustav shifts track to the south

Published on August 28, 2008 10:40 AM | Comments

From Reuters:

MIAMI (Reuters) - Tropical Storm Gustav shifted course slightly on Thursday morning and moved toward the Jamaica, and forecasters predicted it would be a powerful hurricane by the time it reached the Gulf of Mexico.

"The re-formation of the center has caused a big southward change ... and Gustav is now forecast to pass near the south coast of Jamaica," the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

While the storm's eventual U.S. landfall could be anywhere from the Florida Panhandle to Texas, one of its likely tracks was west of New Orleans, the southern U.S. city devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Gustav was projected to hit the U.S. Gulf Coast around Monday, two days after the third anniversary of Katrina, which killed 1,500 people and caused at least $80 billion in damage in several Gulf Coast states.

The NHC basically lost track of this storm overnight. The shift south is a pretty major move. It just reinforces the fact that you have to be prepared for anything when these storms are within a few hundred miles of your location.



New Orleans Watching Gustav's Path

Published on August 28, 2008 10:35 AM | Comments



TROPICAL STORM GUSTAV SPECIAL DISCUSSION NUMBER 14

Published on August 28, 2008 10:31 AM | Comments

Jamaica and the Cayman Islands need to be prepared for Gustav:

TROPICAL STORM GUSTAV SPECIAL DISCUSSION NUMBER 14 NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL072008 730 AM EDT THU AUG 28 2008

AN AIR FORCE RECONNAISSANCE PLANE HAS FOUND MAXIMUM 700 MB FLIGHT LEVEL WINDS OF 67 KT...CORRESPONDING TO ABOUT 60 KT AT THE SURFACE. THIS SPECIAL ADVISORY IS TO UPDATE THE INTENSITY FORECAST TO REFLECT THE CURRENT AND FORECAST INTENSITY. THERE HAS NOT BEEN ANY SIGNIFICANT CHANGE TO THE TRACK FORECAST. THE STRENGTHENING OF GUSTAV HAS PROMPTED THE GOVERNMENT OF JAMAICA TO ISSUE A HURRICANE WARNING FOR JAMAICA.

THIS SPECIAL ADVISORY SUPERSEDES THE ISSUANCE OF AN INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY AT 800 AM EDT.



Tropical Storm Gustav Satellite Image

Published on August 28, 2008 4:41 AM | Comments

Here is a picture from yesterday:


gustav-8.27.08.jpg



Gustav nears Jamaica as New Orleans keeps watch

Published on August 28, 2008 4:37 AM | Comments

Another update, this one from the AP - they have a death toll of 23:

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- Gustav was heading toward Jamaica early Thursday while many miles away, residents in the New Orleans area watched it with a nervous eye.

A day after stalling off Haiti's coast, the tropical storm was centered about 80 miles (130 kilometers) east-northeast of Kingston, Jamaica, and moving toward the west-southwest near 8 mph (13 kph) at 2 a.m. EDT.

The storm was expected to pass very close to Jamaica later in the day, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. It's maximum sustained winds were near 45 mph (75 kph). But was forecast to regain strength and the hurricane center said it could become a hurricane again by Friday.



Gustav Heads Past Cuba for Gulf After Drenching Haiti

Published on August 28, 2008 4:34 AM | Comments

Gustave took a pretty large toll of life on Hispaniola - 22 people - always sad to to see this kind of news. Here is and update from Bloomberg:

Aug. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Tropical Storm Gustav churned across the Caribbean south of Cuba, bearing down on Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, as it headed on a track that may take it to the U.S. Gulf Coast region devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Gustav, which weakened from a hurricane as it passed over Haiti, is likely to regain power in the Caribbean and may intensify into a Category 3 hurricane or stronger as it enters the Gulf of Mexico by Aug. 30, forecasters say. Crude rose as the storm is expected to hit the Gulf's oil-producing region.

"The potential we see in this thing is pretty high," Dan Kottlowski, a meteorologist with private forecaster AccuWeather.com, said in an interview yesterday. "It would not take too much to make this a category 5 hurricane."

Gustav killed at least 22 people in Haiti and the Dominican Republic as it passed over the island of Hispaniola, which they share, the Associated Press reported yesterday. A tropical storm warning is in effect for parts of southern Cuba.

The eye of Gustav, where sustained winds are almost 45 miles (75 kilometers) per hour, was 105 miles south-southwest of Guantanamo, Cuba, and 80 miles east-northeast of Kingston, Jamaica, just before 2 a.m. Miami time yesterday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in its latest advisory.

