Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Peak of Hurricane Season

The peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season is nearing and on cue, the tropics are heating up. After Hurricane Gustav hit the Louisiana Coast this week, three more tropical systems threaten the East Coast over the next week. The first threat is tropical storm Hanna. Hanna has been struggling over the past few days, once a category 1 hurricane. Hanna looks to intensify once again to a category 1 hurricane by Saturday before skirting the East Coast this weekend. Hanna could stay just off shore causing hurricane strength winds along most of the East Coast this weekend. Now Hanna will only be a minimal hurricane with top winds of 75 mph to 80 mph.

Ike on the other hand, is a dangerous category 4 storm this morning with top winds of 145 mph. Ike will be entering an area of cooler waters thanks to Hanna, causing the storm to weaken to a strong category 2 or 3 storm. Once Ike crosses the patch of cooler water, he should once again strengthen to a category 4 storm with top winds of 140 mph. Ike will have to be watched closely because he is forecast to move towards the East Coast of Florida as a very dangerous storm. Long range computer forecast models are hinting at a fairly strong cold front moving into the Midwest next Thursday. There is a chance this front could cause Ike to turn more to the north and then northeast, having him miss the US. Let’s all hope and pray this is the case.

And then there is Josephine. Josephine is having trouble gaining strength and it is doubtful she will ever make hurricane strength. Ike has stirred up some cooler waters from the depths of the Atlantic. It is this cooler water that Josephine will have to cross, along with some wind shear, causing Josephine to struggle in her development. Current forecast models continue to send Josephine out into the central Atlantic.

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