Hurricane Ike… The Final Farewell!

Your Latest Florida Weather Information

Hi everybody. Soon, hurricane Ike will be little more then a memory…a memory that will linger on the minds of many for months to come. Structures that have endured years of storms and hurricanes succumbed to the raging fury that Ike had to offer. Probably the most amazing analogy is that Ike was only a category 2 storm. The damage scene looks more like that from a bomb explosion then a cat 2 cyclone. One of the reason for this was the tremendous storm surge. The Gulf of Mexico has so many low lying areas that are at or barely above sea level, this combined with the deep Gulf waters creates a recipe for disaster whenever a storm looms. Had Ike taken a different path and passed over one or more of the warm eddies in the Gulf, the scene would of been much worse. In fact, it would of been catastrophic and beyond.

One of the things that saved Galveston Island from even worse damage was a 17 foot seawall that was built in 1900 after the great Galveston Hurricane that killed thousands of people, many due to drowning.

This is just a grim reminder that as our climate changes, our storms are becoming more intense with weather events constantly creating new records.

Here in Florida, we will often talk about how we barely missed the big one. A near miss it was indeed. As you recall, the original forecast called for Hanna to leave a weakness in the ridge and allow Ike to penetrate through the weakness and move dangerously close to East Central Florida as a potential cat 4 hurricane. As Hanna began to move away, the models started to pick up on the ridge beginning to fill in. At first, it was only shown on a few models but as time went on, the analogy began to spread throughout the model suite. As I tracked the model progress, I started to breathe a little easier each day. To make the forecasting more difficult, I had to try to safely schedule a flight for my wife to Massachusetts between all the mess so she could attend a funeral ceremony for her Dad that just passed away.

Besides tracking the back to back hurricanes in 2004, this was the most nerve breaking 3 week period I have ever had as a tracker. You can ask any tracker out there and they will tell you the same thing….storm tracking is a job you love to hate.

Our prayers are extended to all the people who have lost life or property in the wake of Hurricane Ike.

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