Sorry I'm late with this update...real job takes priority! As you have seen on Satellite & radar pictures this morning, Gustav is not the "Mother of all storms". Southerly shear and drier air have collapsed the east side of this storm. The question is...does he have time to re-group before he gets to our coast? Sure, but that window to intensify is limited since he is leaving the warmest "ocean heat content" (warm water to get depths 100-200 meters) water and going over "cooler" waters towards us. Since his forward speed keeps increasing, a turn to the right or left will be very little UNLESS he begins to slow down. IF that happens, then a turn to the left (west) is more likely. On his current track, impacts will be great to our south, especially if the NHC forecast to go back up to a Cat. 4 is true. However, in discussion with a NHC forecaster this morning, he believed Gustav will have difficulty regaining his previous strength and perhaps might even weaken further. This would bring him to our coast as a Cat. 2 If that turns out, the impact for metro New Orleans will be much less than earlier predicted. Rather than take a chance, I hope all folks south of the Westbank expressway have fled...that's where our water problems will be.
I will be watching for any signs of rapid intensification during the next 6-12 hours. Even if none occurs, we're still in for 6-12+" of rain. Next update after 5 PM