Gustav will be trouble next week.
As the storm exits Jamaica tomorrow and enters the waters of the Caribbean, Gustav will strengthen into a category 1 hurricane. By Sunday, Gustav is expected to enter the Gulf of Mexico as a category 3 and at some point could strengthen into a category 4 hurricane.
Though the future path is uncertain with the unpredictability of tropical cyclones, most computer models agree that Gustav will come ashore the middle of next week somewhere around Louisiana. This could be disastrous for an area that still hasn’t recovered from Hurricane Katrina 3 years ago.
August 29, 2008 7:00 AM (5:00 AM Advisory) – from AccuWeather
Gustav will move across the remainder of Jamaica early this morning, intensify into a hurricane during the day Friday then affect the Cayman Islands Friday night.
A hurricane warning is in effect for Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.
A tropical storm warning remains out for the province of Granma, Cuba.
A hurricane watch is in effect for Western Cuba, for the provinces of Isla De Uventud, Pinar Del Rio, La Habana, and Ciudad De La Habana.
A Tropical Storm watch is also in effect for the province of Matanzas.
Tropical Storm Gustav was located about 85 miles west of Kingston, Jamaica, or near 18.1 north, 78.1 west. Gustav is moving to the west at 8 mph. Maximum sustained winds were 65 mph. The estimated central pressure is 991 mb, or 29.26 inches. Gustav brought excessive rainfall to much of Jamaica with the risk of life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides. Rainfall amounts of 6 to 12 inches fell with local amounts of 20-plus inches, especially over the higher terrain.
Gustav had been interacting with the island of Jamaica since midday Thursday. The storm has failed to become a hurricane due to the 7,000-foot mountains over eastern Jamaica. Gustav will emerge over or water in the next few hours and with the storm looks well organized at this time and should ramp up to hurricane strength mid- to late morning. Jamaica will slowly improve during the day. Given the very warm water in its path Gustav could intensify rapidly to a Category 2 and perhaps 3 hurricane Friday night and Saturday. During this time Gustav will pass near the Cayman Islands Friday night then over or just west of far western Cuba, causing windswept flooding rain over those two relatively flat land masses. Gustav will move into the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday as a Category 3 hurricane and could become a Category 4 hurricane later Sunday and Sunday night. Where Gustav moves beyond Sunday is still uncertain. A large high pressure area to the north guiding Gustav over the next few days will change shape and weaken on its west side allowing Gustav to track more northwestward during Sunday night and Monday. However, another very strong high pressure area building into the eastern United States will expand southward and this could slow or even block the northward motion of Gustav during later Monday into Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. All interests along the Gulf Coast, especially from the upper coast of Texas to the western Florida Panhandle should continue to closely monitor the progress of Gustav.