It was moving west-southwest at about 8 mph on a path that should take it between Jamaica and Cuba today and tomorrow, the advisory said. Gustav may regain hurricane strength by tomorrow before 8 p.m. Miami time.




Gustav kills 22; US Gulf Coast prepares

Published on August 27, 2008 4:16 PM | Comments

From the AP:

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- Gustav swirled toward Cuba on Wednesday after triggering flooding and landslides that killed at least 22 people in the Caribbean. Its track pointed toward the U.S. Gulf coast, including Louisiana where Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc three years ago.

Oil prices jumped above US$119 a barrel as workers began to evacuate from the offshore rigs responsible for a quarter of U.S. crude production and much of America's natural gas.

"We know it's going to head into the Gulf. After that, we're not sure where it's heading," said Rebecca Waddington, a meteorologist at the Miami-based National Hurricane Center. "For that reason, everyone in Gulf needs to be monitoring the storm. At that point, we're expecting it to be a Category 3 hurricane."

On Wednesday, Gustav was moving off of Haiti's southwestern peninsula into the waters between Cuba and Jamaica. Its tentative track pointed directly at the Cayman Islands, an offshore banking center where residents boarded up homes and stocked up on emergency supplies in preparation for a possible direct hit Friday.



Cayman Airways Gustav update

Published on August 27, 2008 1:23 PM | Comments

GEORGE TOWN, GRAND CAYMAN - AUGUST 26, 2008 - Cayman Airways would like to advise the public of the following flight operations update due to the current projected path of Hurricane Gustav.

All flights are presently expected to operate according to the normal schedule with the exception of the following cancellations:

• KX792 GCM-JFK (Aug 27, Aug 28, Aug 29)

• KX793 JFK-GCM (Aug 28, Aug 29, Aug 30)

• KX832 GCM-HAV (Aug 28, Aug 29)

• KX833 HAV-GCM (Aug 28, Aug 29)

Passengers are advised to contact their travel agents or Cayman Airways Ticket Office for alternate travel arrangements.

In addition the following flights will be added:

Wednesday, 27th August

Flight # Depart Arrive

3404 from Cayman Brac 3:30p 4:00p

3401 to Cayman Brac 6:05p 6:35p

3402 from Cayman Brac 7:15p 7:45p

3606 to Kingston 5:30p 6:25p

3607 from Kingston 7:05p 8:00p

3102 to Miami 8:00a 10:20a

3103 from Miami 11:20a 11:40a

3114 to Miami 8:45a 11:05a

3115 from Miami 12:05p 12:25p

3104 to Miami 12:40p 3:00p

3105 from Miami 4:00p 4:20p

3116 to Miami 1:25p 3:45p

3117 from Miami 4:45p 5:05p

3108 to Miami 4:00p 6:20p

3109 from Miami 7:20p 7:40p

3110 to Miami 8:40p 11:00p

3118 to Miami 8:45p 11:05p

3106 to Miami 9:00p 11:20p

3112 to Miami 10:20p 12:40a (next day)

Thursday, 28th August

Flight # Depart Arrive

3401 to Cayman Brac 6:30a 7:00a

3402 from Cayman Brac 7:30a 8:00a

3600 to Kingston 11:45a 12:40p

3601 from Kingston 1:30p 2:25p

3102 to Miami 8:00a 10:20a

3103 from Miami 11:20a 11:40a

3114 to Miami 8:45a 11:05a

3115 from Miami 12:05p 12:25p

3104 to Miami 12:40p 3:00p

3105 from Miami 4:00p 4:20p

3116 to Miami 1:25p 3:45p

3117 from Miami 4:45p 5:05p

3106 to Miami 7:40p 10:00p

3110 to Miami 8:40p 11:00p

3118 to Miami 9:20p 11:40p

3112 to Miami 10:20p 12:40a (next day)

3200 to Tampa 4:00p 6:40p

3201 from Tampa 7:40p 8:20p

Further, the following flights have been added to/from the Sister Islands on 27th August:

EXPRESS

4421 to Cayman Brac/Little Cayman 7:10a 7:50a

4421 to Grand Cayman (from Cayman Brac) 8:10a 9:00a

4422 to Little Cayman/Cayman Brac 9:15a 9:50a

4422 to Grand Cayman (from Cayman Brac) 10:30a 11:10a

4423 to Little Cayman/Cayman Brac 12:30p 1:05p

4423 to Grand Cayman (from Cayman Brac) 2:20p 3:00p

The City Ticket Office and Reservations Departments will remain open tonight (Tuesday) until 7:00pm and tomorrow (Wednesday) until 9:00pm. Because of the uncertainty surrounding the date of resumption of normal operations, return tickets are currently not being confirmed between August 30 - September 5. Passengers wishing to confirm return flights are able to do so outside of these dates at the published hurricane fare. Please note that the hurricane fare will be available at 12:01am August 27.

