Gustav's progress via near realtime satellite imagery

As many of you may know, I produce a variety of weather imagery maps for web and broadcast in SD and HD. Since there is a lot of interest in the path of hurricane Gustav, I thought I’d post a near-live image, which will update every 30 minutes.

Click image for full size or animate this image: Click for loop>>>

What is interesting to note, is that as of this writing, Gustav seems to be losing organization. The eye, which was well defined just before making landfall on Cuba, seems very nebulous. Watch and wait.

Update: 3:30PM PST, while there was some weakening earlier, it now looks like signs of increased angular momentum are showing up in the satellite imagery. A defined eye may appear again.

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David L Hagen
August 31, 2008 9:41 am

Thanks for that dynamic hurricane view – very helpful.
On your point of breaking up, suggest providing a similar dynamic view of NOAA’s false color graphic of the hurricane shown at

August 31, 2008 10:41 am

It appears Gustav will re-generate itself and the eye just before making landfall…probably as a Cat. 4 according to most of the experts….*OH MY*

Tom in Florida
August 31, 2008 11:30 am

Yes, Gustav, even though over the warmest water yet, is being battered by some veritical sheer and some dry air trying to enter through the south. The latest report from Weather Underground has the eye elongating. Still, any winds over 100 mph are very destructive and with a likely storm surge of 15 ft, N.O. is once again going to get flooded.

John F. Pittman
August 31, 2008 11:32 am

Hugo, right before it came ashore in South Crolina, looked like the bands were expanding, throwing the center towards North Carolina. Instead it came in at Charleston on a high tide at night. A local weather expert called the Charleston landing whereas the NWS was predicting Myrtle Beach area. Didn’t Camille also show this pattern?

August 31, 2008 11:49 am

Obama is no doubt headed to the gulf coast now. He’s not going to miss out on THIS body-surfing opportunity!

Patrick Henry
August 31, 2008 12:08 pm

Michael Moore and the former DNC chairman agreed that the destruction of New Orleans would be hilarious and a “gift from God” to the Democrats. Does that mean that a weakening of the hurricane and the saving of human life is a gift to the Republicans?

Mike Bryant
August 31, 2008 12:09 pm

The Weather Channel is saying that this apparent collapsing of the eye, is actually evidence that the hurricane is generating thunderstorms and strengthening.
REPLY: Well maybe, I also pointed out the vertical convection (thunderstorms) but when I look at the anvil outflow it is almost straight line to SW…and that is odd to me. I would expect the upper level winds to curve the anvil outflow. Perhaps some shear is occurring. -Anthony

Mike Bryant
August 31, 2008 12:16 pm

I always thought that a highly defined eye was evidence of strengthening, I was very surprised to hear that the collapsing was. Time will tell.

August 31, 2008 12:52 pm

I wonder. If a cat 4 hitting NOLA is sign that God favors the Democrats, would a reduction to cat1 (or tropical storm) signify a divine preference for Republicans?

E. J. Mohr
August 31, 2008 12:57 pm

I’m no expert, but the visible and RGB imagery seem to show the eye regenerating. The storm still appears asymmetric, but it looks like the SW quadrant is showing CDO which usually means strengthening.
I guess we will have to wait until it gets back into radar range to get a better idea of what is happening.

Mike Bryant
August 31, 2008 1:03 pm

Maybe God is a libertarian.
REPLY: Ok, enough God in the discussion. Move along.

August 31, 2008 1:16 pm

And for those who appreciate non-anthropogenic causes for increases in SST, here’s a graph of the SST anomalies for the Gulf of Mexico from Jan 1978 to May 2008. Looks like there was definitely a step change (about 0.35 deg C) in Gulf of Mexico SSTs as a result of the 97/98 El Nino and it looks like the effects are still lingering.
If you’re having trouble seeing it, I’ll throw some before and after 1998 trends on it.
There are some people who think the impacts of El Ninos only last a few months.

August 31, 2008 1:18 pm

Thanks for the satellite (sp?) loop. Very viscerally effective.
As for Dems vs. Reps – ick. I don’t want to go there as to what strengthening vs. weakening means. I do know that McOld is going to milk this for all it’s worth by maybe even giving his acceptance speech from NOLA, while Obama is evidently not going to insert himself into this disaster – as well he shouldn’t. NEITHER of them should use this disaster for political points.
OTOH, well and good if it backfires on McOld.
REPLY: Julie when commenting here, please don’t fall into the juvenile trap of name calling. McCain is the name.

