Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hurricane Ike--updated X2

As of now, Hurricane Ike is a Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph. The pressure inside the eye is 952 mbs—up from 944 mbs, which suggests that Ike is not organizing quickly. Forecasts are that Ike will strengthen into a Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 125 mph. There is a 15 percent chance that Ike will strengthen into a Cat. 4. This, of course would be bad news but it is unlikely. Ike is a very large storm so, even in it hits North of Houston, which would spare us the “dirty side” of the storm, it will very likely impact us in terms of high winds, rain and loss of services.

We will ride this one out. We are 50 miles inland, which means that we will not experience any flooding from the surge. Rainfall is expect to range from 6 to 10 inches (feeder bands can add as much as an additional 2 inches per hour). This house didn’t flood during T.S. Allison, and it seems unlikely that Ike will flood our house. We are not in an evacuation zone. We are well supplied with the essentials. We have 14 gallons of drinking water and a 250 gallon reserve. We have lots of canned goods (and a manual opener!), dried foods, soy milk, flashlights, batteries, candles, transistor radio, first aid, etc. This is not our first hurricane, and I’m sure we will be fine, even if it does get rather uncomfortable without air conditioning.

As usual, I will send updates through email, Myspace and, as a last resort, through Twitter (twitter is posting updates from mobile phones slowly, so those updates might lag far behind real time). Ike should make landfall in the early hours of Saturday morning, but conditions will probably begin to deteriorate much earlier. I’ll try to stay in touch. If you need to reach me, you stand a far better chance of getting through with a text message than with a phone call.

for good information on the local scene check out Eric Berger's science blog at the Houston Chronicle online.