Hurricane Ike, barely a Category 1 storm, is still working its way across Cuba. Ike is forecast to enter the Gulf of Mexico within 24 hours. The track guidance has shifted towards mid to southern Texas as it is believed that the steering patterns will cause the system to move on a more westerly track. Once over the Gulf, Ike is expected to restrengthen to a Category 2 storm.
As of the 11 a.m. advisory, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) track was as follows:
So, what are the expected ramifications for Panama City Beach? The Hazardous Weather Outlook issued by the National Weather Service Tallahassee this morning stated the following in part:
WEDNESDAY THROUGH MONDAY…
HURRICANE IKE IS FORECAST TO MOVE WEST-NORTHWEST ACROSS THE
SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS.
A MOIST SOUTHEASTERLY FLOW AROUND IKE WILL INCREASE THE CHANCES
FOR SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY.
A FEW STORMS COULD BE STRONG AND GENERATE LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL.
HOWEVER…WIDESPREAD SEVERE WEATHER IS NOT ANTICIPATED AT THIS
ALONG THE COAST…EAST TO SOUTHEAST FLOW WILL INCREASE OVER THE
NEXT SEVERAL DAYS BRINGING SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY CONDITIONS TO THE
COASTAL WATERS. IN ADDITION…LARGE SWELLS FROM IKE WILL APPROACH
THE COAST STARTING LATE WEDNESDAY AND CONTINUING THROUGH THE END
OF THE WEEK. THE COMBINATION OF SOUTHEAST WINDS…LARGE
SWELLS…AND HIGH ASTRONOMICAL TIDES DUE TO AN APPROACHING FULL
MOON…MAY LEAD TO SOME MINOR BEACH EROSION AND MINOR COASTAL
FLOODING AT TIMES OF HIGH TIDES BY LATE WEDNESDAY AND CONTINUING
THE LARGE SWELLS FROM IKE ARE ALSO LIKELY TO GENERATE DANGEROUS
SURF AND RIP CURRENTS ALONG AREA BEACHES BY WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON.
SURF CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO BECOME LIFE THREATENING FOR ANYONE
ENTERING THE WATER FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE WEEK.
The Marine Forcast for the coastal waters from Apalachicola to Destin out 20 NM is:
IKE IS EXPECTED TO EMERGE INTO THE SOUTHEASTERN GULF OF MEXICO LATER TODAY. THE WINDS AND SEAS WILL STEADILY INCREASE ACROSS THE MARINE AREA THROUGH THURSDAY. AT THIS TIME…WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO REMAIN BELOW TROPICAL STORM FORCE. HOWEVER…SIGNIFICANT SWELLS GENERATED BY IKE WILL BE MOVING INTO THE WATERS BY LATE WEDNESDAY INTO FRIDAY.
WEDNESDAY EAST WINDS 15 TO 20 KNOTS. SEAS 3 TO 5 FEET.
PROTECTED WATERS CHOPPY. SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS LIKELY.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT EAST WINDS 20 KNOTS. SEAS 6 TO 8 FEET…SOME SWELL.
PROTECTED WATERS CHOPPY. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS.
THURSDAY SOUTHEAST WINDS 20 KNOTS. SEAS 8 TO 10 FEET…SOME
SWELL. PROTECTED WATERS CHOPPY. SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS LIKELY.
THURSDAY NIGHT EAST WINDS 15 KNOTS. SEAS 9 TO 11 FEET…MAINLY
SWELL. PROTECTED WATERS A MODERATE CHOP. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND
FRIDAY SOUTHEAST WINDS 10 TO 15 KNOTS. SEAS 8 TO 10
FEET…MAINLY SWELL. PROTECTED WATERS A LIGHT TO MODERATE CHOP. A
CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS.
FRIDAY NIGHT EAST WINDS 5 TO 10 KNOTS. SEAS 6 TO 8
FEET…MAINLY SWELL. PROTECTED WATERS SMOOTH. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF
SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS.
SATURDAY SOUTHEAST WINDS 5 TO 10 KNOTS. SEAS 5 TO 7
FEET…MAINLY SWELL. PROTECTED WATERS SMOOTH. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS
Based on this I would advise anyone wanting to go to the beach or take the boat out to do so pronto. Besides, the water is pristine right now. Thanks to Gustav most of the seaweed has been cleared. The other day it was so clear along the shore you could see the crabs running. Days like this don’t happen all that often. So my advice is to get out today before things get churned up.Print Story