Gustav is set to enter the Gulf this weekend. He’s only a tropical storm right now, but he should be a hurricane by then.
I only became aware of Gustav yesterday, when Karen asked, “When do we start freaking out?” My reply: “Thursday morning.” It’s only Wednesday now, so I’m not worried yet. But I am keeping a close eye on the NHC website.
Yeah, yeah, the track looks like it’s pointed right at New Orleans. But that estimate is five days out, very unreliable. Furthermore, I believe the center of the track is just the area of greatest probability. Gustav could end up anywhere within that cone, which covers half the Gulf. This most recent estimate veers eastward, which is good for us — not so good for those to the east, obviously.
I’ve even learned some misguided Democrats are rooting for Gustav to make a direct hit on New Orleans next week because it will make the Republican National Convention look bad. Fortunately I don’t believe any amount of wishful thinking will influence the weather. Otherwise I’d feel guilty about wishing Gustav off to the east.
Not to worry. Not yet. But this is a good time to check plans and supplies, to make sure everything is prepared.
Update: Come to think of it, I believe the track is constructed from multiple different predictive models, so the center of the track may actually be the area of least probability. My man Bob Breck seems to think so: “I want New Orleans to be the bulls eye at 5 days because it won’t come here…it will be on either side of the center line track by a large distance.” He may be a global warming denier, but he’s still a damn good weatherman.
Later that evening: The University just announced campus will be closed from Friday afternoon until the following Thursday. Kudos to the administration for playing it smart. This makes it easier for students, faculty and staff to evacuate if necessary.