FINAL update, 9:30pm September 13, 2008
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Ike is over southwestern Arkansas and moving rapidly northeast. Rain and wind will end overnight. Look for clearing skies and drier weather Sunday.
Rainfall totals ranged from a half an inch to two and a half inches; in general welcome rainfall with only some street flooding reported.
Tropical Storm IKE Update: 3pm September 13, 2008
Ike is now a tropical storm and is likely to be downgraded to a tropical depression later tonight. It will pass just east of Paris this evening, and turn northeast over Arkansas while accelerating away from Texoma.
The winds in Ike have decreased rapidly…faster than expected…and top winds are now 60mph; they will continue to slowly diminish. Gusty winds of 35-50mph can still be expected through this evening generally along and east of I-35. An isolated tornado is possible in Lamar, Pushmataha, or Choctaw counties. Most of these will be further east, however.
Rainfall will be heavy at times but total amounts should generally be in the 2-4” range. Brief flooding of roadways and low-lying areas is possible but widespread flooding is not anticipated. Rain and winds will generally be less as you head westward.
Winds and rain will taper off overnight and Sunday should see much improved conditions. Be sure and tune in to Megan’s updates throughout the weekend.
I will post my final blog on Ike later this evening.
10am September 13:
Ike make landfall at 2:10a.m. as a strong Category 2 (110mph) hurricane. at Galveston. The western eyewall went right over Houston and 4 million people are without power!!!
Ike is moving due north and will be turning to the NNE by mid to late afternoon. This path is about 50-75 miles further east than earlier forecast. While this is well within the expected error for a hurricane prediction, the good news is that this will lower the threat of major flooding anywhere in Texoma. Winds of 35-55 mph east and 25-40mph west are still expected by this afternoon, mainly in gusts. The western side of the storm is quite dry and areas that lie west of the center of Ike will probably get no more than 2-3 inches of rain....not enough to cause major flooding.
Conditions will deteriorate rapidly this afternoon as Ike moves quickly. Boaters are advised to avoid area lakes today.
The accelerating storm motion means that sunshine will be possible with decreasing winds by afternoon Sunday.
This will be an event rather short in duration but with very gusty winds and some heavy rainfall. Again, the worst conditions will be confined to the easternmost reaches of Texoma with lesser impacts as you head further west. We will break in if warranted this afternoon and evening as Ike makes it closest pass to Texoma.
Bottom line: Probably not as bad as feared, but still very windy with some heavy rain especially east.
10pm: No changes to previous forecast. Ike will strike near Galveston between midnight and 2am Saturday. It now has winds of 110mph; damage is likely to be on the major scale especially in downtown Houston and on Galveston Island. Forecast details below:
4pm: Well, friends, the thinking in the weather world has changed little in regards to Ike. It is taking dead aim on the Houston-Galveston area and will make landfall overnight. It will then turn northward as a trough to the west begins to influence its path. It’s expected to make a very close pass through north Texas and southern Oklahoma on Saturday.
Since Ike has such a massive wind field, flooding along the coast will be worse than usual for a storm of this intensity. Seas may be 15-20 feet above normal from Galveston and points eastward for 50-100 miles by tonight. This will create an extreme flood situation for those areas. The winds as of 10am were 105mph. They may increase another 5 or 10mph but that’s about it given the current storm structure. This would make it a borderline “major” (Category 3) hurricane according to National Hurricane Center definitions, but it will definitely be one for the history books (based on size and current strength), even if doesn’t make Category 3 status.
This hurricane is quite unusual: the typical hurricane has a well-defined eyewall with destructive winds extending out perhaps 50 or 75 miles; the wind drops off steadily the further you get from the eye. With Ike, hurricane force winds extend out about 115 miles from the eye and don’t decrease much in that range. This means that a larger area than usual will suffer moderate to major damage: power lines and trees down, windows blow in, roofs off of some structures, etc. It’s going to be a real mess but the wind will not be on the level of Andrew in 1992, which obliterated whole city blocks in south Florida. Again, the flooding may extreme, though.
Let’s talk Texoma now: Expect winds to steadily increase late tonight and especially Saturday morning. Rain will move in by sunrise Saturday south of the Red River and mid-morning to noon northern areas. Wind gusts of 50-60mph can be expected along a line from Anna-Sherman-Durant-Antlers with winds of 35-50 mph from that line west to I-35. Some trees and power lines along with billboards and roof shingles may be blown away. A Tropical Storm Wind Watch is in effect for most of north Texas Saturday-Sunday.
Secure any loose items on your property today!
Rainfall will probably be in the 3-5” range east to 1-2” west; perhaps enough to cause some flooding but not major flooding as we saw last summer. Some places in easternmost counties (Pushmataha, Choctaw, Lamar) may get as much as 7” of rain, however. The fast forward movement of Ike will serve to limit flooding potential to some degree. If Ike wobbles further west the rainfall and wind may be a bit higher. Isolated tornadoes will be possible over easternmost areas as well.