Russ R.
August 31, 2008 1:21 pm

No one wants to be the one to say it is weakening, when it is still a very dangerous storm.
If you do say it, someone who trys to ride it out, in a trailer home, will blame you for his E-ticket ride.
But I can say it, here. It’s weakening, but the flooding will be severe, and widespread.

Denis Hopkins
August 31, 2008 1:33 pm

No need to use this Anthony’s blog for political point scoring on something that could still be another disaster. It is not appropriate and is very undignified.

August 31, 2008 1:36 pm

A question. Do hurricanes tend to strengthen at night? The temperature difference between water and atmosphere would be greatest then.

August 31, 2008 2:26 pm

Gustave seems to be moving extremely fast. I have to speculate that the sooner it comes ashore the less the damage.
But I have no idea how the well the models do in predicting pace rather than path.

Leon Brozyna
August 31, 2008 2:31 pm

For the really strange person trying to stand on the ground in the face of a hurricane while speaking into a microphone, any hurricane is a mighty force. But when you look from above as the storm system develops and grows, it’s apparent that a hurricane is a fragile thing. From looking at the imagery of Gustav over the past three hours or so, it appears to not only be spreading, but also seems to be becoming somewhat asymmetrical. When it makes landfall, whether as a Cat 2 or 3, it will still be a fearsome thing.
Since it appears that New Orleans has a bull’s-eye painted on it, the next question is where does Gustav go next. And on this point the models wildly diverge. Just what that part of the country needs — a Fay-line storm meandering about.

Tom in Florida
August 31, 2008 3:26 pm

“For the really strange person trying to stand on the ground in the face of a hurricane while speaking into a microphone…’
Leon, these reporters are not out in the hurricane force winds. I am sure they have safety regulations for when they have to put up the mic and move indoors. I would think around 60 mph winds would be the most you would want to subject anyone to. It is a bone of contention with me that it gives the wrong impression to viewers who have never experienced hurricane force winds. It tends to minimize what 100 mphs winds can do. As an experiement for anyone to get a sense of wind power, stick your head out of the car window at 75 mph and see what it feels like.
REPLY: “I am sure they have safety regulations for when they have to put up the mic and move indoors.” You’ve obviously never worked in TV news. I have. Regulations? We don’t need no stinking regulations! The story (and video) is king at most TV stations. – Anthony

Joe S
August 31, 2008 3:41 pm

Didn’t Camille also show this pattern?
It’s getting to have been a long time ago. I was 19 at the time. My best memory is Camille’s forward speed stalled just before it came ashore. It sat out over the gulf and wound up real tight before it started moving again. Kicked our rear-ends.
Born and raised in Gulfport. Reside in Biloxi now.
One of the most spectacular sights after Camile were the two ships that floated over the commercial harbor’s bulkheads and onto shore.

August 31, 2008 3:49 pm

I’m not going to get into the God thing, or the political thing, but I’m guessing Mike Bryant was making reference to the Michael Moore and Don Fowler (chair of the DNC) separately making comments about ‘there is in fact a God’. Referring to Gustav hitting NO during the RNC.

August 31, 2008 3:50 pm

I remember Camille. Standing in 6″ of water at midnight or so holding two windows in by their cranks to keep them from being sucked out. They said the wind reached 210 mph.

August 31, 2008 3:59 pm

Bless you, state poet. I’ve heard stories about Camille from my folks, who thankfully, were far away in Fort Worth. One of the tracks, btw, show this being still a hurricane hitting DFW.

August 31, 2008 4:05 pm

Thanks. Surviving Betsy made us a bit cocky. The eye passed right over my town (Pass Christian,MS).

