Thursday, August 28, 2008

Flip a coin!

The million dollar question is where does Gustav go after he makes it into the Gulf of Mexico. To be honest, we still do not know. As a TV meteorologist, it is my job to portray this uncertainty and not cause a panic. There is no need to panic or worry right now. The storm is not expected to hit until Tuesday, which is 5 days away. I do want to encourage you to think about a plan of action and have some supplies, like water and food, ready to go. That is the biggest thing we preach is to be prepared for anything!
The graphic above shows the forecast from the hurricane center as of the 4 PM advisory. Notice the cone of uncertainty and how large it is. It runs from Corpus Christi all the way to the panhandle of Florida. The different colored lines represent the different computer models. I like to show these so you see the spread, which should reinforce the uncertainty. As you can see, the Texas coast is not out of the woods, but it seems the highest risk for landfall is on the Louisiana coast. Why the spread among computer models? Well, there is an area of high pressure that is centered over Florida and Gustav will be riding around the edge of this system. If this ridge is stronger, the storm will be pushed towards Texas. If the ridge is weaker, the storm goes towards Mobile, Alabama. Time will tell, but like I said earlier in this post, now is the time to get prepared!