UPDATE: Ike ‘Growing in Size and Strength’ Says NHC

September 10, 2008

Although Hurricane Ike weakened considerably as it passed over Cuba, the most recent bulletin (11:00 a.m. EDT) from Miami’s National Hurricane Center warns that is now “growing in size and strength in the Southeastern Gulf of Mexico.”

The storm’s center is currently about 225 miles (365 kms) west-southwest of Key West Florida and about 430 miles (690 kms) southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River. The NHC said that “although the center of Ike moved little over the past few hours, the hurricane is generally moving toward the west-northwest near 8 mph [3 km/hr]; a west-northwestward motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days.

If it continues on that path, Ike will probably gain instrngth as it passes over the warm waters of the central Gulf of Mexico. The NHC’s forecast track indicates Ike would hit the coast of Texas south of Houston and north of Corpus Christi early Satruday morning

Maximum sustained winds are now near 90 mph (150 km/hr) with higher gusts. Ike remains a category one hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. However the NHC said that “additional strengthening is expected and Ike could be a major hurricane tomorrow.”

In addition Ike has grown in size, making it a “large tropical cyclone. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 kms) from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 205 miles (335 kms). Tropical storm warnings remain in effect for parts of Cuba, Key West and the Dry Tortugas.

Source: National Hurricane Center – http://www.nhc.noaa.gov

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