On August 30th, 2008 Hurricane Gustav slammed into the coast of Cuba as a category 4 hurricane. Days before the landfall in Cuba, Gustav produced considerable damage to communities in Haiti. Within a 24-hour period, Gustav rapidly intensified from a category 1 to a category 4 hurricane in the Caribbean. At first, Gustav had a tight structure with a well-defined eye, but, as the tropical system moved northwest over the Gulf Of Mexico, it weakened but still maintained hurricane strength.
The most significant impact of this storm was felt in both Haiti and Cuba. As a powerful category 4 hurricane Gustav produced major flooding to the western part of Cuba, especially along the coast where the worst storm surge occurred. The peak wind gust was observed in the Pinar del Rio Providence where a site measured a gust of 212 mph before it was destroyed. The central pressure at the time of landfall was 939 millibars. Many communities in this part of Cuba experienced major structural damage and flooding.
In regards to the United States’ landfall, Gustav weakened to a category 2 hurricane before impacting the Gulf Coast. Although a category 2, it still packed a punch with storm surge, flooding, and strong winds. At the time of landfall, the peak winds were 110 mph. Once making landfall, the storm pushed inland quickly weakening to a tropical depression.
In 2009, the Hurricane Committee retired the name ‘Gustav’ from the Atlantic Basin list. It was the fifth ‘G’ name and the 72nd named storm to be retired on record; since 1954. There were a total of 112 direct fatalities and 41 other fatalities indirectly caused by Gustav.
The main impacts of Gustav included storm surges, considerable wind damage, moderate flooding, and tornadoes. In total, 41 tornadoes touched down with the most occurring in Mississippi where 21 formed. The remaining tornadoes formed in Louisiana, Florida, Arkansas, and Alabama. Gustav is currently the 33rd costliest storm on record with the cost of damage totaling around eight billion dollars.
Potential Tropical Development In The Coming Days
We are now in the most active months of the 2022 Hurricane Season, with the peak of the season being September 10th. There are two main areas that the National Hurricane Center is monitoring closely. These areas of disorganized showers and storms have the chance to gradually strengthen as it moves westward through the Atlantic.
The best chance for a new system to form is the area highlighted in red. During the next five days, it has an 80 percent chance of forming into a tropical named storm. The environmental conditions are favorable for gradual development as it moved towards the west/northwest at 10 miles per hour. The next name on the list is Danielle.