Change fees/penalties are being waived for all passengers travelling to or from any Cayman Airways gateway between August 26 - 31, 2008. Only two changes per ticket are permitted. For passengers who decide to cancel their reservations, a travel voucher for the full value of the ticket may be issued. This voucher must be issued before departure of original travel date and is valid for travel only on Cayman Airways for a year from the date of issuance.

Passengers are asked to ensure that all travel documents are in order, which include: visas, re-entry stamps and all other immigration requirements.

Due to the uncertainty of the weather situation surrounding Hurricane Gustav, for the latest and most accurate flight information passengers are advised to check the Cayman Airways website at www.caymanairways.com or with the Cayman Airways Reservations Department at 949-2311.

For further information, please contact:

Corporate Communications

1-345-743-8228



Gustav Poised to Strengthen, Head to Gulf

Published on August 27, 2008 1:22 PM | Comments



Hurricane Gustav forces cruise ships to scramble

Published on August 27, 2008 5:51 AM | Comments

The USA Today Cruise Log has new of several cruise ship diversions due to Gustav:

Royal Caribbean says Hurricane Gustav, a fast-forming storm that only reached hurricane status early this morning, has forced the line to divert the 2,744-passenger Mariner of the Seas from the Western Caribbean to the Eastern Caribbean. The ship, which departed Port Canaveral on Sunday, will spend today at sea before heading to the islands of St. Thomas and St. Maarten (instead of stopping in Haiti, Jamaica, the Caymans and Mexico).

Carnival, meanwhile, says it has tinkered with this week's itinerary of the 2,974-passenger Carnival Conquest to avoid the hurricane's path. Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen tells USA TODAY the ship will call in Progreso, Mexico instead of Montego Bay, Jamaica, and the line also is switching the order of the ship's port calls in Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

Carnival is changing the itinerary of another ship in the Western Caribbean today as Hurricane Gustav bears down on the region. Instead of heading west to the Cayman Islands and Jamaica as scheduled, the Miami-based, 2,758-passenger Carnival Triumph has turned eastward and will instead call later this week at Half Moon Cay and Nassau in the Bahamas.




Gustav downgraded - for now

Published on August 27, 2008 5:46 AM | Comments

Gustav was downgraded to a tropical storm, but intensification is forecast and it still looks like it will become at least a category 2 or 3 hurricane at some point:

TROPICAL STORM GUSTAV DISCUSSION NUMBER 9 NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL072008 500 AM EDT WED AUG 27 2008

GUSTAV HAS BEEN HUGGING THE NORTH COAST OF SOUTHWESTERN HAITI THIS MORNING WITH STRONG BANDS OF THUNDERSTORMS TO THE EAST AND SOUTH OF THE CENTER. AN AIR FORCE RESERVE RECONNAISSANCE PLANE FOUND A MINIMUM PRESSURE OF 998 MB AND RELIABLE SFMR WINDS OF 45-50 KT. THE INITIAL INTENSITY WILL BE SET AT 50 KT. LITTLE INTENSIFICATION IS FORESEEN UNTIL THE CENTER MOVES FARTHER AWAY FROM THE HIGH TERRAIN OF HAITI. THEREAFTER...A STEADY INCREASE IN STRENGTH IS LIKELY... ESPECIALLY AFTER THE CENTER MOVES INTO THE MORE OPEN WATERS NORTHWEST OF JAMAICA. VERTICAL SHEAR IS FORECAST TO BE LIGHT...AND COMBINED WITH THE DEEP WARM WATERS...RAPID INTENSIFICATION COULD OCCUR IN A COUPLE OF DAYS WHILE THE CENTER IS NEAR OR SOUTH OF WESTERN CUBA. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST IS REDUCED FROM EARLIER DUE TO THE INITIAL WEAKENING BUT STILL SHOWS THE STORM BECOMING A MAJOR HURRICANE IN THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA. IN THE LONGER-TERM... THE GLOBAL MODELS HAVE A VARIETY OF UPPER-WIND PATTERNS...BUT IN GENERAL THE UPPER WINDS APPEAR TO BE FAVORABLE ENOUGH TO SUPPORT A MAJOR HURRICANE IN THE GULF OF MEXICO. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT BOTH THE GFDL AND HWRF ARE MORE AGGRESSIVE THAN THE OFFICIAL FORECAST.