Stephen, North England
August 31, 2008 4:27 pm

a novice watching this force from afar. great web site

August 31, 2008 4:33 pm

Fascinating! I was just looking at Gustav using my Storm Predator software, and told my wife that it may be all downhill for Gustav because the “eye” had dissappeared. And then you post this… saying essentially the same thing.
By the way, how often is the image updated on the SP?
REPLY: Same interval, 30 minutes for satellite. Local Radar is about every 5-6 minutes. Angular momentum seems to be spinning up again. The eye may return.
Jack Koenig, Editor
The Mysterious Climate Project

Joe S
August 31, 2008 4:37 pm

They said the wind reached 210 mph
statePoet, I don’t know how true it is…I recall hearing that high wind speed was measured from one of the two ships that washed ashore. How’s your memory?
An aside: I was taking flying lessons the summer Camile hit. My instructor took a charter to deliver some WDSU film of the damage to the Lakefront Airport and had me ride along. Only a few days after the storm hit, it was a sight to see.

August 31, 2008 4:47 pm

Joe S,
210 mph was what I heard soon after the storm on the radio. I also heard it destroyed the wind sensors. My memory is not good but the MS Gulf coast was a mess for several years afterward. Katrina did even worse damage to my town.

August 31, 2008 5:03 pm

Tom in Florida (15:26:28) :

“For the really strange person trying to stand on the ground in the face of a hurricane while speaking into a microphone…’
Leon, these reporters are not out in the hurricane force winds. I am sure they have safety regulations for when they have to put up the mic and move indoors.

From what I’ve seen the goal seems to be to put the cameraman (the sensible one) somewhere out of the heaviest wind and the TV met (the ratings booster and weather nut) beyond the edge of the building where the wind is funneled. I saw one spot, perhaps on a weather blooper reel, showing exactly that. I saw another spot on some broadcast source where the person in the wind was dodging pieces of sheet metal that were blowing of the building next door. If there are safety regulations I doubt they are seriously enforced until someone gets injured. Frankly, I was rooting for the sheet metal in that spot.
It’s not quite the same, but a rite of passage at the Mt. Washington Weather Observatory (home of the world’s worst weather (well, that you can drive to)) is to cross a patio when the sustained winds are over 100 mph. It’s at 6300′, so air pressure is only about 24″ of Hg, but the people are wearing winter parkas and that increases the cross section substantially. Most of the people can make it, the lighter weight ones get blown down and have to crawl back to the door.

I would think around 60 mph winds would be the most you would want to subject anyone to. It is a bone of contention with me that it gives the wrong impression to viewers who have never experienced hurricane force winds. It tends to minimize what 100 mph winds can do. As an experiment for anyone to get a sense of wind power, stick your head out of the car window at 75 mph and see what it feels like.

Wind resistance is proportional to the square of the velocity, so if you settle on just 71 mph, that drag is only half of what 100 mph offers.

August 31, 2008 5:07 pm

The story (and video) is king at most TV stations.

Anthony, do you know of anybody in a news crew getting whacked or knocked down on camera during a storm?
REPLY: There have been a few, though having been out of the TV news business for about 5 years I can’t put my hands on references at present. There have also been several TV News vans that have been struck by lighting during live shots (30′ mast in the air for microwave dish). All TV news crews are told not to operate around thunderstorms, yet they do it anyway…hoping to get away with it. The pressure is huge.
I was once electrocuted (obviously not fatally) while doing a live shot at the local fair (something I always despised – weather and carnies don’t mix). this was due to a faulty GFI and a hot chassis TV monitor. My Shure handheld microphone had a metal case, grounded, which I was holding. The operator handed me my earpiece, which was connected to the TV monitor audio jack. The TV monitor had a “hot” ground. Basically I took 120VAC from the left hand through my chest, to my right hand.
I threw all the gear down on the ground and went into a case of the shakes. I managed to get out “I’ve been shocked”. The crew onsite and at the studio didn’t know what happened and we were in a commercial break. All they saw was me throw down the gear and start shaking.
About 30 seconds later I regained enough composure to explain what happened. The first question back from the studio was not “are you OK?” but rather “can you still make the live shot”? A minute and a half later, I did the show, live, sans earpiece. That’s how much pressure you are under when you are on a live remote. And, you don’t hear about stories like mine very often unless someone is seriously injured or killed.
I risked my life to report the $#@**!&^ carnie weather from the fair. I hated fairs then, I hate them now.
Yeah, fun times, that live remote TV reporting. For some perspective, see this entry from my friend Brian Sussman, formally of KPIX in SFO.

