Gustav’s March on New Orleans
Gustav continues its northwestern drive to New Orleans, according to the National Hurricane Center at 8 p.m. Eastern today. The center of the hurricane was near latitude 26.9 north. The longitude was 87.7 west. That position is about 260 miles south-southeast of New Orleans. The storm is moving northwest at 17 mph. Hurricane force winds are expected overnight in New Orleans.
Currently, the storm’s maximum sustained winds are near 115 mph with higher gusts. Gustav is a Category 3 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale, but weather officials say they anticipate the storm will intensify tonight. Currently, the central pressure is 952 millibars.
The area of hurricane force wind have expanded to about 70 miles from the eye of the storm, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 220 miles from the center. Aircraft data indicated that hurricane force winds have expanded in the northwest quadrant of Gustav, the 8 p.m. warning said.
The warning said:
A HURRICANE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM JUST EAST OF HIGH ISLAND EASTWARD TO THE ALABAMA-FLORIDA BORDER…INCLUDING THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS AND LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN. A HURRICANE WARNING MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS. PREPARATIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY SHOULD BE RUSHED TO COMPLETION.
A TROPICAL STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM EAST OF THE ALABAMA-FLORIDA BORDER TO THE OCHLOCKONEE RIVER. A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS.
AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS STORM SURGE OF 10 TO 14 FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDAL LEVELS IS EXPECTED NEAR AND TO THE EAST OF WHERE THE CENTER OF GUSTAV CROSSES THE NORTHERN GULF COAST. ABOVE NORMAL TIDES IN THE DRY TORTUGAS SHOULD DIMINISH TONIGHT.
GUSTAV IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 TO 12 INCHES OVER PORTIONS OF LOUISIANA…SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI AND SOUTHERN ARKANSAS…WITH ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF UP TO 20 INCHES POSSIBLE THROUGH WEDNESDAY MORNING.
ISOLATED TORNADOES ARE POSSIBLE OVER THE CENTRAL GULF COAST TONIGHT.
Here are the advisories from the National Hurricane Center for Gustav. Go to the bottom of the page to see the latest warning.