THE STORM HAS NOT BEEN MOVING MUCH RECENTLY BUT AN AVERAGED OVER THE PAST TWELVE HOURS YIELDS AN ESTIMATE OF 300/4. A TURN TOWARD THE WEST IS LIKELY TODAY AS THE STORM BUMPS INTO A LARGE HIGH PRESSURE RIDGE OVER THE BAHAMAS AND FLORIDA. GUSTAV SHOULD THEN BE STEERED AROUND THE SOUTHERN PERIPHERY OF THE HIGH FOR THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS AND TURN NORTHWESTWARD IN THE GULF OF MEXICO. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST IS VERY CLOSE THE PREVIOUS ONE AND IS JUST TO THE LEFT OF THE MODEL CONSENSUS. THE GFS IS AN EXTREME OUTLIER EARLY ON...TAKING THE STORM NEAR THE NORTH COAST OF CUBA...WHICH IS CONSIDERED VERY UNLIKELY AT THIS TIME.



Hurricane Hits Haiti, Drives Up Oil Prices

Published on August 27, 2008 5:43 AM | Comments



Hurricane Gustav Roars Over Haiti

Published on August 26, 2008 3:59 PM | Comments

Raw video of Gustav from the AP:



Hurricane Gustav slams Haiti

Published on August 26, 2008 3:58 PM | Comments

From AFP:

PORT-AU-PRINCE (AFP) -- Hurricane Gustav barreled into Haiti Tuesday, packing powerful winds and heavy rains that were likely to cause massive destruction throughout the desperately poor Caribbean nation. Gustav was also on a path to also strike Jamaica and Cuba, and possibly off-shore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico later in the week -- a threat that led to a spike in the price of oil.

Gustav was a Category One hurricane, the lowest on the five-scale Saffir-Simpson scale, but still packing sustained winds of 150 kilometers (90 miles) per hour, with higher gusts, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said in a statement.



Hurricane Gustav

Published on August 26, 2008 6:56 AM | Comments

TD 7 quickly went from a tropical depression, to a tropical storm, to Hurricane Gustav. It is on track at the moment to skirt along in the Caribbean off the south shore of Cuba before eventually making it into the Gulf of Mexico. Cuba and Haiti are already swamped from Fay, and Jamaica and some of the Cayman Islands could also see weather from this system. Overall not a great situation.

The other system on the NHC radar is also looking a bit more favorable for development this morning:

A LARGE AREA OF LOW PRESSURE...CENTERED ABOUT 550 MILES EAST- NORTHEAST OF THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS...IS PRODUCING DISORGANIZED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS. UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO GRADUALLY BECOME MORE FAVORABLE FOR DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SYSTEM OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS AT IT MOVES SLOWLY NORTHWESTWARD.

Looks like a busy week in the Caribbean.



Gustav becomes hurricane, threatens Haiti

Published on August 26, 2008 6:54 AM | Comments

From AFP:

PORT-AU-PRINCE (AFP) -- Tropical Storm Gustav grew into a hurricane Tuesday after emerging in the Caribbean, threatening Haiti with powerful winds less than two weeks after the country was hit by a deadly storm. "Reports from an air force hurricane aircraft indicate that Gustav has become a hurricane with maximum winds near 80 mph (130 kilometers per hour)," the US National Hurricane Center said in a 2:20 am (0620 GMT) advisory.

Earlier, the Haitian government urged its population to take precautions and appealed for international help to deal with the storm's aftermath, some 10 days after Tropical Storm Fay left about 47 people dead or missing on the island.



HURRICANE GUSTAV FORECAST/ADVISORY NUMBER 5

Published on August 26, 2008 6:53 AM | Comments

HURRICANE GUSTAV FORECAST/ADVISORY NUMBER 5 NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL072008 0900 UTC TUE AUG 26 2008

AT 5 AM EDT...0900 UTC...THE GOVERNMENT OF CUBA HAS ISSUED A HURRICANE WATCH FOR THE CUBAN PROVINCES OF LAS TUNAS... GRANMA...HOLGUIN...SANTIAGO DE CUBA...AND GUANTANAMO. ALSO THE GOVERNMENT OF JAMAICA HAS CHANGED THE TROPICAL STORM WATCH TO A HURRICANE WATCH FOR JAMAICA. A HURRICANE WATCH MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...GENERALLY WITHIN 36 HOURS.