Joe S
August 31, 2008 5:33 pm

I’m in Biloxi and still haven’t been further west than Gulfport since the storm. Too depressing. There’s nothing to see but devistation.
My cousin took some post-storm aerials of Pass Christian and Henderson Point. That was pretty much all I needed to see.
This shot was the most telling for me as to what’s down your way. Looks like west Long Beach along Hwy 90…

August 31, 2008 5:42 pm

Joe S,
Good photos. I walked in Henderson point. It is kinda of depressing to have where you lived most of your childhood destroyed twice. Camille left Pass High standing but Katrina leveled it.
Our house had 6″ in Camille and 11 feet in Katrina. My brother rode it out in the attic. It was a religious experience for him.

August 31, 2008 5:47 pm

Taking a shot across your chest is not good.
My father was an FAA Radar Technician/Engineer and I worked around high voltage electronics early in my career, so I was taught a healthy respect for high voltage, and I’ve still nailed myself a couple of times.
I often wondered if the TV crews were crazy (or pressured) enough to have those microwave masts erected during weather.
Thanks for the story.

August 31, 2008 5:55 pm

I like to check the movie of the water vapor images (WV loop). Dry air seems to be the best thing for knocking a hurricane for a loop that takes a while for it to recover from. If wind shear blows off the top of the storm, there’s still convection that can rebuild the top when the shear eases.
Dry air entrainment can be handled at sea level with all the spray and stuff that gets kicked up, but when it enters a lot of the vertical column, convection is disrupted, rain weakens or stops, and convection may have to rebuild from the surface back up to the top again.
I saw the dry air this AM, but thought it was too far away to cause trouble. At the time Gustav looked like it was cranking up – the eye was clearing out and becoming symmetric, a feeder band was forming just south of LA, etc. The current loop at shows dry air wrapped nearly all the way around. It may have trouble shaking its impact before landfall.

August 31, 2008 5:59 pm

REPLY: Julie when commenting here, please don’t fall into the juvenile trap of name calling. McCain is the name.
Oops. Sorry about that. I’ve been reading TPM too much, I guess.

August 31, 2008 6:58 pm

First of all, IANAM (I Am Not A Meteorologist), but if the current (Gustav 7PM and Hannah 8PM, 2008/08/31) predicted tracks from NHC are correct, we’re looking at *MAJOR* flooding throughout most of Florida (from Hannah) and eastern Texas and adjacent states (from Gustav). The website at (click on the 5-day tracks for each system) shows Hannah hanging around the Bahamas *UNTIL NOON THURSDAY*!!! Similarly, Gustav is projected to enter eastern Texas and stall, *DUMPING RAIN UNTIL AT LEAST FRIDAY AFTERNOON*!!!
Florida got dumped on by a weakened Fay for a few days, and flooding resulted. Hannah is going to be sitting off the cosat of Florida, sending precip with its counterclockwise winds. Similarly Gustav will bw doing its thing in eaterns Texas and adjacent areas. The Gulf and Florida coasts are prepared to handle fast-moving strong hurricanes passing through. Are they prepared to handle storms that sit over them and dump inch after inch of rain? The experience of Fay indicates the answer is “NO”.
Anthony, are there any maps indicating what weather features are blocking/slowing both systems?

August 31, 2008 6:58 pm

Is anyone scared?
This storm is bugging me.

August 31, 2008 7:04 pm

I am in Colorado and I think it is the north cold air moving southward that is breaking up this storm.

Tom in Florida
August 31, 2008 7:34 pm

Ric Werme:”Wind resistance is proportional to the square of the velocity, so if you settle on just 71 mph, that drag is only half of what 100 mph offers.”
Excellent point Ric. I didn’t know the technical reason but I did know that the wind force is a whole lot more from 70 to 100 than just adding another 30 mph.

August 31, 2008 7:50 pm

I was in hurricane Alicia and the eye of the storm passed over Downtown Houston. She was a category 3.
I never recoverd from the fear of the wind and tornodos in the storm.
I cannot imagine riding out a storm of such nature again.
Once was enough for me. I would never stay in the path of a hurricane.
It is so hard on the people who had to leave their homes because these storms are so unpredictable. Its like crying wolf. Then when the real big one hits, nobody leaves.
Maybe the true answer is to strengthen the levees so that the fear of them failing goes away. Most things survive the wind and rain. But a lot of people drowned in Katrina because the levees gave way from the pressure.

