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|Posted by:||Sep 6th 2008, 01:09:59 pm|
|Fig Tree News Team||Hurricane Ike weakens further, but still menaces Cuba
By Gene Cherry, Reuters
Hurricane Ike weakened on Saturday but still menaced Cuba and the Gulf of Mexico as a potentially ferocious storm while Tropical Storm Hanna drenched the U.S. Atlantic coast after barreling ashore in the Carolinas.
The densely populated Miami-Fort Lauderdale area in south Florida was not out of the line of fire from Ike, a Category 2 hurricane, and visitors were ordered to flee the vulnerable Florida Keys island chain from Saturday.
"We're not out of the woods by any stretch of the imagination," Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez said.
Computer models indicated Ike was increasingly likely to target Cuba as a "major" Category 3 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson intensity scale, presenting a severe threat to the crumbling colonial buildings of Havana.
The storm might then curve into the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of this week's Hurricane Gustav, plowing toward an area that produces a quarter of domestic U.S. oil, and slamming ashore near New Orleans, which was swamped and traumatized by Hurricane Katrina three years ago.
The deeper Ike goes into Cuba, the weaker it will be once it re-emerges over the Gulf of Mexico early next week, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
"By day four, Ike is forecast to emerge back over open waters in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico," the Miami-based agency said. "Global models suggest the environment will be favorable for strengthening and the ocean should be plenty warm."
Hanna, meanwhile, did not reach hurricane strength before sloshing ashore between North and South Carolina overnight.
It was forecast to move rapidly northeast along the East Coast over the weekend, bringing heavy rains and floods to the mid-Atlantic states and southern New England. More than 3 inches of rain had already fallen in South Carolina.
"We have been incredibly fortunate," North Carolina emergency management spokeswoman Jill Lucas said. "We have had no significant damage. We have had some trees down and local flooding but nothing significant."
More than 53,000 homes were without power at one point, but the situation was improving, Lucas said.
Hanna was about 65 miles west-southwest of Norfolk, Virginia, by 11 a.m. EDT and sprinting to the north-northeast at 24 miles per hour (39 km per hour), the hurricane center said. Its top sustained winds had dipped to 50 mph (80 kph).
IKE A SERIOUS THREAT
Ike was far more threatening than Hanna as it charted a course that would take it through the Turks and Caicos islands and southeastern Bahamas toward eastern Cuba, where it was projected by the hurricane center to pummel a long stretch of coastline.
Once in the Gulf of Mexico it might find deep warm water to allow it to grow bigger and stronger, although Hurricane Gustav may have stirred up colder water from the depths before crashing into Louisiana on Monday.
Ike was located around 150 miles east of Grand Turk Island, and its top sustained winds had fallen to 110 mph (177 kph), making it a strong Category 2 hurricane.
Ike had been an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm, but was no longer projected to regain that strength before hitting Cuba, the hurricane center said.
Instead, it was likely to strike the communist-ruled island as a Category 3 hurricane, the hurricane center said. Category 3 and higher storms are known as "major" hurricanes and cause the most damage. Katrina was a Category 3 when it struck near New Orleans on August 29, 2005, swamping the city and killing 1,500 people on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
South Florida, where up to 1.3 million people could be forced to evacuate, was preparing for Ike. State and local officials in Miami urged residents not to be complacent.
"We are still recovering as you are aware from Tropical Storm Fay but we must and we will handle any storm that may come our way," Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said.
In the low-lying Florida Keys, visitors were ordered out on Saturday and residents were told to evacuate on Sunday.
"If you choose not to leave you need to be aware that emergency services may very well not be available to you if you need it," Monroe County Sheriff Rick Roth said.
Storm alerts were issued for the Turks and Caicos islands, the Bahamas, eastern Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
The alerts in Haiti included the city of Gonaives, where at least 495 people died this week when it was flooded by up to 16 feet of muddy water after Hanna dumped torrential rain on the island of Hispaniola, a police commissioner said. In total, Hanna killed 529 people in Haiti.
