Fill your gas tank – now

While it is far from certain yet how strongly these storms will develop and where they will go, production platforms are already shutting down in some parts of the Gulf of Mexico in anticipation of the storm Gustav. Here is the latest satellite image and track overlay from my meteorological business, IntelliWeather:

Click for Hi Definition image

The last time we saw oil platforms shut down in the Gulf, prices at the pump went up almost immediately. Today I noticed a 5 cent jump in prices at my own local gas station from yesterday as crude oil prices push higher.

Here is another wider Atlantic view of the two storms:

Click for larger image

I’ll keep tabs on this and update as needed.

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August 28, 2008 4:23 pm

Look out for Hannah. Gus is the feint left.

Robert Wood
August 28, 2008 4:56 pm

But these are just tropical storms at present – despite all the hype.

August 28, 2008 5:02 pm

I suggested they use floating homes on the Gulf Coast but few listened.

August 28, 2008 5:29 pm

you forgot the third one off the coast of mexico, now called Invest 96…. has there ever been 2 hurricanes in the gulf a the same time?

August 28, 2008 5:58 pm

Gustav took a jog southward after leaving Haiti, which I don’t think was predicted by many of the models. There seems to be a High over the eastern gulf. Is this strong enough to affect Gustav or is it expected to move out of the way?

Leon Brozyna
August 28, 2008 6:05 pm

I find the Forecast Discussion at NOAA’s National Hurrican Center website to be quite informative. Can glean more from that than from most MSM meteorologists {especially when they seem to hype the forecast so much}. I can also sympathize with the uncertainties they {NOAA} face in projecting a path for this type of storm. It just goes to show how much in its infancy our understanding of the atmosphere is.
Just for the record, while I usually don’t put too much stock in many on air meteorologists, I have to say that my favorite one from when I lived in Atlanta for 20 years was Glenn Burns at WSB-TV. He’d sometimes stick his neck out and give us his estimate of the weather, if it differed from the NWS. On the other hand, if either he or the NWS was off on the forecast, he’d be quick to explain that they got it wrong and why; he never insulted the viewers’ intelligence with a load of hype. I’m sure there are other equally high caliber meteorologists in other markets. Just too bad too many of them too often fall into that trap of pitching the hype, especially at the networks.
Personally, I like to second-guess the meteorologists when they show loops of cloud movements, instead of all those silly L’s, H’s, and fronts; its much more stimulating that way, even if I end up going with the canned forecast.
As for Gustav — for the sake of the folks in New Orleans, I hope it heads for Mobile (sorry guys). It’ll also be further away from the oil rigs while the really big targets in Mobile are the casinos. At least Louisianna’s got it right this time around — they’re getting ready for a full scale evacuation – no exceptions – no more Super Dome shelter. For whoever gets hit, let’s hope it’s no more than a Cat 2…

August 28, 2008 6:14 pm

“I can also sympathize with the uncertainties they {NOAA} face in projecting a path for this type of storm. ” Leon
I am amazed that they can’t predict the path of something so big as a hurricane after all the advances made in weather forecasting. It’s humiligating!

Jim Arndt
August 28, 2008 6:28 pm

There is also a very large low pressure area northwest of Yucatan. It is not quite over the water yet but is heading ito the Gulf. This could be a surprise system. Needs to be watched.

Jim Arndt
August 28, 2008 6:31 pm
Bill in Vigo
August 28, 2008 6:43 pm

Not to sure of the casinos at mobile bay but hey we need the rain even after Fay we are still several inches behind here in N E Alabama. Also one of those good meteorologist and his team are ABC33/40’s James Spann. he calls it like he sees it and no hype. If he gets it wrong he admits it and says why also if the big boys miss he explains it and tells why. I read his blog multiple times daily. At this time they are keeping a constant up date on the activity going on and trying to help understand the dynamics behind the changes. Here is the URL
It is very good coverage if any one is interested. He is the one that Heidi Cullen of the weather channel spoke so derisively of. Check out his groups coverage.
Bill Derryberry

August 28, 2008 6:59 pm

<blockquote Gustav took a jog southward after leaving Haiti, which I don’t think was predicted by many of the models. <blockquote
I read the same thing. Some models predicted that it would move northwest one indicated southward. Sort of makes me wonder how Hansen’s models can predict temperature 30 or 100 years from now……………….(or even next month).

