There’s so much to talk about. The big story is of course Gustav. I’ve been looking at the satellite maps, the information from the National Hurricane Center, and the information coming from our crews in New Orleans. You don’t need me to tell you that this will be one nasty storm.
It’s also Labor Day weekend and I know you’re trying to fish, golf and cookout inbetween these thunderstorms, so, we’ll talk about the local weather first. We saw a few showers and storms yesterday, including one storm that made a grand appearance over Norman at the wrong time! We will see a few showers and storms around today and tonight. Rain chances today and tonight will be 20% in central and eastern Oklahoma, 30% in western Oklahoma. For Labor Day, take today’s rain chance and subtract 10%.
OK, the latest on Gustav. The trip over Cuba was a bit tough on Gustav. Sustained winds are down to 120 this morning, which takes the storm back to category 3 status. The storm should increase in intensity today. We will likely again see 140 mph winds by later this afternoon, taking it back to a category 4.
The current forecast takes the storm in west of New Orleans around 1pm tomorrow with sustained winds between 130-140 mph. This forecast places New Orleans on the right hand side of the storm. But, with a hurricane, the “right side is the wrong side”. The right side gets the threat for tornadoes. The right side gets the strongest winds. The right side deals with the storm surge.
I was looking at some of the data we get with Advantage Doppler HD. On the east side of Gustav, there are 18-22 foot waves. 18-22 feet!
Bottom line–some area near and just east of landfall will see 140 mph winds and an 18-21 foot storm surge, plus 6-12″ of rainfall and possible tornadoes. This isn’t pretty for southcentral Louisiana.
Rick and our crew are still in New Orleans. I was watching FAST Video from FAST unit 5 this morning. Mark Fryklund was showing the contra-flow in New Orleans…it was an amazing sight. We also have SKY 5 in Baton Rouge. We will have the latest on Gustav tonight on Eyewitness News 5 and on koco.com