Sunday, August 31, 2008

A look at sea surface temperatures (SST)

Sea surface temperature and buoy data from Weather Underground

Notice that there is a strip of temperatures in the 85-87 degree range between southwestern Florida and Louisiana. Once Gustav reaches this point of the Gulf, there will be more than enough latent heat energy for him to maintain or even increase in intensity. The only possible inhibiting factors would be if wind shear comes into play or possibly some drier air gets entrained into the circulation. The problem is that if Gustav strengthens at all in the mean time, he will take on greater momentum. Sometimes when hurricanes reach that point they "create" their own environment enough that the effects of low shearing environments are not felt as much as you would normally expect.

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