It looks to me that Gustav will track through the very warm waters somewhere between the north coast of Jamaica and the south coast of Cuba from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday afternoon. After that, Gustav will track into the northwestern Caribbean south of Cuba on Friday and Saturday where I expect it to intensify to Category 4 strength. I then expect Gustav to track right through the Yucatan Channel and into the southern most Gulf of Mexico late Saturday night as a powerful Category 4 hurricane. All interests in the western and northwestern Caribbean should be aware that a very powerful and dangerous hurricane could affect you late this week into this weekend. […]
Right now, as of this morning, I am leaning much more towards either a northern or western Gulf Coast hit on Labor Day or next Tuesday with the highest risk from the western Florida Panhandle westward to the Texas coastline and the high risk area centered on the Louisiana and Mississippi coastline. Therefore, all interests along the entire Gulf Coast, especially folks from the Alabama coastline westward to the Texas coastline should pay very close attention to the forecast for Gustav.
Down here in Katrina country, Mississippi it’s been a tradition to look out for storms for a lot longer than I’ve been around. What do we look out for? Or… since I can only speak for myself, what do I look out for?
The Outlook for the entire Atlantic is shown in this graphic.
And here is the cloud cover for the Gulf of Mexico.
To determine the overall probability of a cyclone loading up on destructive energy from hot seas look at the ocean temperatures for the Atlantic and Gulf. If there is a lot of brick red in the Gulf then any weather pattern finding its way into the Gulf can quickly turn into a monster.
Sometimes it helps to be able to compare this year to the average year. This graphic shows how the current water temperatures compare to historical averages.
To see where a cyclone is likely to go, look at the steering winds.
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