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Batten Down The Hatches In Creole Country

Gustav is looking like it's going to be bad news for the upper Gulf Coast:

As long as Gustav is over water, it will intensify. Gustav is currently under moderate wind shear (15 knots) . This shear is expected to remain in the low to moderate range (0-15 knots) for the remainder of the week. Gustav is over the highest heat content waters in the Atlantic. Given these two factors, intensification is likely whenever the storm is over water, at least 50 miles from land. Expect the high mountains of Hispaniola to take a toll on Gustav. Recall in 2006 that Hurricane Ernesto hit the southwest tip of Haiti as a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds. Haiti's mountains knocked Ernesto down to a tropical storm with 50 mph winds, which decreased further to 40 mph when the storm crossed over into Cuba. Expect at least a 25 mph decrease in Gustav's winds by Wednesday, after it encounters Haiti. Further weakening is likely if the storm passes close to or over Cuba. By Wednesday, Gustav will be underneath an upper-level anticyclone. These upper atmosphere high pressure systems can greatly intensify a tropical storm, since the clockwise flow of air at the top of the storm acts to efficiently vent away air pulled aloft by the storm's heavy thunderstorms. With high oceanic heat content also present in the waters off western Cuba, the potential for rapid intensification exists should the center stay more than 50 miles from the Cuban coast. Once in the Gulf of Mexico, Gustav is likely to intensify into a major Category 3 or higher storm. I give a 60% chance that Gustav will cause significant disruption to the oil and gas industry in the Gulf.

This will roil the energy markets (it may be doing so already). It may also be a test, and an opportunity, for Governor Jindal to show that the people of Louisiana were wise to replace his predecessor with him after her Katrina fiasco, which was largely overlooked by the media in their lust to bash George Bush.


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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on August 26, 2008 9:17 AM.

The Problem With ITAR was the previous entry in this blog.

Who Started The War? is the next entry in this blog.

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