Saturday, August 30, 2008
Gustav, Now a Category 3, Eyes Cuba
Hurricane Gustav is now a Category 3 storm, and it is expected to move over the western tip of Cuba late tonight and early Sunday morning. Right now the track puts it on the Louisiana coast Tuesday morning. Weather officials say the Gulf waters are cooler than normal, and this might help weaken Gustav as it approaches the U.S. coastline. But they warn that this is still a major hurricane.
UPDATE, 11 a.m., Eastern, Aug. 30: Gustav is getting even stronger, as per the 11 a.m. udated advisory by the National Hurricane Center:
...GUSTAV EVEN A LITTLE STRONGER AS IT CLOSES IN ON WESTERN CUBA...
AT 1100 AM EDT...1500 UTC...THE GOVERNMENT OF THE CAYMAN ISLANDS HAS
DISCONTINUED THE HURRICANE WARNING FOR THE CAYMAN ISLANDS.
AT 1100 AM EDT...A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR THE LOWER
FLORIDA KEYS WEST OF THE SEVEN MILE BRIDGE TO DRY TORTUGAS. A
TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS.
AT 1100 AM EDT...1500Z...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE GUSTAV WAS LOCATED
NEAR LATITUDE 21.2 NORTH...LONGITUDE 82.1 WEST OR ABOUT 55 MILES...
85 KM...EAST-SOUTHEAST OF THE ISLE OF YOUTH AND ABOUT 185 MILES...
295 KM...EAST OF THE WESTERN TIP OF CUBA.
HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 60 MILES...95 KM...FROM
THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 160
THE MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE BASED ON RECENT REPORTS FROM AIR FORCE
AND NOAA RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT IS 954 MB...28.17 INCHES.
This was the National Hurricane Center warning eariler this morning:
BY 48 HOURS...ALMOST ALL OF THE GLOBAL MODELS SHOW AN
INCREASE IN VERTICAL WIND SHEAR NEAR GUSTAV. IN ADDITION...SINCE
THE LOOP CURRENT IS SOUTH OF ITS TYPICAL LOCATION...THE HURRICANE
WILL BE MOVING OVER WATERS THAT ARE NOT NEARLY AS CONDUCIVE FOR
STRENGTHENING AS THEY COULD BE. THESE TWO FACTORS WILL HOPEFULLY
WEAKEN THE STORM PRIOR TO U.S. LANDFALL. HOWEVER...GUSTAV IS
EXPECTED TO BE A LARGE AND DANGEROUS HURRICANE AND THE NHC FORECAST
CONTINUES TO SHOW GUSTAV AS A MAJOR HURRICANE AT LANDFALL."