A HURRICANE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM BARAHONA IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC WESTWARD TO LE MOLE ST NICHOLAS HAITI. PREPARATIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY SHOULD BE RUSHED TO COMPLETION.

A HURRICANE WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR HAITI FROM LE MOLE ST NICHOLAS TO THE NORTHERN HAITI/DOMINICAN REPUBLIC BORDER.

INTERESTS IN CENTRAL AND WESTERN CUBA AND THE CAYMAN ISLANDS SHOULD CLOSELY MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF GUSTAV.

HURRICANE CENTER LOCATED NEAR 17.2N 71.9W AT 26/0900Z POSITION ACCURATE WITHIN 20 NM

PRESENT MOVEMENT TOWARD THE NORTHWEST OR 315 DEGREES AT 8 KT



Hurricane Gustav Open Thread

Published on August 25, 2008 4:23 PM | Comments

Use this post to ask questions or leave comments about Hurricane Gustav.



Tropical Depression 7 forms in Caribbean

Published on August 25, 2008 1:10 PM | Comments

From Reuters:

NEW YORK, Aug 25 (Reuters) - The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Monday an area of low pressure over the central Caribbean Sea formed into Tropical Depression Seven and could become the season's latest tropical storm later Monday.

An Air Force Reserve unit's reconnaissance aircraft was expected to investigate the area, about 260 miles southeast of Port au Prince, Haiti, later Monday.

However, based on satellite data and surface observations, the NHC determined that the system had become better organized, and was packing winds near 35 miles per hour.

When wind speeds reach 39 mph, the system will become Tropical Storm Gustav.



Hurricane Gustav 5 Day Cone

Published on August 25, 2008 1:00 PM | Comments

Hurricane Gustav 5 Day Cone



TD 7 (Gustav)

Published on August 25, 2008 12:54 PM | Comments

Looks like rained soaked Haiti, Cuba, and Florida are in for some more:

TROPICAL DEPRESSION SEVEN ADVISORY NUMBER 1 NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL072008 1100 AM EDT MON AUG 25 2008

...TROPICAL DEPRESSION FORMS IN THE CENTRAL CARIBBEAN...

AT 11 AM EDT...1500 UTC...THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC HAS ISSUED A TROPICAL STORM WARNING FOR THE SOUTH COAST OF THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC FROM SANTO DOMINGO WESTWARD TO THE SOUTHERN BORDER OF HAITI.

AT 11 AM EDT...1500 UTC...A TROPICAL STORM WARNING HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR THE SOUTHWEST PENINSULA OF HAITI FROM THE SOUTHERN BORDER WITH THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC AND PORT-AU-PRINCE WESTWARD. A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS.

AT 11 AM EDT...1500 UTC...A TROPICAL STORM WATCH HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR HAITI FROM NORTH OF PORT-AU-PRINCE TO THE NORTHERN BORDER OF THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...GENERALLY WITHIN 36 HOURS.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...INCLUDING POSSIBLE INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

SATELLITE DATA AND SURFACE OBSERVATIONS INDICATE THAT THE LOW PRESSURE AREA IN THE CARIBBEAN HAS BECOME BETTER ORGANIZED AND IS NOW A TROPICAL DEPRESSION.

AT 1100 AM EDT...1500Z...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL DEPRESSION SEVEN WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 15.5 NORTH...LONGITUDE 70.1 WEST OR ABOUT 260 MILES...415 KM...SOUTHEAST OF PORT AU PRINCE HAITI.

THE DEPRESSION IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST NEAR 15 MPH...24 KM/HR...AND A GRADUAL DECREASE IN FORWARD SPEED IS EXPECTED OVER THE NEXT DAY OR TWO. ON THE FORECAST TRACK THE CENTER OF THE TROPICAL CYCLONE WILL BE MOVING NEAR OR OVER SOUTHWESTERN HAITI ON TUESDAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 35 MPH...55 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST...AND THE DEPRESSION COULD BECOME A TROPICAL STORM LATER TODAY.

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 1006 MB...29.71 INCHES.

THE DEPRESSION IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 5 TO 7 INCHES OVER HISPANIOLA...WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 15 TO 25 INCHES POSSIBLE. THESE INTENSE RAINS MAY PRODUCE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES.

REPEATING THE 1100 AM EDT POSITION...15.5 N...70.1 W. MOVEMENT TOWARD...NORTHWEST NEAR 15 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...35 MPH. MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1006 MB.

THE NEXT ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER AT 500 PM EDT.

$$