Friday, September 12, 2008

Yikes it's Ike

Like I said two days ago.

We won't like this Ike. Here's Dr. Jeff Master's blog:

Hurricane Ike is closing in on Texas, and stands poised to become one of the most damaging hurricanes of all time. Despite Ike's rated Category 2 strength, the hurricane is much larger and more powerful than Category 5 Katrina or Category 5 Rita. The storm surge from Ike could rival Katrina's, inundating a 200-mile stretch of coast from Galveston to Cameron, Louisiana with waters over 15 feet high.

This massive storm surge is due to the exceptional size of Ike. According to the latest wind field estimate (Figure 1), the diameter of Ike's tropical storm and hurricane force winds are 550 and 240 miles, respectively. For comparison, Katrina numbers at landfall were 440 and 210 miles, respectively. As I discussed in yesterday's blog entry, a good measure of the storm surge potential is Integrated Kinetic Energy (IKE). Ike continues to grow larger and has intensified slightly since yesterday, and the hurricane's Integrated Kinetic Energy has increased from 134 to 149 Terajoules.

This is 30% higher than Katrina's total energy at landfall.

All this extra energy has gone into piling up a vast storm surge that will probably be higher than anything in recorded history along the Texas coast. Storm surge heights of 20-25 feet are possible from Galveston northwards to the Louisiana border.

The Texas storm surge record is held by Hurricane Carla of 1961. Carla was a Category 4 hurricane with 145 mph winds at landfall, and drove a 10 foot or higher storm surge to a 180-mile stretch of Texas coast. A maximum storm surge of 22 feet was recorded at Port Lavaca, Texas. (more)

Folks in Houston are hunkering down. I think I would dump my food in the frig and the freezer and get the heck out of dodge right now.

But a lot of other folks are going to get hit with a giant surge tonight. Galveston is likely going under water.

Yikes, it's Ike

and we won't like it.

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oz note: surge was under 14 feet in most places. Galveston and surrounding areas did not receive the 20 foot wall of water that was predicted



Anonymous Anonymous said...

We may be about to face the worst environmental disaster in history. Though wind damage should be minimal (for a hurricane) the flooding of the petrochemical industry is going to be spread throughout the coastal farmlands and the big thicket. The "bathtub ring" of oil/chemical scum and human waste left after the surge recedes will be monumental. I only hope that everyone pays attention - there are some who still believe we need more of this insanity spread around the rest of the country - God forbid.

10:25 AM  

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