Author Topic: Gustav (non-bb)  (Read 1381 times)

das

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Gustav (non-bb)
« on: August 30, 2008, 08:07:06 pm »
<<edited for extraneous information>>
Hi gang.  Been chatting with a few of you over the last 5 days but though I'd poke my head in here to give my $0.02 on Gustav.  As advertised, this is a serious storm and those of you along the north Gulf coast and inland along the north and NW coast should be very careful and listen to your emergency management authorities.  My time is very tight so all I'm going to do is paste an internal discussion to some of our business unit owners that gives some particulars and tools to check so you can make some good decisions.  Read from the bottom up.  I won't be able to respond to a barrage of PM's or e-mails but if you live right along the LA coast and need some insight beyond what the info below or your emergency management authorities provide, drop a note to my personal e-mail account and I may be able to respond.  [email protected].  Do not send notes to my work account, please.  Take care, my friends.
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Afternoon, all.  In response to highly favorable environmental conditions and in line with forecast reasoning, Gustav has continued to rapidly intensify and is now a strong Category 4 storm with 150mph winds and a forward speed of 15mph.  Its interaction with Punta del Este today and the west Cuban coast will likely have little effect on the storm and it is anticipated to strengthen a bit as it moves into the southern Gulf tonight.  The two outlier computer models have come in line with the overall model suite and continue to forecast a major hurricane making landfall on the central Louisiana coast mid-day Monday.  Preparations to protect personal property and company assets in the region should be rushed to completion.  A hurricane watch has been posted for the entire coast of Louisiana, including Lake Pontchartrain a full day earlier than normal as a reflection of the potential gravity of the situation.  Storms of this strength tend to fluctuate in intensity due to something called eye wall replacement cycles so please do not interpret a drop in wind speed as a degradation in the strength of the storm.  It will likely fluctuate between 140mph and 160+mph as it traverses the Gulf with an insignificant dip in wind speed a few hours before landfall as it crosses the relatively cooler waters of the north Gulf.  While the storm is forecast to arrive around noon on Monday, the Louisiana coast will begin to feel the affects long before this, likely in the very early morning hours of Monday.  Please use the links below in the original e-mail for detailed landfall data.

Please keep in mind that Gustav is a very large storm, with hurricane force winds extending up to 70 miles from the center and tropical force winds extending up to 125 miles from the center.  This means that it is likely that there will be tropical storm force winds and effects along a 250 mile coastal swath as the storm comes ashore so it is important not to focus too much on the exact landfall location.  Typical media and government outlets have not yet published this information but expected storm surge to the east of the eye of the storm may be on the order of 18 to 23 feet above normal.  I don’t have access to the tide charts for eastern Louisiana but the landfall timing, in concert with high and low tide, will play a critical role in the effects of this surge in low lying places like New Orleans.  The Regional Office on Poydras Street is 45 miles north of the Gulf and is 3ft. above sea level but is also only 5 miles south of Lake Pontchartrain and protected from levies that are in various states of repair after Katrina.

For those on the ground, please follow the instructions of your local emergency management authorities going forward.  If the storm continues to evolve as forecast, I would expect they will be issuing evacuation orders sometime tomorrow.  That means work to protect company, client and personal assets should be performed now.

Duane,
Please reach out to Charlotte on her cell to see if she needs any instruction on how to down her equipment, should that become necessary.

DAS

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From: Shive, David

As an FYI, now is probably the time to begin preparing for the eventual landfall of Hurricane Gustav on the north Gulf Coast during the holiday Monday.  Latest model trends have it coming ashore around noon and will likely do so as a major hurricane (120+mph).  The model suite has consistently targeted the central Louisiana coast for the last 6 model runs (36 hours).  It should be noted that specific forecasts greater than 72 hours often have a margin of error of 300+ miles (in each direction) but the models continue to narrow to the central Louisiana coast.  This would place New Orleans on the right entrance region of the storm where storm surge and winds are the greatest.  Let me make this clear:  there are no guarantees that this will happen but, as sensor owners and technology managers of significant, client and government-facing platforms, now is the time to prepare and set your sensors on autopilot.  One other note, there is a strong subtropical ridge building to the north of the storm.  This has the tendency to slow the forward progression of storms.  This is germane to this particular storm as it will likely slow to a crawl after landfall and dump heavy, flooding rains in east Texas or north Louisiana, similar to what Fay did in Florida last week.  This means that our sensors will likely need to run in automated mode for a long duration.  We need to be able to transmit IR, WV, Vis and MW data up/down as long into the event as possible.

