Saturday, August 30, 2008

Gustav is in the Gulf!

It's gotten stronger and closer. Gustav is in the Gulf and by the time you read this, it will probably be a Category 5 hurricane.

A Hurricane Watch has been issued for the northern Gulf Coast from High Island to the Alabama/Florida border. Notice that Houston is not included. The watch means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere in that area within 36 hours.

This likely will be a major hurricane at landfall...hopefully wherever it hits, it will be on the down side of an eye wall replacement cycle. In other words, hopefully it won't be at its maximum strength when it hits land.

People in the watch area should make sure they have all the supplies they need. And they should listen closely for evacuation announcements. If you are in an evacuation area, please leave. They aren't just making this stuff up. You are in a place that could be inundated by a storm surge and that means that if you get the storm surge, your chances of survival are very low. One cubic yard of water weighs over a 1000 pounds. I don't know about you, but that would knock me down.

If you do leave, make sure you have plenty of water, a full gas tank, cash, prescriptions and 3 days worth of supplies--including food and clothing changes. Call ahead to make sure you can go where you want to go. Make sure friends and family know your plans. Don't wait for a shelter...the Red Cross shelters in the danger zone won't open until after the storm has passed. And they are not pleasant places to stay. There are minimal supplies. You may have to sleep on the floor. Don't forget to make plans for your pet. Shelters do not usually allow pets.

For Houston, model runs looking better. Not all models are showing a turn--some continue the storm northward (without a turn after landfall). We are still here!

More to come!

If you are looking for something to stimulate your child's cognitive development, try language learning. Be sure to check out my DVD series, Let's Learn Spanish with Frank & Paco at Remember that 80% of neurological development occurs by the age of 6. So, get going now!!!

Be safe everyone.
Cecilia Sinclair, Wonder Weather Woman

Ahhhh haaaa! Gustav is a Major Storm!

Good Saturday morning--2 interesting developments this am with almost all of the models showing the storm turning either before a landfall or after. None of the scenarios show a direct hit on Houston. The turning has to do with forecast high pressure strengthening from the north as the storm moves northward. The storm's path will be affected according to the amount of strengthening of the high pressure. If the high pressure doesn't strengthen, then Gustav will be influenced more by high pressure to the east. The circulation around high pressure is clockwise. So if you are south of that, then you are being influenced by east to westward currents.

Gustav also strengthened rapidly is now a major hurricane. Anything stronger than 111 mph sustained winds is a major hurricane.

If the storm does make landfall over southwest Louisiana and then turns, what will be the weather impact in Houston? It could be minimal except for some rain and squalls of gusty winds...possibly some tornadoes.

But...since some of the model runs show a turn before hitting...we should anticipate the possibility of a turn right at landfall with the storm potentially scraping along the coast...a more devastating scenario for people in the coastal area affected.

What to do this weekend...get ready for the worst. on hand and be thinking about what you want to do if the storm looks like it will hit your area. Again, there is a lot of error and know that intensification forecasting has very little skill at this point. See my previous blog for more tips on getting ready for a storm.

Almost 3 months to the end of hurricane season and less than 4 months until Christmas. What is a better gift than giving a child the benefits of early language learning. Buy my award winning Spanish teaching DVD, Let's Learn Spanish with Frank & Paco, at, Best Buy, Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

More to come!
Weather Wonder Woman