Leon Brozyna
August 31, 2008 8:43 pm

Walter Dnes (18:58:07) nailed it. If the levees hold, New Orleans may come out with less damage than from Katrina, but it looks like places like Dallas/Ft. Worth or Waco will be dealing with a stalled out Tropical Depression Gustav for a number of days. In about twelve to eighteen hours we should see how New Orleans comes out of this one.
This year’s hurricanes seem to be dealing with blocking Highs and weak steering currents. I remember, in previous years, seeing hurricanes exhibit such behaviour out in the Atlantic, doing some strange looping movements. This year they’re playing out such games on land.

August 31, 2008 8:44 pm

Way up north in Canada, but am watching and praying for all those affected, or about to be. Appreciate the posts, helps me to understand a bit more, and thanks for all the work to show hurricane on your site…

Richard Patton
August 31, 2008 8:57 pm

The Eye has started to show on radar as of 0400GMT and it looks to me as if it is aiming for landfall at the same point Katrina. Current forecasts have it at Cat 3, the same as Katrina. Hopefully we don’t have a re-run. If so, it raises the question how many times do we rebuild before we decide that enough is enough. Looking at history over the centuries, in repeat disasters, unless it is impossible to rebuild, the city will be rebuilt no matter how many times it gets wiped out.

August 31, 2008 9:22 pm

One more comment and I will let it rest.
It takes a lot of money to evacuate all the millions of people. The tax payers should not have to pay for this. We cannot afford to spend this kind of money on every hurricane that comes into the gulf of mexio.
With the millions of dollars that it has cost to evacuate 2 plus million people, that money would have paid for stronger levees.
If they want New Orleans and other coastal city’s to remain functional places to live, then they need to build stronger levees. These storms are not going away. The come every year.
It is only a matter of time.

August 31, 2008 10:07 pm

[…] it on Watt’s Up with That? […]

August 31, 2008 11:22 pm

New Orleans has major systemic problems. Read for an idea of the scale. The city is sinking just as surely as the Titanic, only more slowly. Plus it’s sliding away from the coast, plus the Mississippi is slowly moving westward to empty via the Atchafalaya River.
At what point do you give up? Eventually, New Orleans will be a 50-foot crater on the Gulf of Mexico, with levees ringing it. At that point, it’ll only take one nutcase (leftwing/rightwing; a bin Laden or McVeigh, doesn’t matter) to blow a hole in the retaining wall, and New Orleans will be New Atlantis. For that matter, given the permeability of earthen levees, knocking out power to the pumps for a couple of days would be disastrous.
And I disagree with Yaakoba; no bleeping way do you leave people in the path of a category 3 or 4 hurricane. It may be technically possible to build a home that won’t blow away, but 90% of the population won’t be able to afford it. Also, a well-built home is useless if the power goes, out, the streets are blocked with palm-trees blowing around,, and it ends up under 20 feet of water.

Joe S
August 31, 2008 11:28 pm

I heard on the news today that and estimated 1.9 million evacuated Louisiana south of Interstate 10. Unprecedented, is what they’re saying about it. From Mississippi, I don’t know how many left. Some did, I’m sure.
The vast majority of folks pay all their own expenses in leaving. Living on the gulf coast all my life, I’ve never had government or anybody offer me free transportation or pay my expenses to evacuate. We pay our own way down here.*
By the way, in my 58 years on the gulf coast, I’ve never evacuated for a storm, never stayed in a shelter and currently live two blocks from the beach. Fortunately, I live at enough elevation that I stayed above Katrina’s surge by about 6′. That’s cutting it close. But, it worked out one more time.
In New Orleans, where much of the city is below sea level, it’s a different situation. There are those that don’t have personal transportation and/or are poor and don’t have the cash it takes for getting out on the road and paying all those costs…food, lodging, etc. We’ve gotta take care of those folks. Those are the ones for which the busses, trains and aircraft were provided. Not millions of people.
Just like those that live where there are regular wildfires, earthquakes, spring floods and winter blizards, I don’t mind needed security being brought in. I don’t mind emergency supplies being brought in. I pay taxes for that kind of thing, though I’ve never stood in line for any of it. Haven’t had to. I have gotten a couple of sandwiches and a Coke from a Red Cross truck, once. Didn’t ask for it. They pulled up and offered it to a group of us and we thanked them kindly. Then went back to work unloading a DC-3 (by hand) with emergency supplies…trying to do our part in some hard times.
*After Katrina damned near everybody whacked by the storm got a check from Uncle Sam. That’s the first time I know of that ever happening. $1,700 was in my mail box about a month after the storm. Hail, ya!!

