Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday's Gustav Update

Gustav keeps getting punched in the stomach by land. First it was Haiti that did a number on Gustav's strength; last night it was Jamaica. Although Gustav is still a tropical storm, he will emerge today back over the open waters and gather more strength.

The forecasted landfall track has shifted slightly west. A strong area of high pressure is now expected to build in over the Ohio River Valley which would "protect" eastern Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. However, the back end of that high could break down slightly. If that should happen, Gustav still has his eyes set on western Louisiana or the central coast of Louisiana. With computer models taking this into account, the track has shifted more towards New Iberia, Louisiana. I have posted 3 graphics here for you to see just how close the models are to consensus.

Gustav looks to make his landfall early Tuesday morning and continue on a northwesterly track. Notice on the "spaghetti plot", 3 models have Gustav headed for Mississippi & Louisiana while 3 others take if far to the west to Texas.

Obviously, there is still room for error in the landfall location, timing and strength of this storm. But as long as Mississippi stays in the right front quadrant of the storm, we stand the chance to see sustained winds, rain and tornadoes.

One poster to this blog wanted to know how to deal with a child who is deathly afraid of storms. We are scared of things we don't understand. A child (and some adults) may be afraid of bad weather because they don't understand what causes the bad weather. The truth is tornadoes, hurricanes, and storms occur everyday all over the world. When God made this earth, He made it to work in cycles. Although we seem to be more afraid of the damage from hurricanes, the churning of the ocean waters help to "mix up" the water and bring more nutrients closer to the surface so sea creatures and plant life can have more to feed on. We are scared of damage from tornadoes, but tornadoes often have rain that accompanies it. Plants and animals need the rain that comes from these storms. So you see, storms do have a place in this expansive world. Once I explained to my oldest Gracie in 5 year-old terms how lightning is formed, she wasn't as afraid. However, a certain amount of fear is healthy--I wouldn't want her to play outside in the middle of a storm! Also, make sure you reassure your child they are not alone; that you will be right there with them through this and you will help them make the right choice in taking cover when appropriate. Take this opportunity to talk to your child about having a weather plan (have a special room, close or hallway to wait out the storm should tornado warnings be issued). The more relaxed and prepared they feel, the more the fear will ease.

I don't normally blog on the weekends, but I'll be working this weekend and will continue to update you on the latest.


Pattie said...

I sure wished that would work, but trust me I have even told her that lightning was GOD's way of lighting the path for his angels to get home, and that thunder was GOD calling his angels home. That did seem to help for a little while, but it does nothing now. We live in Simpson County in what we call TORNADO allie. Her dad works with the power company, and I think that she is more worried about the fact that she can not control the storms. Thanks for your help I will let her read this today.

Celia said...

Thanks for all the above and beyond that you do!

Celia said...

I also have a question, how often are the spaghetti models, cones, etc. updated?

Barbie Bassett said...

The computer models we use are updated 4x a day.

Barbie Bassett said...

The tropical models updated 2x a day.

Jeff, Abbey, and Reed Land said...

Barbie, we live in Nashville now, but you are still our favorite weather personality ever! Thanks for having a blog where we can keep up with you!