Sometimes what happens with weather defies everyone’s understanding. What took place yesterday with hurricane Ike was forecast by NO ONE including any computer model. Absolutely no one expected Ike to explode in a matter of hours from a tropical storm to a MAJOR HURRICANE. Thank God this took place in the open Atlantic Ocean and not over the Bahamas or near the United States coast.
What happened with Ike proves that as wonderful as the advances in hurricane tracking and forecasting are, and they are amazing, there is still much that is not understood and therefore situations arise which are neither anticipated nor able to be explained. This does not indicate ignorance so much as lack of understanding one of the most phenomenal occurrences in all of nature; the major hurricane.
A satellite view of a strong hurricane is awesome. The clouds wrapping around the eye represent one of nature’s most majestic and frightening sights. To the untrained observer, all hurricanes look alike when viewing satellite photos, but in reality each on is unique and each one has a story to tell concerning its origin, development and impact.
Even while Ike was exploding, Hanna was growing in size. Hanna is a huge storm encompassing a gigantic area. What it is lacking in winds, it is making up for in sheer size. IF Hanna is able to get better organized, it does still pose a danger to North Carolina and Virginia. The key question is whether it will explode as Ike just did or not. Regardless of what it does, we know that it will be done quickly since it is scheduled to make landfall by Saturday morning.
Ike’s track and intensity are very much determined by what Hanna ends up doing. Whether Ike follows Hanna up the East Coast or plows into Florida depends on large part on how fast Hanna moves and how strong she becomes. There is, without question, the very real possibility that we could see two East Coast Hurricanes hit within a week to ten days of each other. Although not unprecedented, this would be the first time such an event happened since the 1950’s.
Even as Hanna and Ike make their moves toward this country, the battle to deal with Gustov is only now getting into high gear. I received very troubling news today regarding the status of Gustov evacuees. May I refer the reader to a post I put up last evening on this subject. Please look at the second post from September 3rd on Gustov evacuees for more details.
Perhaps overlooked in all the hurricane furor is the fact that first Gustov and now Hanna have absolutely pummeled the country of Haiti over the past week to ten days. The humanitarian crisis in that country is growing worse by the day. The situation was horrible before Gustov hit, now it is grave. With Ike approaching quickly as a major hurricane; there is much fear that Haiti could degenerate into a state of utter devastation and lawlessness. I beg your prayers for the poor people in that country.
Once we get past the next week, the tropical situation should calm down for awhile. There is strong evidence to suggest that October may be an active month in the tropics, but at least by then the dynamics change as far as where major hurricanes develop and strike. But, before we enjoy the respite from daily updates as to where particular storms are heading, we must endure the process of Hanna and Ike playing out. Josephine is no longer a player in this parade and there has not yet been any new storms form. So, once Ike is done we should be in the clear for awhile.
May I stress that while Hanna’s future is still in doubt, Ike’s is not. Even though it is nigh unto impossible for Ike to stay a category 4 or 5 hurricane much more than a couple of days, by the time it approaches Florida it should still be a major storm. The best guidance right now (subject to change) indicates that Ike should be a classic East Coast hurricane in the true sense of the word. Only time will tell if this is so, but between the possibility of Hanna yet intensifying and Ike following behind, those along the eastern seaboard need to stay extremely vigilant and not let their guard down just yet.