Hurricane Gustav

Friday is the three year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. We interrupt our regular programming to say that Tropical Storm Gustav will, if he holds his current course, make landfall in South Louisiana Monday night. By the time you read the following discussion from it will no longer be current, but I am pasting it in so you can see what I am reading, for horror and pleasure, this Wednesday night. Gustav is only a tropical storm now, but he should regain hurricane force by Friday. Then he will fly over the western edge of Cuba and come on in.

000
WTNT42 KNHC 280250
TCDAT2
TROPICAL STORM GUSTAV DISCUSSION NUMBER  12
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL   AL072008
1100 PM EDT WED AUG 27 2008

THE LAST RECONNAISSANCE FIX WAS AT 23Z.  DATA FROM THE AIRCRAFT
INDICATED THAT THE CENTER OF GUSTAV BEGAN TO MOVE WEST-
SOUTHWESTWARD AND AWAY FROM THE DEEP CONVECTION.  PEAK FLIGHT-LEVEL
WINDS WERE 39 KT AND THE HIGHEST RECENT BELIEVABLE SFMR WINDS WERE
41 KT.  THE ADVISORY INTENSITY IS LOWERED TO 40 KT BASED ON THESE
OBSERVATIONS.

THE INITIAL MOTION IS NOW ESTIMATED TO BE 250/7...ALTHOUGH THE
CENTER HAS BEEN VERY HARD TO TRACK SINCE THE TIME OF THE LAST FIX
AND MIGHT BE A LITTLE SOUTH OF MY ADVISORY POSITION.  A DEEP-LAYER
RIDGE...ORIENTED NORTHEAST-SOUTHWEST...IS CENTERED OVER THE FLORIDA
PENINSULA. THIS RIDGE HAS IMPARTED A BIT OF A SOUTHERLY COMPONENT
OF MOTION THAT SOME MODELS SHOW PERSISTING FOR ANOTHER 24 HOURS OR
SO. AFTER THAT...GUSTAV IS EXPECTED TO ROUND THE PERIPHERY OF THE
RIDGE AND TURN TO THE NORTHWEST IN THE EASTERN GULF OF MEXICO.
COMPLICATING THE FORECAST IN THE LATTER PART OF THE PERIOD IS THE
EVOLUTION AND IMPACT OF AN UPPER-LEVEL TROUGH EXPECTED TO BE IN THE
CENTRAL OR WESTERN GULF OF MEXICO...AS WELL AS THE DEVELOPMENT OF A
BLOCKING HIGH AT THE END OF THE PERIOD REMINISCENT OF WHAT HAPPENED
WITH FAY A WEEK OR SO AGO. GIVEN THESE FACTORS...THE MODEL GUIDANCE
IS IN SURPRISINGLY GOOD AGREEMENT. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST RELIES
MOST STRONGLY ON A BLEND OF THE ECMWF...UKMET...GFDL...AND
GFS...WHICH IS NOW FOLLOWING THE VORTEX FAIRLY WELL...AND IS JUST
TO THE LEFT OF THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY TRACK. THE DYNAMICAL MODEL
CONSENSUS IS A LITTLE FARTHER TO THE LEFT.

GUSTAV HAS BEEN SIGNIFICANTLY DISPRUPTED BY ITS ENCOUNTER WITH THE
TERRAIN OF HAITI.  IN ADDITION...MID-LEVEL DRY AIR APPEARS TO BE
OVERTAKING THE CYCLONE FROM THE NORTHEAST.   IN ANOTHER 24-36
HOURS...HOWEVER...GUSTAV SHOULD FIND ITSELF UNDER AN UPPER
ANTICYCLONE AND OVER THE VERY DEEP WARM WATERS OF THE NORTHWESTERN
CARIBBEAN...AND SO THE CYCLONE SHOULD HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO
RESTRENGTHEN.  IN ADDITION...THE FORECAST TRACK TAKES GUSTAV OVER
THE LOOP CURRENT IN THE SOUTHEASTERN GULF.  AFTER THAT...GLOBAL
MODELS SUGGEST THE POSSIBILITY OF SOUTHWESTERLY SHEAR IN THE GULF
ASSOCIATED WITH THE UPPER TROUGH THAT COULD SLOW THE
INTENSIFICATION RATE.  THE OFFICIAL FORECAST SHOWS A SLOWER
RESTRENGTHENING THAN THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY INITIALLY...BUT IS
OTHERWISE SIMILAR...AND ROUGHLY SPLITS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE
SHIPS AND GFDL GUIDANCE.

IT PROBABLY WOULDN'T HURT TO REMIND EVERYONE THAT THE AVERAGE 5-DAY
OFFICIAL TRACK ERROR IS ABOUT 300 MILES...AND THE AVERAGE 5-DAY
INTENSITY ERROR IS ABOUT 25 MPH.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL      28/0300Z 18.8N  75.4W    40 KT
 12HR VT     28/1200Z 18.8N  76.5W    45 KT
 24HR VT     29/0000Z 18.9N  78.0W    50 KT
 36HR VT     29/1200Z 19.4N  79.5W    60 KT
 48HR VT     30/0000Z 20.1N  81.0W    70 KT
 72HR VT     31/0000Z 22.5N  84.5W    85 KT
 96HR VT     01/0000Z 26.0N  87.5W    95 KT
120HR VT     02/0000Z 29.0N  89.5W    95 KT

FORECASTER FRANKLIN

So we will sing – in a stadium. In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.

Axé.

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34 Comments

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34 responses to “Hurricane Gustav

  1. Are you in the probable path of this hurricane? I can feel the tension from here.

  2. I don’t feel no tension. Me likem hurricane.

  3. I’m not evacuating unless they make me – I’m inland and 30 feet above sea level. Yes it is coming here (unless, of course, it changes course), but it will hit N.O. first, and by the time it gets here it will probably be only a Category 1 storm, 2 at most, and the house can handle that with no flooding. I think the worst that will happen is that we’ll lose power, and it’s just easier to stay. It also makes it possible to take in evacuees, of which there will be a lot from N.O.

    I’m tense for what may happen to N.O. And I don’t like hurricanes – I have this perverse enjoyment of “earthquake weather” and I’ve never been through real earthquake trauma, so I “likem” earthquakes – but not hurricanes (although forest fires are even worse!).

  4. Excitement!

    heh. Yeah, it probably pays not to have been through something in a bad way in order to enjoy it well. Thus the ancient notion of the storm always being outside and onself always being tucked into bed.

    Right now, I feel no storms of any sort since I had to revisit an old trauma (clerical work) and consequently the numbness I feel just doesn’t go away.

  5. Ah yes, numb … in a way I’d sort of like that, I have anxiety over it: I just can’t wait for it to be over, so I can know the extent of the N.O. damage, and get used to it. We’re in an official state of emergency now:
    http://humidcity.com/2008/08/27/jindal-declares-state-of-emergency/

    The problem with hurricanes is that you know they’re coming, so you have all this time to worry about it, but it isn’t for sure that they’re coming, they could move, and then it’s not entirely sure how strong they’ll be. Too much jerking around. Earthquakes, there’s the “weather” that surrounds them but they come with much less warning. It is less anxiety producing. Forest fires are worse because they’re jumpy like hurricanes, so you have all the anxiety, but less hope of escape – they can be so fast – or of light damage. I’m irritated because I just woke up from culture shock, finally, and could use some calm – and now we get a week of anxiety and maybe trauma.

  6. A N.O. blog says don’t panic, so I’ll try to be mature! ;-) But, N.O. types, if you read this thread a few days from now and it’s bad, e-mail profacero@gmail.com, I can morph this house and maybe a couple of others into a hurricane shelter.

  7. You should live. I guess I even like to panic, though. Weird times.

  8. There’s a fun element, one must admit – big wind, trees bending, unusual schedules, wandering around looking at damage, having hurricane parties, seeing the lake with big waves in it, etc.

    But the oil platforms are already evacuating, foreseeing a category 3-5 storm. This strength level is Katrinaesque and freaky.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/feedarticle/7757660

  9. Well I hope that doesn’t happen. Wasn’t there a couple of days warning re. Katrina — enough time for the brain of a chimp to act?

  10. kiita

    I’m thinking of you and everyone in NO.

  11. Gracias y’all. It’s moving west. I hope it goes further west … no more N.O. destruction.

    Warning, it’s a judgment call – those storms move. And it takes more than two days. And I am worried about the fucking buildings and about whether there will ever be any Federal support for the city now, and whether anyone will be able to come back.

    The Rethuglican thing to say is that if these Negroes were smarter, had more than the brain of a chimp, they would not have stayed in N.O. But evacuation is really expensive and you have to have a means of transportation. Very many people in N.O. do not have cars and other options were few, and storms come often. In the year of Katrina there had already been ten, with us watching every one.

    If you CAN evacuate – i.e. if you are middle class and up – then you still have to decide whether you are going to do it this time. Days out of work, hundreds of dollars, what to do with your animals, and you aren’t home to take care of anything that happens to your house. There are a lot of storms in this season, so it is possible to misjudge. And in Katrina it wasn’t the storm, it was the levees breaking that caused the disaster. Still the time to go is now – apparently the estimated driving time (due to traffic jams) from N.O. is going to be something close to 10 times the normal…!!!

    If you are going to accept what little public transportation there is, to public shelters, you have to be sure it’s bad so it’s worth it. Remember the children raped in the Superdome, the hygiene of the Convention Center, the buses that took people away without deigning to tell them where they were going, the way families were separated, the lack of food, the drives to Houston and beyond without bathroom stops, and on, and on. This is why people really need to be sure their lives are at risk before they go rushing off.

    As I say, many Rethuglicans were mean about these Negroes not having left, etc., and said they should use their chimp brains better next time. But people *were* thinking about real circumstances when they didn’t leave. And very many did leave, and others tried and failed, so there. And the reason this post ends with people in a stadium is that those are where the evacuees ended up.

  12. Wow. We’ve had hurricanes aimed straight at us, and we are set with whatever we can do here: hurricane clips, lamps, food, batteries, a basement shelter, etc. Although we overlook the water, we’re 150 feet up, so storm surge would not get us, but a direct hit from even a category 1 hurricane would reduce our single-wall construction house to splinters. The locals swear that the huge mountains “steer” hurricanes away from us or cause them to break up, and that has actually been what has always happened as far as I can tell.

    Kauai was hit twice recently– in the 80′s and in the early 90′s– and has not really recovered.

    All my best wishes. I’ve got my fingers crossed for you.

    BTW: My cousin says sturdy walking shoes and a walking stick are important to have.

  13. Gracias, gracias! That’s a good point, the walking stick. I do not have one and I see the use instantly.

    I think mountains do steer and stop hurricanes. Apparently the hills of Haiti reduced GUSTAV to tropical storm status. Even the swamplands here, help, and that is why by the time it gets to my house it won’t be too strong. Storms in Category 1 and 2 have been here before. You can get flooded or have trees fall on your house, but it’s unlikely for me, and if your house is very light it can get blown apart, but that again is unlikely.

    My house is frame and single wall (I guess) but it’s old cypress and pine, and very heavy. (Even the drywall is extra thick and heavy, it is made of sugar cane!) My ex (not from here) thought it needed hurricane clamps but the carpenters laughed – I’m so solidly constructed, the clamps are weaker.

    So *I* will be fine, and it’s comparatively easy to evacuate from here – I’m just really concerned about the city.

  14. Our house doesn’t even have drywall. And our roof is galvanized steel with a big overhang because of the torrential rains we get. There’s a clip somewhere of a roof like ours sailing off in one piece during Iniki.
    Interesting info about Haiti.

  15. Now it’s slowing down, but it is supposed to reorganize and intensify after it passes Jamaica. It’s still a tropical storm at this point, not a hurricane.

    I want a metal roof with a big overhang … but I guess I would have to attach it very well. No drywall, do you not have mosquitoes, do you do anything about cracks or are you just acclimated … does it ever get chilly there?

  16. The coldest it’s ever been in my house is 62 and the hottest 89. It always cools down at night for comfortable sleeping. Heating and air conditioning are not necessary, but we have window conditioners that we use now and then on those few afternoons when it’s too hot and humid. We have screens on all the windows, which we leave open all the time (no crime or break-ins to speak of).

    Our house was built very soundly in 1960 of redwood boards. Mosquitoes can’t get in through the walls, and we have screens on all the windows. It’s on a slab foundation which foils the termites, and they don’t eat redwood anyway. It’s not a fancy showplace house, but it’s ideal for this climate.

    I still laugh thinking of my friend from New Jersey who after looking around my basement said, “Where’s the furnace?”

  17. How ideal – and that is hilarious about the absent furnace!

    Redwood in Hawaii – is that imported? Is it common? This is most interesting.

    I want to take off my drywall and just have the cypress boards. People tell me it could be disastrous because if they have shrunk at all there will be cracks.

  18. The simean brain is of course that of the simean in chief. The grinning chimp?

  19. We had a cracking midwestern thunderstorm with torrential rains last night, but no tornadoes or straight line winds to knock things down. I will be hoping that the winds die down, that the rains aren’t too great, that people will be safe and dry.

  20. From Forecaster Beven (of Baton Rouge, one of my most trusted) at 11PM EDT August 28:

    “IT WOULD BE NO SURPRISE IF RAPID INTENSIFICATION OCCURRED AND GUSTAV BECAME A CATEGORY 4 OR 5 HURRICANE BY 72 HR.”

    It’s in Jamaica now, still as a tropical storm. The cone puts it landing anywhere from the Florida panhandle to the Texas border – there’s 95 degree open water for it to intensify over, no land in its path, from there to here.

    All houngans and meditators of New Orleans and the Caribbean (and anywhere else) dream tonight for it to dissipate!

  21. The standard “plantation” houses were built of this redwood from California which is no longer available. Our house, built in 1960, is of somewhat later vintage but in this unique local style which is plain and a little Japanesy.

    Still watching that hurricane. I hope you will be all right. What a bummer, right after your fascinating but not terribly relaxing vacation.

  22. I believe you have precisely the house of my dreams!

    Hurricane – GRACIAS. Yes, this is what I say, just after that voyage where so many Third Worldy things happened, here comes another. Although I’ll be fine, it’ll be category 2 *maximum* by the time it gets here, and I strongly suspect less.

    But I’ll be on pins and needles until I find out how N.O. does! They’re already evacuating, but I’m concerned about the buildings and land and general viability of everything once it’s over.

  23. Forecasters BLAKE and AVILA (my favorite) at 5 AM Friday 29 August EDT say Gustav has massively increased in size and could be as much as a Category IV storm when it hits Cuba. And then,

    “GUSTAV IS EXPECTED TO BE A LARGE POWERFUL HURRICANE AS IT APPROACHES THE NORTHERN GULF COAST.”

  24. Observe 3:15 PM Friday 29 August EDT:

    “DATA FROM AN AIR FORCE RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT INDICATE THAT GUSTAV HAS AGAIN BECOME A HURRICANE WITH MAXIMUM WINDS NEAR 75 MPH … 120 KM/HR.”

    FORECASTER KNABB”

    Category I and strengthening. I am telling you. If it is arriving I want it to go anywhere but N.O.

    One should not “stress on” hurricanes, I know, but this is only the second one I have ever stressed on, and I was right on the first.

  25. I am predicting it moves further west and goes to Texas. Let’s see if I am right. This is now a game!

  26. I hope you are well inland. Boy oh boy. I’d get the hell out of anywhere that looked as if it might be in the path of this one.

  27. I’m well *enough* inland, although still in south Louisiana. It’s still in Category I but is supposed to hit Cuba as a Category III. Then as it crosses the Gulf it has space to build to IV or V, but by the time it crosses land to my house it won’t be a major hurricane (major = category III and up).

    In gossip, I went to the store. They’re out of water and batteries already. I shopped randomly, then realized a lot of what I bought needs refrigeration. I’ll have to find or acquire an ice chest tomorrow and start making ice for it.

    And yet, it could be that nothing happens.

  28. It’s intensified. Apparently in Cuba now as a Category III storm.

    Prediction Saturday 5 AM EDT: For Louisiana, winds as follows, meaning (I think, although I need to interpret this) that I can get up to 70 knots. I expect less. They say there will be major flooding in Texas and Louisiana but I expect little personally. I want to keep electricity, phone, and gas … I guess I should get myself solar powered.

    72HR VT 02/0600Z 29.5N 91.5W 100 KT…NEAR LOUISIANA COAST
    96HR VT 03/0600Z 30.5N 93.0W 70 KT…INLAND
    120HR VT 04/0600Z 31.0N 94.0W 35 KT…INLAND

    FORECASTER BLAKE/AVILA

    They have it coming in at Vermilion Bay and then veering off toward Lake Charles.

  29. At 2PM EDT today, Saturday, it had intensified to Category IV.

  30. I’d have a small Ave Maria aggregation here but it is late. Here’s Pavarotti tutto solo, though. And the nuns told me we have to concentrate on St. Joseph, the carpenter, so keep our houses safe. If any piece of the house starts to be blown lose, you say: “St. Joseph, put your foot on it!”

    PAVAROTTI

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