Hurricane Ike approaching Texas
As of Friday afternoon, September 12, Ike was moving westward in the Gulf of Mexico. It was predicted to make landfall in the U.S. state of Texas somewhere near Galveston Island early on Saturday morning, September 13, as a hurricane, and then to swing north into Arkansas, as a tropical storm, and then northeast into Kentucky, as a tropical depression.
During the night of September 10, Ike exhibited a rapid drop in central pressure, falling from 963 mbar to 944 mbar as it passed over the Loop Current in the Gulf of Mexico. However, this drop was not reflected by wind speed, which only increased from 85 mph (136 km/hr) to 100 mph (160 km/h). Multiple wind maxima were noted by the National Hurricane Center, indicating the structure was absorbing and dispersing energy over a larger area, rather than concentrating it near the center.
As of 1 p.m. CDT (1800 UTC) September 12, Hurricane Ike is located within 15 nautical miles of 27.4°N 93.1°W, about 165 mi (270 km) southeast of Galveston, Texas and about 270 mi (430 km) east of Corpus Christi, Texas. Maximum sustained winds are 90 knots (105 mph, 165 km/h), with stronger gusts. Minimum central pressure is 957 mbar (hPa; 28.26 InHg), and the system is moving west-northwest at 10 kt (12 mph, 19 km/h).
Ike is a very large hurricane; hurricane-force winds extend out up to 120 mi (195 km) from the center of Ike, and tropical storm-force winds extend out up to 275 mi (445 km) from the center.
Storm surge flooding up to 20 feet (6.1 m) is expected near and to the east of where Ike makes final landfall. At some heads of bays storm surges as high as 25 feet (7.6 m) are possible. Rainfall amounts of 5 to 10 inches (125 to 250 mm) are expected in eastern Texas and western Louisiana, with isolated amounts to 15 inches (375 mm) possible. Isolated tornadoes are also possible. Tides have already begun to flood areas of the Gulf Coast.