Hurricane Ike… The Final Farewell!

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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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Ike Continues West-Sw

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 Ike continues in a west SW direction and almost all modles are keeping the system to our South. In fact the newest track is keeping the system over Cuba for an extended period. I still want to stress that Ike is still relativly far out, so we need to watch carefully until he is past our latitude.
Hanna is still on her way up the east coast of the US with lots of rain and inclement weather.

Hurricane Ike, 5 PM Advisory!

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Hi everybody. Hanna is going to stir up some excitement along the Eastern Seaboard as she travels north up the coast. Tropical Storm Warnings are now up to New Jersey and watches have been issued as far north as Massachusetts. Hanna is still under hurricane strength as she approaches the Carolinas.
Hurricane Ike is till holding on to major hurricane status at 115 mph. Almost all the global models have shifted south and west and this has been reflected in the official track. If the trend continues, I have received word that they will most likely shift the track more south and west again at 11. This is good news for us but not the Keys. Ike is currently in an area of northerly shear. This is helping to keep the winds in check. I must add that he is a very symmetrical storm and under the right conditions, he could intensify again and very rapidly.

He could pose a life threatening danger to the Keys early next week. A mandatory evacuation of visitors will begin tomorrow. People in the Keys need to take this one very seriously. There has been a lot of false alarms but I don’t think Ike is going to be one of them.

Are we out of the woods? No. We still need to watch very carefully throughout the weekend to be sure there are no sudden changes. Ike is an extremely dangerous storm and his presence needs to be taken seriously.
On his present track, if it holds true, we will only have a windy day with showers during the period.
Please do not let your guard down. This is a dangerous storm, stay informed!!
You can view the current track and information here.

Hanna Producing Squalls…Ike Moving West

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Hi everybody. Hanna will be producing heavy rain squalls and some high wind gusts today. She is now racing past us toward the SE US.

Hurricane Ike has weakened a little Ike is now down to 125 mph. The model tracks are now shifting farther west and that could be a good thing for us. If the tracks keep shifting enough, this might take the system more towards the Gulf.

I will have a full update tonight.

Hurricane Notes On Ike! wow!

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Hi everybody. Just got off a Meteorologist blog and I got some new input to ponder over. It appears that Hanna is leaving behind a very dusty, dry air mass. This dusty dry air could have an impact on the future intensity of Ike. Looking at the satellite presentation, it already looks like the outflow of Hanna is having an effect on Ike. If Ike starts to suck in some of that dry air, he too will weaken and possibly more then forecast. Remember, this is not official information but rather Met chatter.

Hurricane Ike 11 AM Update!

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Hi everybody. We have some new information on Ike. Ike is entering an area of northerly shear and has weakened to 140 mph. Still a very potent hurricane. The only good news I can get out of this update is the shear is forecast to remain the next couple of days. This will promote even more weakening. He is still forecast to remain a major hurricane, however.

They models are mixed. One set of models has the system following the more sw track and then moving NW while another set of models has the system gaining more latitude with less of a west-sw component. The hurricane could also be impacted by the cooler waters in the area where Hanna has been a;most all week. This is certainly some good news in what was looking like a very bleak situation.
The strength of the high is going to be the big player on exactly what landmass is affected by Ike. In addition, Ike has slowed down slightly in his forward speed.

It is good to note that the UKMET model is showing a recurve well east of Florida. This is the only current model that is showing this. Right now all we can hope for is at least a weaker hurricane and not a cat 4 at our doorstep.
I will keep an eye on the models and let you know of any changes in the trend.

Hurricane Ike Update 9:00 AM

Your Latest Florida Weather Information…
Hi everybody. We are still tracking Hanna. Hanna is not a concern to us for the most part at this time.She will pass well to our East and is now forecast to be a major player in New England.

We are generally going to focus on Ike. Ike is now nearing cat 5 strength. He is forecast to be in the same position as Hanna, in fact farther east, coming through the Bahamas. The track right now is aimed at our area as a major cat4 hurricane. By Monday if this track holds, we will see warnings and evacuations most likely begin. The models are in a little too much agreement to suit me right now. By Tuesday, the storm will abe just off the coast in some shaop or form.

On the current track, I urge all to have a plan and plan on executing it by Monday. The best case scenerio we can look for is for Ike to follow a similar track to Hanna and make a turn, but I dont know how likely that is at the moment. The GFS shows Ike recurving well offshore from Florida and the ECMWF has Ike making landfall in SE Central Florida. There is a wide swing on the models so we must watch this system with care.
In short, the decision day and possibly the action day will be Monday. Tuesday the system will either be passing just to our east or will be approaching the northern Bahamas toward our area.