Now a Category 1 hurricane approaching the Gulf of Mexico
Expect this to be literally a fast moving situation.
Expected to become a major Category 3 (conceivably higher depending on the rate of intensification and prime conditions in the Gulf) hurricane in the next 24 - 36 hours.
Not impossible for this to get to Cat 5. 18hrs ago NHC were predicting max 85kt. SSTs are very warm in the gulf and Caribbean.
Latest SHIPS forecast indicating 81 kts nearing landfall sometime Wednesday evening.
It won't make CAT 3. I'd say the SHIPS has it bang on at around 80-85 kts max. It will completely miss the pool of highest ocean heat content in the middle of the Gulf, so another 15-20 knots or so as it leaves the warmest waters around Cuba will probably be the highest it will get. But it will be interesting to see if the NHC overstate it again. They've gone for the very top of the intensity guidance envelope. They've also analysed it at 70 knots at 18Z despite max SFMR winds of 54 kts around then.
Could yet be. 13-16 kts of shear up to landfall.
|TIME (HR) 0 6 12 18 24 36 48 60 72 84 96 108 120|
|V (KT) NO LAND 70 75 77 79 80 80 81 77 74 68 67 57 38|
|V (KT) LAND 70 75 77 79 80 80 81 46 33 29 30 21 DIS|
|V (KT) LGEM 70 75 79 80 80 81 82 46 33 29 35 35 29|
|SHEAR (KT) 15 16 22 16 13 16 16 18 17 31 49 71 69|
EC has it @ 947hPa and near 140knots close to landfall
140 knots? You mean kph. 165 kph sustained on this
Looking at 159mph gust here.
No, sustained winds. The NHC use 1-minute mean sustained, which is usually around 10% higher than the standard 10-minute mean.
I see that now- had forgotten briefly- although going on experience they seem to go with intensity near the maximum flight level winds they sample.
I'd love to see verification against the recorded sustained winds versus the forecast sustained winds versus the recorded gusts!
I would think that the recorded max gust is nearer the the forecast sustained wind or less
They have a reduction factor for calculating surface winds from flight level winds, which is usually around 15-20%.
In my experience the reported speeds are nearly always less than forecast, especially for US-landfalls. The 1-minute sustained winds quoted by the NHC will be closer to the gusts as they are averaged over only 1 minute, in which time one decent gust will up the value. Remember that they're always the MAXIMUM sustained values, so there will also be other periods much lower than that too. That's why from an academic point of view the 10-minute speeds are more relevant, but for talking of potential damage the 1-minute are used.
Scan at 2136Z shows the deep convection has pretty much formed an eye.
Storm surge is probably the biggest concern given the flat nature of the Florida panhandle coastline and the timing (new moon is just occurring now). I do think it has some potential to strengthen to a major hurricane even though it misses that warmest pool of Gulf water, as it has done quite well organizing in a less than perfect situation between Yucatan and Cuba. Ocean buoy 42003 will be right in its path around 18z today.
This link includes frequent updates and (during local daylight hours) pictures of the waves and sky conditions. Could get interesting by 15z. Current wind speeds around 30 to 50 knots. This buoy could be in the forward eyewall at some point.