Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hurricane Ike (2008)

Strom Active: September 1-14

In late August, a tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa. On September 1, it became Tropical Depression Nine. It started to rapidly strengthen and by September 4, it had already reached it s peak intensity of 145 mph winds and a pressure of 935 millibars. It continued on a more northerly track so it did not have any major effects in Puerto Rico or the Leeward Islands. A high-pressure system to the north of Ike not only steered to more southward but also weakened the system and soon it was only a Category 2. It did regenerate before landfall back to a weak Category 4 hurricane with 135 mph winds. Then, as a strong Category 3 it made its first landfall in western Cuba. Interaction with land weakened the system and when it made landfall in Cuba again, it was only a Category 1. Ike reentered the Gulf of Mexico on September 9. Over the next day it strengthened back to a Category 2. The wind field of Ike expanded rapidly and became abnormally large, with tropical storm force winds extending 275 mph out form the center and hurricane force winds 120 mph fro the center. The system reached 110 mph winds before landfall but the hurricane force winds were so widespread that the storm surge was resembled that of a Category 4. Ike made landfall before sunrise on September 13. The system weakened over land and quickly became a depression and turned north-east. It left a trail of destruction up through western New England before finally dissipating. 147 deaths resulted from Ike, almost half of them in the United States. Also, Ike was the third costliest hurricane on record in the U.S. behind Andrew and Katrina.

Ike at peak intensity over the warm Atlantic waters.

Track of Ike.