If your offsite backup tapes are greater than 7 days old or are housed within 100mi. of your New Orleans office (or Global Hydrology facility for you, Don), now is the time to make sure a fresh set moves to a safe location.  Additionally, you should leave enough time in your holiday weekend schedule to travel to your site to proactively down your non-critical systems and communications equipment since 1) power can surge and brownout and 2) be out in excess of your UPS runtime capabilities during a weather event like this.  Please remember to leave your upload platforms up so that they can transmit research data as long into the storm as possible.  This schedule, if it becomes necessary, should anticipate any evacuation orders that might come from your local authorities and should be made in concert with your client management.  Please remember that any manual downing of your equipment should be preceded by a call to the NOC so that they can silence the many alarms they will receive and so that we don't fill satellite DASD with unnecessary alert data.

Going forward, your primary source of information for this event should be your local EMA via the media outlets.  This is a very well analyzed and advertised storm so the local emergency management authorities will be very communicative via the media.  Heed their warnings and instructions, do not endanger yourselves or your staff unnecessarily.  That said, here are some reliable tools that may help you make good decisions regarding your programs:

NHC 5-day warning graph:
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at2+shtml/145414.shtml?5day#contents
This tool is updated every 3 hours and represents the interpretation of the full suite of global computer models with significant forecaster input included.
 
Storm Surge probablity:
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/storm_graphics/AT07/AL0708_psurge5_y7.png
Updated every 6 hours.  I dont like the current plot, please check back tomorrow.  I'm guessing 18'+ east of the center.

New Orleans, LA local NWS office:
http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?CityName=New+Orleans&state=LA&site=LIX&textField1=30.0658&textField2=-89.9314&e=0
Very good source of warning info and hyper-local weather data.

New Orleans radar:
http://radar.weather.gov/radar.php?rid=LIX&product=N0R&overlay=11101111&loop=yes
Not showing anything now, of course, but useful to see when the rains will start as a storm approaches.

Hi-res GOES-12 satellite loop, centered on New Orleans:
http://wwwghcc.msfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/get-goes?satellite=GOES-E%20CONUS&lat=30.17&lon=-90.71&zoom=1&width=1000&height=800&type=Animation&info=vis&quality=85&numframes=15
Change the “zoom=1” to “zoom=4” for more of a bird’s eye view.

Internal NWS forecaster discussion:
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/product.php?site=NWS&issuedby=LIX&product=AFD&format=CI&version=1&glossary=1
This is the internal discussion that the New Orleans meteorologist have amongst themselves.  It’s produced every 4 or 5 hours.  You can glean their thinking, often hours before they issue statements to the public.  It’s a tough read if you are not one of our meteorologist, feel free to drop me a note if you have questions about their acronyms.

I’ll send out additional info if things change or as events warrant.  Please feel free to drop me a note of give me a call on my cell if you have questions or need anything.

NOC,
The New Orleans office is the only PSS office that is preliminarily vulnerable and it is only marginally so as it has weathered other similar storms well in the past.  You guys will have a much better read on other company and client sites in the region.  Please feel free to send this and additional communiqués to those site managers.

For those curious, here is where the storm is now.

Punta del Este Radar:
http://www.insmet.cu/asp/genesis.asp?TB0=PLANTILLAS&TB1=RADAR&TB2=../Radar/02I.Juventud/pdeMAXw01a.gif

Radar monitoring timeline is:  Punta del Este, then Casablanca then Key West.  Radar silence then until the long range sensors in New Orleans start to light up.  If I have time, I'll drop you an intermediary space-based rain-rate microwave pass tomorrow evening.

Satellite Loop:
http://wwwghcc.msfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/get-goes?satellite=GOES-E%20CONUS&lat=22.21&lon=-81.80&zoom=1&width=1000&height=800&type=Animation&info=vis&quality=85&numframes=15

Our CMO friends in Cuba are in for a rough evening.
DAS
« Last Edit: August 30, 2008, 11:18:39 pm by das »
Another trenchant comment by a jealous lesser intellect.

jonbloozy

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Re: Gustav (non-bb)
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2008, 08:21:26 pm »
you really are leet, das
I say smorgasbord!

Albino Rhino

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Re: Gustav (non-bb)
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2008, 10:46:39 pm »
Leaving New Orleans in about five hours.  Much appreciated, das.

mihoba

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Re: Gustav (non-bb)
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2008, 10:53:03 pm »
Satellite Loop:
http://www.ghcc.msfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/get-goes?satellite=GOES-E%20CONUS&lat=22.21&lon=-81.80&zoom=1&width=1000&height=800&type=Animation&info=vis&quality=85&numframes=15

I took the liberty of correcting the link above. Of course, now it's dark and I can't see squat! Thanks for the detailed info, David.
"Baseball is simply a better game without the DH. "

das

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Re: Gustav (non-bb)
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2008, 11:20:57 pm »
I took the liberty of correcting the link above. Of course, now it's dark and I can't see squat! Thanks for the detailed info, David.
Thanks for the edit.  I'll have little time to jump in over the next few days so I'm glad a mod (you) knows how to do it.  By morning monday, the New Orleans link should be appropriate.
Another trenchant comment by a jealous lesser intellect.