Tag Archives: landfall

11PM advisory: Lifting northward

Hanna’s starting to lift northward of Charleston. The 11PM fix put it roughly about 60 miles east-southeast of Charleston, and I’m willing to bet it’s pulled even or even slightly north of Charleston now, based on some of the radar I’ve been looking at. The advisory also says that it’s moving north at 20; however, I’m seeing strong indications that the turn to the northeast has begun and is now moving in that direction. Landfall is expected just north of Myrtle Beach within the next few hours.

The advisory canceled the tropical storm warning south of Edisto; I could see this being whittled back even further as time goes on. The Hurricane Watch for our area was also discontinued. There’s a chance Hanna could still become a hurricane — it’s been trying to form an eyewall for the past couple hours, and the pressure is as low as you’ll ever see for a tropical storm — but shear is and dry air are giving it one hell of a fight.

Hanna’s dropped plenty of beneficial rain on the Charleston area. The usual spate of flooding has happened; but this happens whenever it rains normally, much less when a tropical system swings through.

I’ll be interested to hear what comes of the postmortem from Hanna. This has been one heck of a storm for many reasons, whether it be its odd track deviations or its odd strengthening habits. It’s been a great learning experience, as well.

I probably won’t be awake for landfall. Here’s hoping that folks in Myrtle Beach and throughout North Carolina come through alright; I suspect things will be okay, though. This storm’s moving incredibly quickly, so widespread flooding won’t be a major issue, and the winds probably won’t get past Category 1, much less tropical storm force.

For now, this will sign off the advisory-by-advisory posting for the Charleston area for Hanna. I’ve made this official by cracking a beer.

I’ll have a recap of Hanna sometime tomorrow or Sunday; right now, I need rest before coverage ramps up for Ike, which is a damn dangerous, scary, and beautiful storm.

2PM: Hanna headed to hurricane strength again

Hanna’s getting it together in a hurry. The 2PM advisory took it to the threshold of hurricane force — a 70 MPH tropical storm. It’s also started heading north at 20, a bit earlier than the forecast track first pegged it, too — which may have implications for the forecast track at 5PM.

So far there’s been some decent, if short-lived, rain, heavy at times through the area. Bands have stopped and started — typical of a tropical system. A third squall is about to come on shore now; these will increase in frequency and strength as time goes on. Nothing out of the ordinary so far, though. Post some of your observations in comments — I’m curious to see what you’re seeing.

Radar is rolling in the Charleston Weather broadcast, and I’ll have skycam shots at times too. Back to the air I go…

Gustav knocking on Category 5’s door

Hurricane Gustav radar fix in Cuba

Major Hurricane Gustav is closing in on Category 5 status very quickly, raking Cuba and giving Key West quite a blustery time in the process. As of the 5 PM advisory, Gustav’s packing 150 MPH sustained winds, making it an intense Category 4, and is moving to the northwest at 15 MPH. This puts the storm somewhere along the Gulf Coast roughly Monday night. Model guidance agrees well on Gustav’s track at this point; it’s now a matter of wobbles — five miles east or west could change the prognosis for New Orleans, Houston, Biloxi, and other cities along the coast pretty substantially. As it stands, New Orleans may see sustained hurricane force winds on the eastern side of the storm, which is where the worst storm surge will occur. However, a lot can change between now and Monday.

Update: Here’s a map of the official NHC forecast track along with the spaghetti models to demonstrate variability in the landfall locations. Models look roughly at the Texas/Louisiana border all the way to right next to New Orleans, which is a disastrous scenario if that’s the one that comes to pass.

Track and models for Gustav

How I’m Following Gustav

Social media has mobilized throughout the day for getting the word out about Gustav. Twitter is figuring heavily into the mix, as one might expect: I’m following Mark Mayhew, who’s on the ground in New Orleans, as well as The Interdictor Project, one of the several aggregators of information about Gustav being made available this afternoon. (Interdictor may sound familiar to those who followed the Interdictor LiveJournal during Katrina; it was one of the best blogs that was actually on the ground through the duration of the storm.) I’ve also begun following Vanessa (aka iThinkMedia), who’s on the ground in Alexandra, LA, and James Wheeler, who lists his location as the Mississippi Gulf Coast. You can get the big picture using this Twitter search. A centralized Gustav Ning site has been set up for disseminating information and also for coordinate efforts to help folks who may be displaced by the storm. Finally, for you FriendFeeders out there, Wayne Sutton is compiling a list of resources for following Gustav.

Gustav is captivating me not just because of the obvious meteorological aspect, but also how folks are mobilizing so quickly using social media tools to disseminate information. This will be quite a study in social media’s maturity, and it’ll be interesting to see how things turn out.

Serious issues with the blog for most of today

I’m not sure what’s up, but the blog — as well as the rest of my sites, for that matter — are currently dog-slow. I’ve got a call into the host to see what’s up.

Site problems notwithstanding, the 5PM Hurricane Center advisory puts Charleston in the crosshairs for a Category 1 Hurricane Ernesto landfall. Check out the map. The track has jogged all around from east to west during the day today, but has come back to center. The white swath surrounding the center called the cone of uncertainty — yes, I talk about this a lot — is still gargantuan. This can and probably will change a lot. But for now, we should assume that at 2PM Thursday — 15 minutes after high tide — the center of Alberto will come ashore, probably over Johns Island, packing 80 MPH winds, lots of heavy rain, and isolated tornadoes.

Am I concerned? Damn right. My car is tentatively scheduled to be driven back to the relative safety of Goose Creek tomorrow (far less flooding at my parents’ place). I’m working on doing a full backup of my data and storing it somewhere safe. That and I’m getting water and all that jazz…and then I’m staying put. I may ask my friend Tom for his kayak, not sure yet. It could come in handy.

For those interested in the science behind forecasting hurricane tracks, I direct you to Dr. Jeff Masters’ introduction to the computer models at Weather Underground. It’s a great article.

For the reaction from the rest of the Charleston area, I direct you to Lowcountry Blogs, where the Post and Courier’s Daniel Conover rounds up the blog buzz from Charleston on a near-daily basis on many topics, and Ernesto will definitely be no exception.