The Bahamian government sent soldiers and emergency supplies to Mayaguana and San Salvador, southern islands left short of food and water by an overdue mail boat.
"If we have heavy flooding and lose power, we could be in an uncomfortable situation," said chief councilor Earnel Brown of the island of Mayaguana.
Tropical Storm Josephine, meanwhile, dissipated far out in the Atlantic, knocking out the weakest of three storms that followed Gustav's rampage through the Caribbean to Louisiana.
(Writing by Michael Christie; Editing by Eric Beech)
|Posted by:||Sep 5th 2008, 12:23:55 am|
|Fig Tree News Team||HURRICANE IKE ADVISORY NUMBER 16
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL092008
1100 PM AST THU SEP 04 2008
...IKE TURNS WESTWARD...REMAINS AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS HURRICANE...
INTERESTS IN THE SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS AND THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS SHOULD CLOSELY MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF IKE.
FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...INCLUDING POSSIBLE INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.
AT 1100 PM AST...0300Z...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE IKE WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 23.6 NORTH...LONGITUDE 59.5 WEST OR ABOUT 475 MILES...
760 KM...NORTH-NORTHEAST OF THE LEEWARD ISLANDS AND ABOUT 755 MILES
...1215 KM...EAST-NORTHEAST OF GRAND TURK ISLAND.
IKE IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST NEAR 14 MPH...22 KM/HR. A TURN TOWARD THE WEST-SOUTHWEST IS EXPECTED ON FRIDAY...AND THIS MOTION IS
EXPECTED TO CONTINUE THROUGH SATURDAY. ON THIS TRACK THE
HURRICANE WILL CONTINUE TO MOVE OVER THE OPEN WATERS OF THE WEST-CENTRAL ATLANTIC DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 135 MPH...215 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER GUSTS. IKE IS AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS CATEGORY FOUR HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE. SOME WEAKENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT
24 TO 48 HOURS.
HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 35 MILES...55 KM...FROM THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 115
ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 945 MB...27.91 INCHES.
REPEATING THE 1100 PM AST POSITION...23.6 N...59.5 W. MOVEMENT TOWARD...WEST NEAR 14 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...135 MPH.
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...945 MB.
THE NEXT ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER AT 500 AM AST.
|Posted by:||Sep 4th 2008, 11:43:31 am|
|Amelie||Many years ago a man told my father, who had just moved here, about storms “The wind blow, the rain fall - we put up our battens, we go indoors, we pray. Then the wind stop, the rain stop - we came out.” That is about the size of it!|
|Posted by:||Sep 4th 2008, 02:42:15 am|
|Kimberly||Ike grows to Category 4 hurricane, Hanna strengthens By Joseph Guyler Delva
Wed Sep 3, 11:39 PM ET
Hurricane Ike strengthened rapidly into an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane in the open Atlantic on Wednesday and Tropical Storm Hanna intensified to a lesser degree as it swirled over the Bahamas toward the southeast U.S. Coast.
Ike posed no immediate threat to land but strengthened explosively, growing in the space of a few hours from a tropical storm to an intense Category 4 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson intensity scale.
Ike had top sustained winds of 135 mph (215 kph) as it swept across the open Atlantic 610 miles northeast of the Leeward Islands, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. It was moving west-northwest near 17 mph (28 kph).
It was forecast to strengthen further as it moved toward the southern Bahamas early next week but it was too early to tell whether it would threaten land, the forecasters said.
It was also too soon to say whether Ike would threaten U.S. oil and natural gas producers in the Gulf of Mexico.
The hurricane center's Web site, with updates and graphics, is at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/index.shtml.
Hanna's torrential rains had already submerged parts of Haiti, stranding residents on rooftops and prompting President Rene Preval to warn of an "extraordinary catastrophe" to rival a storm that killed more than 3,000 people in the flood-prone Caribbean country four years ago.
Hanna was forecast to move over the central and northern Bahamas on Thursday, strengthening back into a hurricane with winds of at least 74 mph (119 kph) before hitting the U.S. coast near the North Carolina-Virginia border on Saturday.
