IKE IS A CATEGORY TWO HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON SCALE. SOME RESTRENGTHENING IS ANTICIPATED IN THE SHORT-TERM AND IKE COULD REGAIN MAJOR HURRICANE STATUS BY TOMORROW.
IKE IS THEN EXPECTED TO MOVE OVER OR VERY NEAR CUBA DURING THE 36-72 HR TIME FRAME WHICH SHOULD RESULT IN SOME WEAKENING. THE DEGREE OF WEAKENING WILL DEPEND LARGELY ON HOW CLOSE IKE TRACKS TO LAND.
BY DAY 4...IKE IS FORECAST TO EMERGE BACK OVER OPEN WATERS IN THE SOUTHEASTERN GULF OF MEXICO. GLOBAL MODELS SUGGEST THE ENVIRONMENT WILL BE FAVORABLE FOR STRENGTHENING AND THE OCEAN SHOULD BE PLENTY WARM. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST THUS CALLS FOR IKE TO RESTRENGTHEN AT 96 AND 120 HR. GIVEN THE EVOLVING ATMOSPHERIC ENVIRONMENT AND LAND INTERACTIONS...THE INTENSITY FORECAST HAS LOWER THAN NORMAL
Poor Cuba... hit again. Once Ike gets into the Gulf, they aren't sure which way it's going to turn. There's going to be a front moving through... If the front moves quickly, Ike could turn north quickly and hit Florida's panhandle/Alabama/Mississippi/eastern Louisiana. If it moves very slowly, it could come farther west towards western LA, or over towards us. Right now the 5 day map shows it heading towards Mississippi/LA, but as they said above, that's just a guess and they won't know until that front shows up. Keep watching and preparing, everyone!!