Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ruh roh

Crap. The 4am model has Ike even closer to Houston now.

The NHC winds forecast is ominous:

The sNHC wind model now predict 93 mph winds for my zip code 77062.

The models, though, are still all over the place:

The voices of reason here are Eric Berger of the Houston Chronicle and Jeff Masters of Weather Underground. All the local weather people are freaking out.

Masters says
Tides have risen one foot above normal in Galveston too. The water level will continue to rise as Ike approaches Texas, and NOAA's experimental storm surge forecast (Figure 1) is calling for a 10% chance that the storm tide from Ike will reach 10-12 feet at Galveston, and 18-21 feet on the south and east sides of Houston.

Ike is likely to be a extremely dangerous major hurricane at landfall, and will likely do $10-$30 billion in damage. The chances of hundreds of people being killed in this storm is high if people do not heed evacuation orders. It is possible that Ike will make a direct hit on Galveston as a Category 4 hurricane with 145 mph winds. The potential storm surge from such a hit could be in the 15-25 foot range (Figure 2), which is capable of overwhelming the 17 foot sea wall in Galveston. I put the odds of such an event at about 5%.

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