The government of the Bahamas had ended a hurricane warning for the northwestern part of the islands, meaning a tropical storm warning was now in effect for all of the Bahamas and for the Turks and Caicos Islands, the hurricane center said.
Hanna has been a "tenacious tropical cyclone" that is forecast to regain hurricane force in a day or two but possibly sooner, it said. "A hurricane watch may be required for a portion of the southeastern United States coast early Thursday," the center said.
Tropical Storm Josephine also marched across the Atlantic on a westward course behind Ike but it had begun to weaken.
The burst of storm activity follows Hurricane Gustav, which slammed into Louisiana near New Orleans on Monday after a course that also took it through Haiti, where it killed more than 75 people.
The U.S. government has forecast 14 to 18 tropical storms will form during the six-month season that began on June 1, more than the historical average of 10. Josephine was already the 10th of the year, forming before the statistical peak of the season on September 10.
The record-busting 2005 season, which included deadly Hurricane Katrina, had 28 storms.
In Haiti, officials were still counting the scores of people killed by Gustav when Hanna struck the impoverished nation on Monday night.
Authorities said Hanna caused flooding and mudslides that killed at least 61 people across Haiti, including 22 in the low-lying port of Gonaives. The death toll was expected to rise as floodwaters receded and rescuers reached remote areas.
"We are in a really catastrophic situation," said Preval, who planned to hold emergency talks with representatives of international donor countries to appeal for aid.
"It is believed that compared to Jeanne, Hanna could cause even more damage," he said, referring to a storm that sent floodwaters and mud cascading into Gonaives and other parts of Haiti's north and northwest in September 2004, killing more than 3,000 people.
Gonaives residents were still stranded on their rooftops two days after the floodwaters rose and the government did not know the fate of those who had been in hospitals and prisons.
"There are a lot of people on rooftops and there are prisoners that we cannot guard," Preval said.
Hanna had hovered off Haiti's coast since Monday, drowning crops in a desperately poor nation already struggling with food shortages. It also triggered widespread flooding in the neighboring Dominican Republic.
The Miami-based hurricane center said it was too early to say where Ike might go, after it churns through the Caribbean, but the storm has drawn the attention of energy companies running the 4,000 offshore platforms in the Gulf of Mexico that provide the United States with a quarter of its crude oil and 15 percent of its natural gas.
By late Wednesday, Josephine was swirling over the far eastern Atlantic about 375 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands. It was moving west but had begun to weaken, with top sustained winds dropping to 60 mph (95 kph).
(Additional reporting by Tom Brown in Miami; writing by Jane Sutton; editing by Todd Eastham and Philip Barbara)
|Posted by:||Sep 1st 2008, 05:11:59 pm|
|Fig Tree News Team||NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL092008
500 PM AST MON SEP 01 2008
...IKE...THE NINTH TROPICAL STORM OF THE SEASON...FORMS OVER THE TROPICAL ATLANTIC...
AT 500 PM AST...2100Z...THE CENTER OF THE NEWLY FORMED TROPICAL STORM IKE WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 17.7 NORTH...LONGITUDE 40.6 WEST OR ABOUT 1400 MILES...2250 KM...EAST OF THE LEEWARD ISLANDS.
IKE IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST NEAR 16 MPH...26 KM/HR...AND THIS GENERAL MOTION BETWEEN THE WEST AND WEST-NORTHWEST IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE DURING THE NEXT 24 TO 48 HOURS.
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 50 MPH...85 KM/HR...
WITH HIGHER GUSTS. SOME STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST AND IKE COULD BECOME A HURRICANE IN DAY OR TWO.
ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 1000 MB...29.53 INCHES.
REPEATING THE 500 PM AST POSITION...17.7 N...40.6 W. MOVEMENT TOWARD...WEST NEAR 16 MPH. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...50 MPH.
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1000 MB.
THE NEXT ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER AT 1100 PM AST.
|Posted by:||Sep 1st 2008, 03:12:32 pm|
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