Gustav is weakening and steering to the west of the Big Easy.
The Air Force regularly sends in its “hurricane hunter” aircraft, and the last observation of about a hour ago showed central winds “generously described” at 100 knots, and those probably falling. The National Hurricane Center reports that the AF plane didn’t even find an eye wall, though radar reports an open (therefore weaker one) over the south.
The forecasters also report “WATER VAPOR IMAGERY ALSO SUGGESTS A DRY INTRUSION AND A RESTRICTION OF THE UPPER-LEVEL OUTFLOW OVER THE SOUTHERN PORTION OF THE HURRICANE.” What that means in English is that the storm will very probably get weaker. (We—I used to be a National Weather Service forecaster—always had to type forecasts in all upper case. This is a throwback to teletypewriter days.)
“ALSO THE CLOUD PATTERN HAS BECOME A BIT MORE RAGGED ON GEOSTATIONARY SATELLITE PICTURES. BASED ON CURRENT TRENDS AND THE PROXIMITY TO THE COAST…NO SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN STRENGTH APPEARS LIKELY PRIOR TO LANDFALL.” That one doesn’t need any translation.
Make no mistake, however. Gustav is still a big storm and those in his path should get out of his way. It will absolutely cause damage and cost a lot of people a lot of money.
But the wide-spread death and destruction so avidly hoped for by the radical left (see two posts ago) Michael Moore, Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Don Fowler, inter alia now seems unlikely.
What a sad day!
The weather also spoils the media’s fun. You could almost feel the anticipation and eagerness in the news rooms yesterday. Reporters irresponsibly echoed New Orleans’ mayor’s foolish statement calling Gustav the “storm of the century.” This kind of idiotic hyperbole, while typical, is easy to spot, so why does the media regularly give it so much play?
I just turned on the news and they showed a reporter, ridiculously overdressed in rain gear that would hold back a flood, giving his best effort. He shouted in the microphone, held his hat as the breeze and drizzle assaulted him. What a trooper.