Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hurricane Gustav (2008)

Storm Active: August 25-September 2

On August 25, a wave in the south-east Caribbean became Tropical Depression Seven. A mere three hours later, the Depression became Tropical Storm Gustav. It continued to develop and became a Category 1 hurricane with 90 mph winds shortly before make landfall in south-west Haiti. The system was strong, but the circulation was relatively tight, and hurricane force winds were not widespread. It quickly weakened to a tropical storm and turned west while the eye was still over land and emerged on the 27th. It only had 45 mph winds and was very weak as it hit Jamaica but still caused major flooding. Over the 85 degree waters of the north Caribbean it intensified into a hurricane within half a day. By noon on August 30, Gustav had become the second major hurricane of the season. It had 145 mph sustained winds in the eyewall and had doubled in size as it hit the Isle of Youth, Cuba. It made landfall in mainland Cuba with 150 mph winds and an internal pressure of 941 millibars. It weakened as it emerged into the Gulf, but probably will gain strength as it approaches Louisiana. Gustav picked up speed before landfall and hit south-east Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane with 110 mph winds at 11 o'clock Eastern Time, September 1. Even over land Gustav remained organized and convection continued to flare up around the center and it slowly weakened and moved north-west. It weakened to a low on September 4 and dissipated the next day. In total Gustav caused $20 billion in damage and 125 deaths, 25 of them being in the United States.

Gustav shortly after landfall.

Track of Gustav.

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