Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Freak-out time in the Big Uneasy

When I wrote last night's post, little did I know that the next Big One might be sooner rather than later. For all the reasons I've been ranting about for the last two years (and more), this is not good.

And then you have the meteorological considerations, as covered in this Times-Picayune dispatch:
Gustav is forecast to be a major Category 3 hurricane with top winds of 120 mph about 300 miles south of New Orleans on Sunday afternoon, according to the 4 p.m. forecast of the National Hurricane Center.

That places much of southeast Louisiana within the center's 5-day cone of forecast error.

Gustav was raking Haiti with 75 mph winds this afternoon as it moves northwest at 10 mph. At 4 p.m. Central time, the center of Gustav was about 180 miles southeast of Guantanamo, Cuba, and 60 miles west southwest of Port au Prince, Haiti.

"Now that the center is moving over the mountainous terrain of the southwest peninsula of Haiti, Gustav is likely losing strength," said Hurricane Center senior hurricane specialist James Franklin in a discussion message about the storm. "The eye is no longer evident on satellite images and the system could weaken below hurricane intensity tonight."

But Franklin warned that the mix of upper level winds in which the storm is moving is still favorable for intensification, which means Gustav is will quickly regain strength as it moves toward Cuba on Wednesday.

No comments: