Hurricane Gustav 2:00 on Sunday

He is a big storm and you can see where he’s going.  We started getting rain yesterday and expect more bands to come through today.  It’s off and on gusty in the 20-30 mph range in Orlando.

One thing to pay attention to is if this storm drifts to the west, it could come in at a steep angle.  It may not make much of a change in New Orleans as they will get the brunt of it almost no matter what.  But if it comes in at the steep angle, that makes it stronger as it moves into Texas.  Houston will need to watch for that.

My fiend Kevin shared some good resources to track the storm including a guy riding it out in New Orleans, blogging and twittering.

Gulf of Mexico Loop Current Makes Major Hurricanes

I always knew that once a tropical storm or weak hurricane got out into the Gulf of Mexico it usually errupts and intensifies into a major hurricane quickly.  Both Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita did it in 2005.

But I didn’t really know why it happens.  I know the water is warm (hot!) but I didn’t know until today why this really happens. It’s called the Loop Current.

…if the water is still warm at lower depths, then water being pulled to the surface remains warm, and the hurricane can increase in intensity if other atmospheric conditions are also conducive to strengthening. Meteorologists look for areas of deep warm water of at least 26 degrees Celsius (79°F). A continuous supply of warm water is one of several critical factors in enabling hurricanes to intensify beyond the initial level of a major hurricane (Category 3)

How warm is the Gulf right now in relation to Gustav?  You tell me:

This isn’t always a guarantee.  If the storm moves fast it may not intensify to a grand scale.  However, since Hurricane Ivan in 2004, the 5 hurricanes to make it to Cat 5 strength, 3 of them went straight through the Loop Current (this isn’t counting the Cat 3 and 4 storms) .

So keep your eye on Gustav.  He’s heading right through the Loop Current.

Thankfully he’s not supposed to get to Cat 5, but this explains why storms like Gustav can grow very fast in the Gulf.  Keep your eye on Gustav.

Hurricanes in the Gulf

This is bad, bad, bad.  Here’s what we have going on right now with Gustav to the west and Hanna to the east.

Close to 50 are dead in the Caribbean because of Fay and Gustav already.

It’s about to get worse though not just for the Caribbean.  Here’s what Hurricane Gustav is expected to do this weekend:

It goes without saying that this is just horrible for New Orleans.  And you may have heard about the oil rigs that are in trouble.  I found this map somewhere but can’t remember where.  It’s where some of the current oil rigs are around Louisiana:

Yeah, most of those oil platforms are in trouble.

Fay, Gustav, Hanna, and Cuba

My heart goes out to the Cubans and Hispolians.  It’s been a tough couple weeks.  And it’s probably going to get worse.

The storm track closest to Cuba was Fay.  The one on top of Jamiaca is Gustav.  The path aiming for Cuba from the North is Hanna.

New Orleans to Houston – Watch Gustav

I really don’t like the way Hurricane Gustav is shaping up right now.  On the long range track, Gustav is looking to be a Major Category 3 hurricane aiming for somewhere between Houston and New Orleans by early next week.

The bad news for New Orleans is if he stays on track, NO will get the front-right quadrant of the major hurricane.  In case you didn’t know, that is the most dangerous area of these storms.

Hurricane Gustav Spotlight