The New York Times reports this afternoon that things look bad for Galveston:
“Persons not heeding evacuation orders in single-family one- or two-story homes will face certain death,” the National Weather Service said in a local bulletin. “Many residences of average construction directly on the coast will be destroyed.”Ike is currently a category 2 hurricane with sustained winds measured at 105 mph as it struck an oil rig in the Gulf. Detailed information is here. While Ike's winds are nowhere near as high as Katrina's or Rita's, the immense size of the storm is causing concern. Hurricane winds cover an area with a diameter of 240 miles, tropical storm winds extend over an area with a diameter of 550 miles. Jeff Masters at Weather Underground reports that the total kinetic energy involved is 30% higher than Katrina's at landfall. Slower winds, but a hell of a lot more wind in terms of total mass of moving air and water. It's the water that will hurt the most.
The storm surge is gonna be a whopper. The forecast surge at Port Arthur, TX will be six feet higher than the city's seawall.
By tomorrow night, Ike is expected to be a tropical storm with winds at or above 40 mph. And it will be just about right where I am sitting.