Tropical Storm Gustav: Forecast Discussion #9

TROPICAL STORM GUSTAV DISCUSSION NUMBER 9
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL072008
500 AM EDT WED AUG 27 2008

GUSTAV HAS BEEN HUGGING THE NORTH COAST OF SOUTHWESTERN HAITI THIS
MORNING WITH STRONG BANDS OF THUNDERSTORMS TO THE EAST AND SOUTH OF
THE CENTER. AN AIR FORCE RESERVE RECONNAISSANCE PLANE FOUND A
MINIMUM PRESSURE OF 998 MB AND RELIABLE SFMR WINDS OF 45-50 KT. THE
INITIAL INTENSITY WILL BE SET AT 50 KT. LITTLE INTENSIFICATION IS
FORESEEN UNTIL THE CENTER MOVES FARTHER AWAY FROM THE HIGH TERRAIN
OF HAITI. THEREAFTER...A STEADY INCREASE IN STRENGTH IS LIKELY...
ESPECIALLY AFTER THE CENTER MOVES INTO THE MORE OPEN WATERS
NORTHWEST OF JAMAICA. VERTICAL SHEAR IS FORECAST TO BE LIGHT...AND
COMBINED WITH THE DEEP WARM WATERS...RAPID INTENSIFICATION COULD
OCCUR IN A COUPLE OF DAYS WHILE THE CENTER IS NEAR OR SOUTH OF
WESTERN CUBA. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST IS REDUCED FROM EARLIER DUE TO
THE INITIAL WEAKENING BUT STILL SHOWS THE STORM BECOMING A MAJOR
HURRICANE IN THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA. IN THE LONGER-TERM...
THE GLOBAL MODELS HAVE A VARIETY OF UPPER-WIND PATTERNS...BUT IN
GENERAL THE UPPER WINDS APPEAR TO BE FAVORABLE ENOUGH TO SUPPORT A
MAJOR HURRICANE IN THE GULF OF MEXICO. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT
BOTH THE GFDL AND HWRF ARE MORE AGGRESSIVE THAN THE OFFICIAL
FORECAST.

THE STORM HAS NOT BEEN MOVING MUCH RECENTLY BUT AN AVERAGED OVER THE
PAST TWELVE HOURS YIELDS AN ESTIMATE OF 300/4. A TURN TOWARD THE
WEST IS LIKELY TODAY AS THE STORM BUMPS INTO A LARGE HIGH PRESSURE
RIDGE OVER THE BAHAMAS AND FLORIDA. GUSTAV SHOULD THEN BE STEERED
AROUND THE SOUTHERN PERIPHERY OF THE HIGH FOR THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS
AND TURN NORTHWESTWARD IN THE GULF OF MEXICO. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST
IS VERY CLOSE THE PREVIOUS ONE AND IS JUST TO THE LEFT OF THE MODEL
CONSENSUS. THE GFS IS AN EXTREME OUTLIER EARLY ON...TAKING THE
STORM NEAR THE NORTH COAST OF CUBA...WHICH IS CONSIDERED VERY
UNLIKELY AT THIS TIME.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 27/0900Z 18.6N 73.5W 50 KT
12HR VT 27/1800Z 19.0N 74.3W 50 KT
24HR VT 28/0600Z 19.1N 75.6W 60 KT
36HR VT 28/1800Z 19.2N 77.2W 70 KT
48HR VT 29/0600Z 19.6N 78.8W 80 KT
72HR VT 30/0600Z 21.0N 82.5W 100 KT
96HR VT 31/0600Z 23.5N 86.0W 105 KT
120HR VT 01/0600Z 27.0N 89.5W 105 KT


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