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Thursday, September 11

Waiting for Ike to Intensify

Current Satellite Image on Ike

Written by: Brian Neudorff

Ike is a very large and impressive looking storm on satellite, but Ike has not responded to the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico as most forecasters had predicted, including my own personal thoughts on Ike. What has been very strange about Ike is that in terms of its central pressure, Ike has strengthened, as of 11 am EDT Ike's central pressure was 945 mb considerably lower than what it was 24 hours ago. But when you look at Ike's maximum sustain winds they are only at 100 mph. The winds have Ike classified as a category 2 hurricane, if we went by pressure Ike would be a borderline category 3 or even 4 hurricane. This is what makes Ike so scary and dangerous. To many forecasters it seems like it is a matter of when the winds will catch up with the pressure drop rather than if.

It is not uncommon for winds associated with tropical cyclones to lag behind pressure drops but we are looking at 13 hours of a steady pressure near 945 mb and winds not changing. Several questions remain about what Ike will do in the next 24 to 48 hours when it is expected to make landfall near Freeport, TX Saturday morning. From all the discussions I have read from various forecasters, meteorologist and other weather enthusists this looks like it could be a bad scenario for the Texas Gulf Coast near Galveston and even Houston. The biggest issue with Ike is there are still to many questions on its forecasted path. Many of the models keep changing and wobbling north and south with each run. They all forecast a recurvature turn to the right in repsonse to changes in upper level steering currents, but do not agree on when and where this turn takes place. This is huge as far as location and who will eventually feel the brunt of Ike's force.

I will try to have more on Ike later today or tomorrow, until then here are resources and blogs you can follow to track Ike and get some interesting insite on this storm.

Ike Tracking and Monitoring Resources: [NHC Ike Tracker] [NOAA Ike Satellite Images] [NHC Ike Public Idvisory] [NHC Ike Forecast Discussion] [NOAA Buoy Observations] [Buoy 42001] [ Ike Resources] [Skeetobite Weather Ike Forecast Intensity and Path] [ Hurricane Center] [Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential]

More great insight in the following weather blogs: [Brian Neudorff's own Weather Blog] [Dr. Jeff Masteres Wunderground Blog] [Pajamas Media “Weather Nerd” Brendan Loy] [Alan Sullivan’s Fresh Bilge] [Houston Chronicles SciGuy Eric Berger] [ Weather Matrix Blog] [ Tropics Discussion out of Texas]

Preparing for Ike and other Hurricanes: [American Red Cross Hurricane Ike Online Newsroom] [ Preparing for Hurricanes] [FEMA] [Emergency information for Texas Residence]

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