Archive for September 1st, 2008|Daily archive page

I LIKE IKE! (the President – Not the Storm!)

If I had been old enough to vote for Ike in 1953, I would have.  But I’m not thrilled with the “Ike” out there in the Atlantic today.  I have a very uncomfortable feeling about him.  Furthermore, it probably won’t be long before Josephine is on his tail.

Dr. Jeff Masters of in this afternoon’s discussion of tropical storm Ike does not envision it re-curving up the Atlantic during its approach on the Bahamas or Hispaniola.  However, he states that “our skill in predicting such things five days in advance is nil.”

None-the-less, at this moment – the longer range ECMWF has Ike in the Gulf of Mexico by Sept. 9. (European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting).

If you are truly interested in concise and clear hurricane discussions I urge you to read Dr. Masters’ web-log at:

His statements which are pretty much daily during busy times of the hurricane season, are archived at the site.  I have been following his work for quite some time and have grown to enjoy his insight.

According to Dr. Masters, the GFDL and HWRF “are the only models that incorporate detailed depictions of the thermal structure of the Gulf of Mexico into their runs.”

I have been especially impressed with the GFDL over the last two or three years, the dynamic model from NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. In my opinion, it did a very good job on the recent elusive storm, Fay.  I’m not sure that it has been correct to call Fay erratic.  It seems to me that it was the forecast models that were erratic.  What a tough job it is to try to figure out where a storm is going to track when the steering forces are so very weak as they were with Fay!

The image below is another attempt of mine to splice two images with scales that don’t match perfectly.  It was done for your convenience.

Gustav High Resolution Visible Image

At the time this image below (taken from the  U.S. Naval Research Lab site) was completed there was an eye even though you do not see it here.  It was irregular, off center, and covered from the visible view by high family cloud development.  In fact, even though you see the crowns of cumuliform clouds, much of what you see here is the anticyclonic outflow of the storm marked by cirrus and cirrostratus.



While waiting and hoping that Gustav would disappear I’ve been looking into the future via many of the wonderful sources available to us these days.  It looks to me as though we are going to have a busy September.  But that’s no surprise; we are, after all, in the busiest third of the season.  Africa is continuing to fire disturbances over the Atlantic and that gigantic unseen force, the Easterly Trades, will bring them toward North America.  Let’s hope for the best for all concerned.

The image below is time sensitive of course.  A left click will make the image larger.