Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Another Tropical Update (outside of our area) - Texas is about to get bent by Hurricane Ike

Again I have been sort of straying outside of the SoCal focus of my blog...but when you see something like this as a forecaster it is difficult not to pay attention to it.

If you have been watching the news or listening to the national weather you know that Hurricane Ike has been careening around the Caribbean like some sort of drunken sailor causing all sort of havoc.

Well he has finally cleared Cuba and moved into the Gulf of Mexico. Now that Ike is back over water (and the nice warm/wet air-mass that sits over the Gulf) he is starting to intensify again and is forecast to cap out with wind speeds gusting near 135-knots (holy crap!).

Right now his current forecast track has him basically cornholing Southern Texas somewhere between Galveston and Corpus Christi late this week...likely later on Friday. (Though with New Orleans' luck he will probably recurve at the last minute and mow down Louisiana instead).

Ike is a pretty solid storm both in diameter and intensity. NHC is calling for the 50-knot wind radius in both the NE-NW quadrants to extend out to about 120-150 miles from the core (which with his current movement track is sometime referred to as the "death-zone")

Check out the current NRL Storm Track

And here is a visible-satellite shot

Surfwise Ike is moving slow enough that he will be kicking out swell all over the Gulf of Mexico from Texas all the way back through the Panhandle/West Coast of Florida.

Naturally the biggest swell will be directly along the storm path so Southern Texas will see some very large surf...there may even be a small window of surfable conditions to go along with the first part of the new swell. I am expecting new swell to arrive late tonight and to continue to build through Thursday (and really continue to build until the storm makes landfall).

If it is going to be surfable Thursday will be the day, but please listen to the local authorities and if they say to evacuate the get the hell out of the way of the storm.

Here is a great look at the significant wave heights moving into the area...this is a great local swell model that Mark Sponsler over at has on his site.

Waves hitting Texas

If any of you Texas surfers get a chance to surf some of Ike's swell send over some pictures!

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