Track Hurricane Ike with near realtime satellite imagery

Hurricane Ike has many people worried, much like with Hurricane Gustav. 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 hurricanes, I thought I’d post a few near-live images, which will update every 30 minutes. Here is Hurricane Ike, entering the frame on the right:

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Here is a wider view:

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Here is the NHC 5 day track, Havana, Houston, and Galveston seem to be the targets this time. Ike will probably weaken as it goes ove Cuba, and may regain strength as it passes into the Gulf. Though, the last time, Gustav didn’t recover much after passing over western Cuba.

20 thoughts on “Track Hurricane Ike with near realtime satellite imagery

  1. Thanks for showing this. I didn’t know we could get this level of information online that we could show on our own website. I will make a post about this and reference you’re site. Cheers

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  3. If it follows the forecast track pretty fairly, Cuba is going to be devastated. It’s one thing for a hurricane to pass in north-south fashion across the width of Cuba. For a hurricane to essentially travel the length of the island is pretty bad. The most intense winds and rains will be around the eye, even if it degrades some as it travels the island. The intensity forecast from the NHC has it dropping to a Cat 1 before it recovers some in the Gulf to likely become a Cat 3 again. I’m honestly torn between what to hope for, but I guess any way you slice it Cuba is going to get rocked very soon. But if we hope the center stays over land and weakens, then Cuba bears the brunt. And if we hope the center stays off-shore, then Ike does not weaken as much and will come at the U.S. with greater strength. It’s is certainly not a comfortable position to be in.

  4. Track Hurricane Ike:
    How do the sea surface temperatures in the Gulf at the end of August 2005, just before Katrina entered, compare to those of today?
    Or: why did Gustav not regain strength over the Gulf?

  5. Anybody in this crowd ever had the eye of a hurricane pass over them during daylight hours? I have. I think it was Elana in ’85.
    The wind stopped. Most everybody in the neighborhood bailed outside at the same time, looking around. We all knew what it was.
    The amazing thing to me were all the birds. Had never seen anything like it. They were thick: high in the air and down low, flitting from branch to branch in the bushes and trees. All of them were moving in the same direction. They looked tired.
    I’ve often wondered where along the way the line the storm picked them up. I lived only a couple of blocks off the beach and when the storm made landfall it had been over the gulf for days. Had they been in flight that long? Did the storm pick them up in Cuba? Had it sucked them in as it skirted Florida and Alabama? What’s up with that?

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  7. B.D.,
    A few interesting observations from that map. Looks like not only was the Gulf warmer in 2005, but so was the Atlantic overall. Of course, the Pacific was too, given that it was not going to flip over to Cool for another three years. The Indian Ocean, however, was slightly cooler then than today. Also there is less warm water around the Arctic regions too. The pool of cold waters, around what I would surmise to be the ice shelf, is a lot bigger today than it was then. Of the warm areas that have generally stayed the same between the two graphics, such as off the Pacific coast of South America, the heat seems to be slightly more concentrated in that area and in similar areas. What strikes me also is to find much of the warmest SSTs in high northerly latitudes, while the southerly latitudes have cooled somewhat. Interesting.

  8. Werner Weber (09:57:46) :
    Or: why did Gustav not regain strength over the Gulf?
    In a word: Dry air entrainment.
    Okay, three words.
    This is why I like the water vapor images at . When Gustav entered the GoM, there was a north/south stretch of dry air over the western Gulf. I thought it was far enough away, but Gustav managed to suck it in.
    When a hurricane is recovering from shear, once that reduces, all it has to do is rebuild the top of the storm. When dry air is sucked into the middle part of the storm, convection collapses and convection has to rebuild from the surface. Also, the dry means that less condensation occurs, so less heat is released to feed the storm.
    When intense huricanes pull in dry air, it seems to take them 2-3 days to recover, and Gustav was still feeling the indigestion when it reached land.

  9. Mother nature doesn’t seem to build hurricanes like she used to. Remember Hazel? OK, I don’t – I was too young, but some might: Worst Hurricane in North Carolina: 50 Years Later This is an article about it from 2004.
    “stubbornly intense, fast-moving hurricanes such as Hazel are often called bulldozer storms, because their punch stays with them for so long.”
    The hurricane of ’38 was similar, only it roared up into New England.

  10. I find the media coverage of these storms to be interesting. Ike will/has pummle(d) whole countries, Cuba and DR/Haiti, but it really isn’t IMPORTANT until it hits the gulf coast of the USA.

  11. Anthony,
    These are nice displays, thanks for posting them.
    I have a general (TV) meteorology question: Why do most weather animations only show a very small timespan? I would really love to see a 24 hour weather pattern to get a better understanding of what is happening in various places as the day progresses.
    I get a little frustrated by TV weather shows with a very fast animation and a short total timespan. At least yours is showing 12 pictures that look to try for 30-60 minutes each picture, but an option for a longer time period would be awesome. Not sure if it’s a bandwidth consideration, though.

  12. jnicklin:
    Thank you for your important observation – Cuba got hammered over the whole length of the island – is Cuba still being ignored in the US? If Trudeau was alive, we Canadians would probably start mobilizing a major humanitarian effort… (well, why don’t we do it anyway?)
    And what about DR/Haiti ?
    A realistic and skeptical view is compatible with humanist ethics (isn’t that what Freeman Dyson says?)

  13. Hello earth,
    This is the fisrt time i have worked in an oilrig, ryt now we’re here onboard the safe concordia, we are heading towards the hurricane Ike, we’re crossing northeast to florida and our vessel is running like 4.3 knots only, and we can feel the banging of the big waves, i just hope and pray that we get through with monster hurricane and monster waves. God help us.

  14. To all my friends in Houston and Galveston.
    Be encouraged, you can get through this. It’s a two not a four.
    Remember to fill all fillable containers with fresh water. Tape up the windows and have some canned foods on hand.
    You might be without power for a few days. The most important items are water and food. Plus blankets to say dry and warm.
    There are a lot of people keeping you in their thoughts and good wishes for a safe journey through the storm.
    Stafe safe and you are being thought about.
    Good wishes,

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