Ike rains pound Cuba; winds down, for now
Hurricane Ike today was pounding Cuba with torrential rains and high winds. But contact with the island's mountainous terrain disrupted the circulation around the center and knocked the storm's top sustained winds down to "only" 80 mph.
Residents of Florida and the Gulf Coast should take no comfort in that, however, as forecasters expect Ike will revive as its center remains over warm water south of Cuba, and again when it moves into the eastern Gulf and slows. Re-strengthening is expected before the storm reaches the Gulf Coast later this week.
Here's a bit of this afternoon's discussion at the Hurricane Center. They seem to feel that high pressure to the north will keep Ike on a more westward path. That could spare the northeastern Gulf coast, and New Orleans. But it would seem to be sending the storm toward the La.-Tex border, or even Houston. Maybe Houstonians will be taking refuge in New Orleans this time.