Fri Sep 12 2008 04:02 AM
Re: Huge Hurricane Ike in Gulf, Hurricane Warnings Issued

Ike is clearly pulling itself together tonight. Recent SFMR surface estimates and flight-level winds, combined with a partial eyewall redeveloping - improving internal structure, overall, and especially concerning the central core, suggests that Ike may finally be successfully transforming back into more of a classic tropical cyclone, at least for now. All of this considered together could very well indicate that an increase in the advisory wind speed to Cat 3 is on the way by mid-morning.

It would seem that Ike has taken advantage of improving outflow to its west and northwest, while a very long feeder leg that had been conspiring with everything else to keep the cyclone pretty asymmetrical , has finally broken free of its Caribbean connection, and become just another one of the outer bands.

Over the past five hours or so it looks like Ike has been moving a bit on the western side of WNW. The most recent center fix might indicate a resumption of a more northwesterly track, or it could just be a wobble while this reorganization takes place. The 4AM CDT cone probably won't change much, if at all, and the exact point of landfall doesn't really matter as much as which side of the eye ones location is likely to be on (the heavy surge/strongest winds/ "dirty" right front quadrant, or the sometimes drier/less windy left front).

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