August 28, 2008 7:52 pm

Houston Chronicle has an excellent science blog that focuses on the hurricane season. A good aggregator of weather news:
The real reason we should fill our tanks today is my wife finally found gas for $3.28/gallon!

Mike C
August 28, 2008 7:53 pm

I was watching the storm in the Gulf of Mexico on the IR loop and it got ripped to shreds by wind shear in the last few hours.

David Smith
August 28, 2008 8:00 pm

I have several early-evacuees from Louisiana arriving at my home Friday evening. We may all have to move if the storm shifts westward, though, as my home is but 12 feet above sea level and not far from a bay connected to the Gulf. We’ll see.

Drew Latta
August 28, 2008 8:25 pm

Yeah, the NWS Forecaster Discussion is where to go if you really want to know what they think the weather will do. Its always good to know the uncertainty in the forecast, and sometimes it is basically zero certainty, with each of models giving a different result. Fortunately most of the local TV meteorologists here in E. Iowa don’t do too much hyping, though they always overplay winter storms here. Most of the time we are going to get 12 inches of snow or an 1 inch of ice, but you’re best served by dividing by 4 to get the actual amount.

Mary Hinge
August 29, 2008 1:21 am

For your interest, a link to the animated loop for the mid atlantic. Shows the ‘conveor belt’ of weather from the Cape Verde islands to the Guf quite nicely.

Mary Hinge
August 29, 2008 1:21 am

For your interest, a link to the animated loop for the mid atlantic. Shows the ‘conveor belt’ of weather from the Cape Verde islands to the Guf quite nicely.

Tom in Florida
August 29, 2008 4:21 am

One of the better links for tropical weather:
It includes spaghetti models and written discussion on why the forecast is as such.
Robert Wood:”But these are just tropical storms at present – despite all the hype”
Sorry Robert, anyone who could be in the path does not take even TS as hype. These storms can increase in intensity very quickly and change course unexpectedy.

August 29, 2008 7:09 am

Just a note on Leon’s comment. The superdome wasn’t supposed to be a shelter during Katrina. (They made that mistake during George and didn’t want to repeat it.)
It only became a shelter of last resort after people didn’t leave. Instead of evacuating; some cleaned out their freezers by having BBQ’s.
If a storm heads to NO again. I wouldn’t be supprised if the superdome becomes a shelter again for those who refuse to leave.
BTW Mobile had it’s own floods during Katrina. People just rarely heard about anything other than New Orleans.

August 29, 2008 8:39 am

TS Fay with her big eye sat on central Florida and flooded quite a few areas. Last weekend was a good time to go look for property! I like to watch the spaghetti models, while all the forecasts showed Fay heading west of Florida, one model at the 5am update showed it crossing to the east then straight back across the state. I was laughing about the odd-ball model until the 11am update where 5 of them showed the same thing!

August 29, 2008 9:04 am

What is the heck is Hanna doing?

Jamie J
August 29, 2008 11:35 am

Robert Wood: Might ask the people on the mid-east coast of Florida if they think a TS is no big deal. My dad was lucky, only got enough wind to knock down a couple of big oak trees in his yard (from which his car narrowly escaped – he saw it crack and moved the car). He’s inland, so didn’t get 4 feet of water in his house like many other people on the coast.
I love watching the updates of the computer models too. It’s a fun game. They’re about as reliable as the IPCC models (until the hurricane is about to smack you). But at least with a hurricane, they can’t tell you your observations must be wrong, because they didn’t match the model output.
Jamie – in between Gustav and Hanna on the west coast of Florida.

August 29, 2008 2:04 pm

Hurricane Agnes (1972) was a tropical storm when it hit the mid atlantic states and did more damage than I’ve ever seen in the Maryland area, and it continued all the way up into New York.

Leon Brozyna
August 29, 2008 5:25 pm

Something to bear in mind about hurricanes – they’re not solid objects; think of them as disturbances in a fluid (I know, it’s really in a gas but the dynamics are fairly similar).
After Gustav went through Haiti, its move to the south was less an actual move than the center of cirulation reforming further south – one of those characteristics of any storm that makes those creatures so hard to predict.

August 29, 2008 8:15 pm

Yep, we’re veering north to steer clear of the mass exodus.

Bruce Cobb
August 30, 2008 1:00 pm

FEMA says Gustav soon to be rated Category 5 storm: FEMA says Gustav soon to be rated Category 5 storm
At least they’re ready this time, although perhaps the levees aren’t.

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