R John
August 31, 2008 11:58 pm

A few comments @ 1:55am
Anthony – thank god it is was AC – if it was DC current, then you would not be able to let go even if you tried your hardest.
I was very young, but my parents took me on vacation two straight spring breaks to Gulf Shores, Alabama in 1969 and 1970. I witnessed how much the beaches changed after Camille hit that area and the destruction was catastrophic. Gulf Shores had virtually no development except for a few houses on stilts and some motels (like a motel 6) in 1969. About two thirds of these were gone the next year. The beaches had severe erosion and were not as nice.
Gustav seems to keep pulsing up and down like an afternoon Tstorm. I would be shocked if it makes Cat4 before hitting land. What I am scared of is the easterly fetch that would pile up the water into Lake Pontchartrain. I have not heard one news or weather person even mention this. Anyone else know if this is an issue?

Brian J
September 1, 2008 12:46 am

What has changed? Hurricanes have been hitting US shores since before man even got there. Now [from the safety of the UK] I read panic/hysterical quotes like “Storm of the Century” and that from a Mayor who failed miserably to maintain the levees [and strengthen them] when Katrina ‘struck’ in ’95. Wasn’t it the weakened levees crumbling that caused the damage? Will the Greenie Michael Moore projected Force 5 Gustav actually do its worst or will it fade away having done an average [not for those who get clobbered I know!] hurricane wreckage trail and will the Global Alarmists still claim CO2 ‘poisoning’ has caused all the trouble?
Decades ago my Mother blamed bad weather on “The Atom”.
Centuries ago women who boiled their washing just before an unpredicted disaster were often drowned/burnt as witches for causing the event! True!
Medieval Catholics paid large sums of money [indulgences] to the church to ensure their eventual heavenly resting place. Isn’t that what the Gore Greenies are doing with Carbon Offset trading?

Brian J
September 1, 2008 12:47 am

Sorry Katrina 2005 – typo

Jack Walker
September 1, 2008 2:15 am

Those levees have not been rebuilt.
The evac was right, Cat 4 or 3, amount of deluge counts.
In Aus we don’t have hurricanes but cyclones, but we learn from everyone of the focking bastard things.
Those levees should have been rebuilt.
As for politics, what the [snip] does politics have to do with human life in an emergency.
The media disgust me.

Jack Walker
September 1, 2008 2:27 am

I should have said better stronger levees.
And no one here has mentioned tide and tide is important after deluge.

Jack Walker
September 1, 2008 3:00 am

I hope it swings away from the Delta and upriver.

Jack Walker
September 1, 2008 4:06 am

This is a flood event, in the case of your nation, borders dont matter.
Lousiana is now a flood event.
States east of Lousiana should start flood plans.

Jack Walker
September 1, 2008 4:07 am

Oops west. I mean the flood will travel west.

Jack Walker
September 1, 2008 4:08 am

I apol.
REPLY: We type in complete sentences here sir, try harder.

Leon Brozyna
September 1, 2008 4:23 am

Looks like Gustav is making landfall right now (1100 GMT) as can be seen from New Orleans radar (zip code 70148) from,%20LA&map.x=400&map.y=240&scale=1.000&centerx=400&centery=240&showlabels=1&rainsnow=0&lightning=0&lerror=20&num_stns_min=2&num_stns_max=9999&avg_off=9999&smooth=0
Hope that long URL works.
Looks as though it’s taking a more southerly and westerly track than Katrina.

September 1, 2008 4:26 am

“Gustav’s power is likely to be LOWER than current predictions of standard meteorology.” Piers Corbyn.

Jack Walker
September 1, 2008 4:27 am

Moisture from inside rockies and the Caribean.

Jack Walker
September 1, 2008 4:30 am

I gotta call always.

