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Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 09/ 1/2008

Eye of Hurricane Gustav Moving On Shore

By Jason Samenow
Latest Gulf Coast radar loop shows movement of precipitation over past three hours. Powered by HAMweather. Refresh page to update or restart animation (updates approx. every 10 minutes).

Storm Monitoring: Satellite Loop | Radar Loop | Interactive Tracking Map | Live Storm Chasing | Streaming Local News from New Orleans | New Orleans Damage Reports

10 a.m. update: Eye making landfall now on the shores of Terrebonne Bay. New Orleans Times-Picayune: Corps chiefs: No major storm surge flooding expected. However, 7 foot surge reported in Shell Beach, south of New Orleans and water will continue piling up on southeasterly winds east of the storm center, testing levees on the West Bank of New Orleans. It won't be until this evening or tomorrow that we'll know how the levees have faired. Fourteen inches of rain already reported in Grand Isle, La, which is now underwater due to storm surge.

9 a.m. update: Gustav downgraded to Category 2 intensity. Maximum winds of 110 mph. Within 15 miles of landfall. Grand Isle, Louisiana reports winds to 105 mph, according to CNN. Tornado warnings in southern Alabama, Mississippi, and western Florida panhandle

From earlier: The center of Gustav is within several hours of coming ashore. As of 7 a.m., Gustav remained a Category 3 hurricane with maximum winds of 115 mph but the National Hurricane Center reports Gustav "is not strengthening" and "no significant increase in strength appears likely prior to landfall." The other big positive is that Gustav has turned west northwest, meaning its center will make landfall far enough west of New Orleans that it will miss the quadrant of the storm with the strongest winds and highest storm surge.

Keep reading for more on Gustav. For Washington, D.C. weather, see our full forecast.

While landfall is expected to be well southwest of New Orleans in the western part of Terrebonne Bay (south of Houma, La.), the National Hurricane Center still indicates the city could receive up to a 12 foot storm surge. SciGuy suggests that will be high enough to test New Orleans levees.

In the last hour, hurricane expert Dr. Steve Lyons on The Weather Channel suggested the surge will be less than projected since Gustav is tracking west north west pushing water more parallel to the coast rather than onshore.

Here are some blogs we recommend for more Gustav coverage...

By Jason Samenow  | September 1, 2008; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Tropical Weather  
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Next: Gustav Ashore, Hanna a Hurricane

Comments

Looks like New Orleans will escape relatively unscathed this time, with Gustav making landfall 100 miles to the west of the city and the bulk of its energy in the southwest quadrant. The sad part is that as time progresses and with every evacuation that in the end turns out to have been unnecessary, more and more people will choose not to evacuate. Then when the city does flood again, we will have a Katrina situation all over again.

Posted by: Brian in Alex | September 1, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

I've noticed that the tracker on stormpulse.com still has Gustav strengthening to an H3 five hours from now, after landfall it seems.

Is that a mistake, or have I missed something?

Posted by: Laura in NWDC | September 1, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Laura, Stormpulse may not have pulled the latest data.

Posted by: Jason, Capital Weather Gang | September 1, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

OK. I noticed they have already downgraded the current blip to H2, so I thought they would have changed the whole track. Guess not!

Posted by: Laura in NWDC | September 1, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Here's a nice animated radar of Gustav

Posted by: Jason, Capital Weather Gang | September 1, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Wow! Cool link! Look at that long band of thunderstorms east of Florida.

Posted by: Model Monkey | September 1, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Brian in Alex | September 1, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

That's some scary animated radar. For the link, thanks, Jason.

115 mph sounds pretty bad, yet it's "only" category 2, which makes me wonder whether there's been a strict correlation, historically, between category and material damage, or have categories proved somewhat academic with respect to effects?

Leaving aside the independent uncertainty of the levees, what I'm wondering, of course, is whether I'm justified in feeling relieved this isn't in the same official category as Katrina?

Posted by: jhbyer | September 1, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

TV Update: Fox 5 is giving us good local coverage. Channel 9 is now [6 PM!] giving us nothing but tennis [!!!]. Weather Channel is still not updating us @ 6:20PM with the extended forecast! Honestly, some of us are MORE CONCERNED with what Hanna might throw at us this coming weekend than with what Gustav is doing to the Gulf right now.

At least the GOP is devoting night #1 of their convention to hurricane relief. They would look pretty bad if they spent the night partying while Louisiana gets socked by the hurricane. They have enough of a problem with super right-wing moralist Gov. Palin revealing that her unwed 17-year-old daughter is 5 months pregnant. [Imagine, if you can, how they would be attacking us Democrats if this scenario were affecting one of Sen. Obama's daughters??? Of course, the Obama children haven't reached 17 yet, but I think you'll get the message.]

Posted by: El Bombo | September 1, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

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