Hurricane Harbor

A writer and a tropical muse. A funky Lubavitcher who enjoys watching the weather, hurricanes, listening to music while enjoying life with a sense of humor and trying to make sense of it all!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Gustav Battles With Haiti - Invest 95 Lurks in the Shadows of the High

Some of the first pictures from Reuters out of Haiti where flooding was a problem from Gustav. More pictures will soon follow and reports of damage and possible deaths will continue as Gustav moves on towards the island of Cuba.

Gustav had a tough day today as he moved slowly across Haiti and bobbled around a bit trying to maintain it's eye. He lost the battle but he will most likely win the war. Tonight he has a ragged, ill defined eye according to the NHC and seems to be moving more WNW after he bounced off the peninsular of Haiti.

We need a good six hours or so to go to see how Gustav pulls himself together and where he goes exactly.

Down the road the forecast for him is for him to become a strong Category 3 hurricane pushing Category 4 status in the Gulf of Mexico ...somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico. And, storms in the GOM are like bulls in a china shop, something is going to get broken and here is the drama as we are too far out to say which city is going to bear the brunt of Gustav.

We can't even be sure that scenario will play out as it is far down the road.

To the people in Houston who are panicking over the thought of Gustav's approaching fury please remember it is far out, a small storm and no one, not a meteorologist I know (and I know a lot) who would confidently say which 50 mile stretch of the Gulf Coast will be ground zero for landfall.

If you are worried... it's a good time to look over your hurricane supplies like we did in Florida last week. But... we are days away from panic time!

And, we have only had 24 hours of models to contend with since it officially became a named storm. That is a small period of time.

Let me remind people here that on the Friday evening news in Miami at 6pm on the weekend before Andrew made landfall South Florida was considered home free and out of the contest for Andrew to make landfall. Miami wasn't even vetted as the elimination process centered around cities to the North such as Jax, Savannah, Charleston and other cities along the Carolinas as the front was supposed to pick up Andrew and take him north. 6pm on Friday afternoon.

Friday to Saturday afternoon.
24 hours later... Andrew goes from weak hurricane to Major Hurricane and changes directions.

There were models, there were forecasts.. it was a busted forecast. Happens.

Saturday Night to Sunday Night ...sheer panic as Miamians try to find food on store shelves emptied after the first few hours of crazed shopping.

Sunday Night... to Monday morning.. ANDREW.

That was well within a 3 day cone let alone a 5 day cone.

Thank God we have gotten better at hurricane forecasting but it is an imperfect science trying to improve it's statistics and not totally there yet.

So... a lot can change in 3 days. Three days ago Gustav didn't exist.

But, there were models and the models varied greatly. At first Invest 94 stayed on the left side of the models and then he stayed on the right side of the models and then he took the
middle ground.

Run this loop and hit play. You can watch how the models changed as we tracked Invest 94.

Let it run a few times and see how Gustav stayed on the left side of the model package and then the right side of the model package and the whole while the package moves back and forth like a flag in a strong breeze.

So.. watch Gustav carefully over the next 24 hours and watch the models and listen to the National Hurricane Center and take a look around at your lists and supplies you have packed away and review your possible plans. But... the impact zone at this point could realistically be anywhere from Texas to Florida as it is still too early to tell.

All we know for sure now is he will try and pull himself back together and move more west a bit but he will most likely move WNW and then we will see how strong he is, where he is and what he wants to do.

And, while talking about invests know that 95 is still not dead yet! Infact, a few models show it possibly developing and getting trapped under that High that is building in and carrying 95 West just like Gustav except Florida would be on the wrong side of that westward movement. Just a mere possibility but worth remembering.

It's late August, a wave is rolling off of Africa that is a beautiful wave. It should get Invest status almost as soon as it plops into the very hot water that is off of Africa right now. Dust is almost dead by the way and there are a few waves out in the middle of the ocean that the CMC models are lusting after and fantasizing into hurricanes. Got to give the Canadian his due, he doesn't give up... always a new model run with some big, hot, wet storms out there aiming their fury and passion at the Tropical Atlantic.

So.. remember those models for 95 because I don't want anyone to forget to keep their eyes west while watching Gustav bobble about and re-intensify to our South.

A few other links are listed below such as one for Cuban Radar that may become very valuable on the next few days and one on possible problems with the price of gas IF a destructive hurricane ran into the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. And, lastly remember everyone can go to interactive radar on and put layers on for international and watch the storm over the Carib. Speaking of storms in the carib stay with for up to date reports from people in the path of Gustav and some nice satellite imagery.

I'm going to bed. Going to sleep. I'm sleepy. I had a Kirin with dinner at China Bistro in the Waterways with most of my family that is in town waiting for the other half of my family coming in over the next two days. It was a beautiful night, we ate outside on the patio and my kids walked their nieces and nephews around to look at the yachts and the water and the people out for a nice tropical evening in Miami.

Looks like a hurricane hole doesn't it? Miami is beautiful...

If your cruise to the Carib gets canceled or re-routed please remember there was a reason it was on sale really cheap during the month of August.

Night from beautiful, balmy, breezy Miami

Article on possible problems with gas prices reacting to a hit on the Gulf by Gustav:

Cuban radar:


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