Joe S
September 1, 2008 4:45 am

Couple of nice storm charts. Never heard of these guys before yesterday…and I’ve GOT some weather links. “Crown Weather Services”

Jack Walker
September 1, 2008 5:13 am

Probably bad and not good.
[snip] load of water.
Watch the moisture stream off sea and Inside range. One in a 100.

Patrick Henry
September 1, 2008 6:09 am

The storm weakened just prior to landfall to a Category 2 hurricane.

September 1, 2008 6:55 am

Yaakoba (21:22:40) :

If they want New Orleans and other coastal cities to remain functional places to live, then they need to build stronger levees. These storms are not going away. They come every year.
It is only a matter of time.

Not all coastal cities have levees. Storms don’t come every year to New Orleans. If they did, they would have stronger levees. Storms didn’t come to New Orleans for a long time, time enough for people to analyze the situation and predict essentially what happened with Katrina. The reasons the reports weren’t taken seriously are many.
New Orleans is a special place – a huge amount of cargo goes up and down the Mississippi river on barges and we need a transition point between river vessels and ocean-going vessels. Whether we need changes to sediment deposition in the river delta or jazz on Bourbon St is a lot less clear.
My personal libertarian sense of all this – people who live on the coast shouldn’t do so unless they expect to to rebuild every few decades. (And more frequently during active hurricane periods.) Until the 1995-to-now period apparently there were lots of people buying seacoast property who didn’t understand the risk. I have a lot of trouble finding sympathy for them.
And don’t forget nor’easters, they can cause more damage on the east coast than a hurricane.

September 1, 2008 7:55 am

You are right Ric, not all coastal city’s have a levee system. And those that don’t, usually have some type of seawall.
The seawall does help prevent flooding and erosion of sand land. And helps our fellow human keep from drowning in awful weather.
So with this in mind, it is very important to have very strong levees and very strong seawalls.
Because these storms are our water and without water the human race will not survive.
I hope everyone fairs this storm and is safe and okay.

September 1, 2008 8:02 am

“Isn’t that what the Gore Greenies are doing with Carbon Offset trading?” Brian J
Maybe, but Gaia does not promise eternal life.

Retired Engineer
September 1, 2008 9:11 am

It now appears that Gustav is down to Cat 2, yet the media treat it like the worst storm in recorded history. Perhaps they want higher ratings? NO has had $billions pumped into (and out) since Katrina. Where did it go? Something like $200 billion. A person might think that would help rebuild and strengthen a few of those levees. Yet the media says the levees are substandard, they didn’t get sufficient funds. I’d like to see an audit.
In the long run, Mother Nature will win. If you build your house 6 feet below sea level, sooner or later, you will get wet.

September 1, 2008 10:19 am

Jack Walker (04:30:22) :
“I gotta call always.”
Why? Who? Should I care?

Chuck L
September 1, 2008 10:23 am

Chief Meda Global Warmingista Seth Borenstein with yet another biased story for AP. I did not notice that he asked any scientists who agree that not only will AGW not increase the number and intensity of tropical systems but if it were occurring, the number of storms would decrease. And by the way, anybody notice how quiet the Pacific is this season? Warm AMO, more Atlantic hurricanes, cool PDO, fewer hurricanes.
Back to Story – Help
Global warming’s toasty water connection to Gustav By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer
Sun Aug 31, 5:27 PM ET
“Global warming has probably made Hurricane Gustav a bit stronger and wetter, some top scientists said Sunday, but the specific connection between climate change and stronger hurricanes remains an issue of debate…”

September 1, 2008 10:27 am

I will speak my mind one more time and I will try to let it rest.
I work for the State branch of the Federal Gov..
I too believe that there has been money granted to build up those levees.
Where it goes, who knows.
I do know that the F.B.I. Is trying to solve the Federal money loss.
They are pretty smart women and men, so given the time they need, they will find where it went.

