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