Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tracking Hurricane Ike

Well, after being lulled into a false sense of security early this week, Ike has decided to shift a little farther north over the last 24-36 hours... prompting a tropical storm warning for New Orleans.

This thing is huge. With a capital G. Although Ike is still a mid-category 2 hurricane, Tropical storm force winds extend up to 275 mi from the center, and Hurricane (with a capital rrrRRR!) force winds up to 115 mi! Houston is definitely back in line for a direct hit, even if landfall is technically well to the south. And with a minimal central pressure of 945mb (normally almost a category 4), storm surge will be bad on Galveston Island. If I were anywhere on Galveston today, I'd be getting out.

Update: After checking the latest storm surge models, I'm even more worried for Houston (and to some extent, New Orleans, believe it or not). The NHC expects 20ft storm surge at Galveston, but the latest SLOSH model has a 10% chance of a 30ft(!) storm surge right up Galveston Bay into suburban Houston. There's also a chance for at least 10 ft storm surge around New Orleans, which is close to what was experience recently in Gustav.

The maps below show the storm surge probability as of 11am this morning. The first map shows the likelyhood of receiving a storm surge greater than 5ft, and the second map shows the maximum expected storm surge height.

1 comment:

Janet said...

I'm catching up on blogs...
and letters..look for one soon!