Patrick Henry
September 1, 2008 10:52 am

The warm water story would be more believable if SSTs in the Gulf were above normal – which they aren’t.

matt v.
September 1, 2008 1:00 pm

Hurricane Gustav, although still destructive in its own way, it is no match for the energy that was put into Katrina by the solar wind dynamic pressure back in 2005. During Katrina’s life, there were 26 hours of major solar wind dynamic pressure spikes of 5 npa and more .There were at least 3 major solar wind spikes during Katrina, the largest being 31npa [1 hour averages]. During 17 of these 26 hours, the Bz component of IMF was [-]or from the ’ south’ thus further enhancing the transfer of energy from the solar wind plasma to the earth’s magnetosphere and pumping more electricity into the earth’s electrical grid, which in my opinion provides the extra kick to the hurricanes[ like Katrina].
No major solar wind dynamic pressure spikes have taken place during Gustav’s life to date and it will probably decline as a hurricane relatively fast .
During the first 7 months of 2008 the monthly average number of major solar wind dynamic pressure hours of 5 npa or more is only 13-14. During August of 2005, when Katrina blew in, there were 43 hours of major solar wind dynamic pressure spikes. Some will argue that there is no correlation but the numbers prove otherwise.
REPLY: By what mechanism do you attribute solar wind pressure to hurricane strength? I cannot imagine of one, but perhaps you know somehting I do not. – Anthony

Ed Scott
September 1, 2008 1:10 pm

To Retired Engineer
The government should exercise its power of eminent domain to condemn the land and use the sub-sea-level land in New Orleans for a purpose that benefits all instead of rebuilding for private purposes every three years, using tax payer money. Oh! That is an error. They have not completed rebuilding from the damage caused by Katrina three years ago. Regarding your question: Where did it go? Do you remember the song “Smoke Rings?” Where do they go, smoke rings I blow each night? Oh, where do they go? Substitute US$200 million for smoke rings.
To politics,
We are all subject to the vagaries of Nature regardless of any affiliations we might have. In that sense, Nature is apolitical, as science should be, as it strives to emulate Nature.

Patrick Henry
September 1, 2008 5:38 pm

I didn’t realize that 70MPH is considered a hurricane. In Colorado we call that “spring.”

matt v.
September 2, 2008 7:08 am

Major solar wind dynamic pressures if accompanied by the Bz component of IMF being from the ‘south’ puts more solar wind induced magnetic fields and electricity into the earth’s magnetosphere and increase the electricity in our atmosphere down to the stratosphere and troposphere levels. This extra electricity produces extra heating through joule heating. .If you plot daily the atmospheric temperatures at different elevations as given by say AMSU and then show the dates of major solar wind ram pressure spikes of over 5 npa as given by OMNIWEB, you will see this. However, not all the heating at the various levels is due to ram pressure spikes and joule heating and one need to read the data carefully.
On the other hand, some have suggested that it is the extra electricity that really drives the hurricanes, but I cannot confirm this as the amount research into this is very limited. James McCanney has written extensively on this in his book PRINCIPIA METEOROLOGIA. I am currently collecting data to see how often major hurricanes are present when major solar wind dynamic pressures are present. During Katrina it was very evident.

Ed Scott
September 2, 2008 2:02 pm

Hurricanes, floods show risks of climate change: UN

September 2, 2008 9:59 pm

We rode through a couple of squall lines in Gustav’s N.E. arm. Quite a headwind and fun times for all. We’re now safely, and rather unswayingly, in Dothan, AL.

matt v.
September 3, 2008 5:19 pm

You may have noted today that IKE has been suddenly up graded to hurricane 3 level from level 1 . It is worthy of note that there was also today a major solar wind dynamic pressure pulse as idicated by the shortening of the magnetopause standoff distance from nearly 15 Re to 8 Re. This pulse provides the extra electrical energy for the hurricanes as I indicated before. Detail solar wind pressure pulse details are not avaiable until 2-4 weeks after the event so Iam guided by the sudden change in the standoff distance.

Daniel Siedelmann
September 5, 2008 4:39 pm

Maybe the US government is holding off the supernova of our Sun under my direction and I got the solar programs wrong and fouled up the chemistry of the Sun and no sunspots are the result. I am the man of wisdom right out of the book of Revelation and this is year 11 of the Apocalypse. The good old fashioned winter last year was my solar program.
On September 1, 2008 the US government was testing a solar program for incoming supernova blast wave. Hurricane Gustov weakened instead of strengthened. And the thousands of men with a marshal law plan for the United States were disappointed. Better luck next time fellows. I thought they were going to back hurricane Gustov up and run over Cuba again.
By the way I invented hurricane control a few years ago. Strontium hydroxide sprayed into the clouds of a hurricane drops it to a level 1. Hurricanes are a beast twice conquered by me.

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