Sunday, September 7, 2008

9/07 Forecast Discussion

Our forecast for the next few days looks warm and beautiful. A good chance of sunshine with a mix of clouds will be our forecast into Wednesday/Thursday, but the slight chance of afternoon showers will allow me to keep a a spot of showers in the forecast. Expect highs in the low 90s through at least Wednesday, but Thursday we could see temps lower a bit due to the influence of Ike's cloud cover. Also the chance of rain will increase later in the week as we slower enter in the outer bands of Ike.

The latest model runs continue to show a similar forecast to yesterday's output. In fact, if we look at the model runs within the last 48 hours, we can see the models have slowly shifted more west towards TX. Although earlier today the HWRF was still showing a MS Coast landfall, but the last update shows a very similar track as Gustav with a SW Louisiana track.
I previously talked about my concerns with the ridge breaking down earlier than the models anticipate, and I still have a slight concern with the models forecast of the future front. Although my concern is now looking at a track into the middle of the TX coast or SW Louisiana. The break down of the ridge seems to be lagging, which will allow Ike to move into the Western Gulf, but an early break down will allow a SW Louisiana landfall.
Even though I talk about a long westward track, I must still recognize the chance of Ike moving northward into the AL/FL coast. Many forecasters are still up in the air at this point.

Ike's strength:
Ike is losing strength as I type. The influence of Ike's movement over Cuba is diminshing the overall strength of the storm. In fact, Ike is expected by many to become a Cat 1 after moving past Cuba by mid-day Tuesday. Once entering the Gulf, models show intensification reaching a Cat 3 by Thursday and at landfall. The Shear and SST (Sea Surface Temperature) is prime for strengthening in the Gulf. Only 10 to 15kts wind shear is forecast for the Gulf.

Thanks for checking in! Hope you have a good week!

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