Monday, September 08, 2008

statement as of 11:00 EDT

...Ike battering Camaguey Cuba...heading westward for central and western Cuba... at 11 am EDT...1500 UTC...the government of Cuba has issued a Hurricane Warning for the western provinces of of la Habana...Ciudad de Habana...Pinar del Rio...and the Isle of Youth. A Hurricane Warning is now in effect for the Cuban provinces of Guantanamo...Santiago de Cuba... Holguin...Las Tunas and Granma...Camaguey...Ciego de Avila....Villa Clara...Sancti Spiritus...Cienfuegos...Matanzas...la Habana...Ciudad de Habana...Pinar del Rio...and the Isle of Youth. At 11 am EDT...1500 UTC...the government of the Cayman Islands has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Florida Keys from Ocean Reef southward to the Dry Tortugas...including Florida Bay. A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected within the warning area within the next 24 hours. A Hurricane Watch remains in effect for the Florida Keys from Ocean Reef southward to the Dry Tortugas. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Andros Island and Ragged Island. A tropical storm watch remains in effect for Jamaica and Grand Cayman. Interests in South Florida should continue to monitor the progress of Ike. For storm information specific to your area...including possible inland watches and warnings...please monitor products issued by your local weather office. At 1100 am EDT...1500z...the center of Hurricane Ike was located near latitude 21.1 north...longitude 78.5 west or about 45 miles... 70 km...west-southwest of Camaguey Cuba and about 290 miles...465 km...east-southeast of Havana Cuba. Ike is moving toward the west near 14 mph...22 km/hr...but a turn toward the west-northwest should begin later today. On this track...the center of Hurricane Ike should move back over water near Punta macurijes in the Cuban province of Camaguey soon. Ike should then move along or just south of the southern coast of central Cuba today...move over western Cuba Tuesday...and emerge into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico by Tuesday night. Maximum sustained winds are near 100 mph...160 km/hr...with higher gusts. Ike is a category two hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Slight weakening is possible today until Ike moves back over water. However...any deviation to the south of the track could keep Ike over water longer resulting in some restrengthening during next day or so. A reconnaissance aircraft will provide a better estimate of Ike's intensity this afternoon. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 60 miles...95 km...from the center...and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 200 miles...325 km. The estimated minimum central pressure is 960 mb...28.35 inches. Coastal storm surge flooding of 9-12 feet above normal tide levels...along with large and dangerous battering waves...can be expected in areas of onshore winds east of Ike along the southern coast of Cuba. Storm surge flooding of 1-3 feet...along with large and dangerous waves...are possible in the Florida Keys. Large swells generated by Ike will continue to affect portions of the southeast United States coast during the next couple of days. These waves could generate dangerous and life-threatening rip currents. Ike is expected to produce rainfall accumulations of 6 to 12 inches over Cuba...with isolated maximum amounts of up to 20 inches possible. These rains are likely to cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides over mountainous terrain. Rainfall accumulations of 3 to 6 inches are possible over Jamaica...with 2 to 4 inches possible over the Cayman Islands and the southern Bahamas. Rainfall accumulations of 1 to 3 inches are possible over the Florida Keys. Isolated tornadoes are possible over the extreme southern Florida Peninsula and the Florida Keys through tomorrow. Repeating the 1100 am EDT position...21.1 N...78.5 W. Movement toward...west near 14 mph. Maximum sustained winds...100 mph. Minimum central pressure...960 mb. An intermediate advisory will be issued by the National Hurricane Center at 200 PM EDT followed by the next complete advisory at 500 PM EDT.

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