Friday, September 12, 2008

Is that all there is?

National news is still talking about the "110 mph winds" of Ike, but local news is noting the highest winds clocked on Galveston Island are only 70 mph. Radar is also showing a large dry area on the east side of the eye, which one local meteorologist speculates could mean the eye is disintegrating (it seems to be growing more diffuse, not more compact, as it comes ashore). You can see in the picture that the eye is starting to look like an apostrophe rather than a period. You can also see it, briefly, on this radar map.

Combined with a low pressure trough out in West Texas, this means the hurricane should move rapidly out of Texas toward Arkansas once it gets ashore (it was expected by this afternoon, now it's expected to make landfall on Galveston Island by midnight, and cross over to the mainland by 3 in the morning).

There's flooding in the communities close to the coast due to storm surge, but that surge has yet to reach the 20 foot level some were predicting. And Olbermann was saying the storm was 600 miles across; it's now down to 350 miles.

So...there may be a large surge behind the eye; the storm may consoldiate rather than dissipate; it's expected to speed up from its leisurely 12 mph progress and zip out of the state; and so far, for most of Houston, it's only brought rain and winds associated with a good thunderstorm (though here on the west side of town, we've yet to see even any rain to speak of).

Or it may fall apart and leave some parts of town as dry as they were before, just like three years ago.

We'll see.....

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