Hurricane Ike Near Landfall

Hurricane Ike is a borderline Category 3 hurricane, with winds of 110 mph. The center of Ike is now about 130 miles southeast of Galveston, TX. One unique characteristic about this hurricane is that it is a huge storm, with tropical storm force winds extending 275 miles from the center. Hurricane force winds extend 120 miles from the center. Wind gusts were reaching 132 mph and a landfall is expected to happen around midnight. The Galveston area is prone to coastal flooding and waves were already crossing Galveston’s 17 foot seawall. Landfall should occur around 1:00 a.m.

Live Ike coverage from the Houston ABC Affiliate

Friday Afternoon Update: 3:46 PM

Hurricane Ike is closing in on the southeast corner of Texas. At this time the hurricane is about 168 miles southeast of Galveston and it’s moving west-northwest at 12 mph. Ike should make a landfall overnight and already hurricane force winds are near the coast of Louisiana. Tropical Storm force winds extend well into Louisiana and one aspect of this system is its massive size. Tropical Storm force winds could impact areas over 250 miles away from the center of circulation. Of-course, this massive wind field will decrease as the system weakens tomorrow. We will remain hot and steamy, with humid air in place. Look for a partly to mostly sunny sky tomorrow, with afternoon highs in the lower 90s.

Ike will head inland and encounter an approaching trough. This will send Ike northeast and a band of rain and storms will materialize by Sunday as dry air wraps into the system. You can expect a bright start to the day on Sunday, with more clouds late. I still expect a good chance of rain for Sunday night and early Monday. Temperatures on Monday will be in the middle 80s due to lots of clouds. Some models differ in the timing for the departure of the rain. For now I’m forecasting a few showers south of town on Tuesday.

Dry air will sink into the area on Wednesday and we will have lots of sunshine for the end of the week. Highs will be in the middle 80s by Wednesday and at night we will have lows near 60. If the latest data is an accurate indication, we will have a slight taste of fall in the air early Thursday.

Wes Wyatt
Chief Meteorologist