Archive for August 31, 2008

DANGEROUS HURRICANE GUSTAV MOVES NW TOWARDS THE CENTRAL GULF COAST… TROPICAL STORM HANNA STRUGGLES WITH SHEAR AND COOL AIR BUT IF IT CAN SURVIVE, IT COULD THREATEN THE EAST COAST LATE IN THE WEEK

Hurricane Gustav briefly became a category 4 storm on Saturday as it slammed into Western Cuba. Then, it weakened just a bit to a category 3 early Sunday. The hurricane is now heading NW towards the Louisiana coast. It may strengthen back to category 4 but remember, intensity forecasts are very tricky. Evacuations and preparations are well underway in New Orleans and other areas of the Louisiana coast. Officials want to ensure that they are much better prepared for this storm than they were for Katrina. There’s another storm out there and that is Hanna. Hanna is undergoing shear from an upper-level low that was expected to weaken but is hanging on. It’s also been affected by cooler getting into its circulation. Once the shear relaxes, Hanna may get its act together and become a full fledged warm core system. Models predict a west or west-southwest track eventually with this system which is a little unusual. If Hanna can survive the current hostile conditions, it could actually be a threat to the east coast. Please monitor your local media as well as the TPC for updates on Hanna. The timeframe for possible effects here in Hampton Roads will be next weekend. Our weather will be quite tranquil except for an isolated shower or thunderstorm early on Sunday from a slow moving cold front approaching from the NW. Eventually, slightly cooler air will move in behind the front on Monday and Tuesday with a northeast and east wind… sound familiar? We’ve seen this set up several times this month. I picked up 0.40 inches of rain on Friday from an isolated shower that popped up right over my neighborhood. Unfortunately, most of Hampton Roads was dry on Friday. Areas to our west picked up some pretty good rainfall totals this past week from Fay’s remnants. This rain missed Hampton Roads for the most part. Our deficit grows and is now six to seven inches for the year in some areas. I’ll have an update on Monday.

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