Sunday, August 31st, 2008...2:26 am
Storm Update – Gustav Strengthens
For those of you currently tracking ‘Gustav’ the latest public advisory from the National Hurricane Centre is below for your information.
For the latest updates on the impact of Gustav on Jamaica, and the progress of Hanna in this region stay tuned to the Gleaner Hub – Power 106FM, the Jamaica Gleaner, the Jamaica Star and www.go-jamaica.com .
Tropical Storm Public Advisory – Statement as of 2:am EDT on August 31, 2008
…Gustav moving over the southeast Gulf of Mexico…
A Hurricane Warning remains in effect for the Cuban provinces of Pinar del Rio…la Habana…Ciudad de la Habana…Isla de Juventud…Matanzas…and Cienfuegos. This warning will likely be discontinued later this morning.
A Hurricane Watch remains in effect for the northern Gulf Coast from east of High Island Texas eastward to the Alabama-Florida border… including the city of New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain. A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area…generally within 36 hours. Hurricane warnings will likely be required for parts of this area this morning.
A Hurricane Watch and a Tropical Storm Warning remain in effect for the central Cuban province of Villa Clara. This watch and warning will likely be discontinued later this morning.
A Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect for the lower Florida Keys west of the Seven Mile Bridge to the Dry Tortugas.
A tropical storm watch remains in effect along the Panhandle coast of Florida from east of the Alabama-Florida border eastward to the Ochlockonee River. A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area…generally within 36 hours.
For storm information specific to your area…including possible inland watches and warnings…please monitor products issued by your local weather office.
At 200 am EDT…0600z…the center of Hurricane Gustav was located near latitude 23.5 north…longitude 84.4 west or about 485 miles…780 km…southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River.
Gustav is moving toward the northwest near 15 mph…24 km/hr…and this motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days. On this track…the center of Gustav is forecast to move into the central Gulf of Mexico later today…and then make landfall on the northern Gulf Coast on Monday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 135 mph…220 km/hr…with higher gusts. Gustav is a category four hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. While Gustav has weakened during its passage over Cuba…it is forecast to re-intensify during the next 24 hours as it moves over the Gulf of Mexico. Fluctuations in strength are likely after that time…but Gustav is forecast to remain a major hurricane through landfall along the northern Gulf Coast.
Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 70 miles…110 km…from the center…and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 200 miles…325 km. A NOAA C-man observation site at Pulaski Shoal in the Florida Keys recently reported sustained winds of 56 mph…91 km/hr…with gusts to 62 mph…100 km/hr.
Minimum central pressure as estimated from Air Force hurricane hunter observations is 958 mb…28.29 inches.
Coastal storm surge flooding and waves along the coast of western Cuba should continue to subside. A storm surge of 1 to 3 feet above normal tide levels is possible in the Dry Tortugas as Gustav passes to its west.
Gustav is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 6 to 12 inches across central and western Cuba…with isolated maximum amounts of up to 20 inches possible. These rains will likely produce life-threatening flash floods and mud slides. Rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches are possible over Florida Keys and extreme southern Florida. Rainfall associated with Gustav may begin to affect the central Gulf Coast region tonight.
Isolated tornadoes are possible this morning over the Florida Keys and the southern Florida Peninsula.
Repeating the 200 am EDT position…23.5 N…84.4 W. Movement toward…northwest near 15 mph. Maximum sustained winds…135 mph. Minimum central pressure…958 mb.
The next advisory will be issued by the National Hurricane Center at 500 am EDT.