On August 29, 2008, the National Hurricane Center began tracking a tropical wave off the coast of Africa. Disorganized deep convection and moderate wind shear initially precluded tropical development. By September 1 the convection had organized, demonstrating developed cyclonically curved bands and well-defined outflow, warranting that the NHC declare it to be a tropical depression.
Hours later, with increasing convection and organization, the depression was upgraded to Tropical Storm Ike. The storm formed and followed the path of Hurricane Hanna, which preceded it on a similar route only three days before. That night the banding features on its east side eroded even as deep convection flared on the west, and the storm continued moving west, skirting south of a subtropical ridge.
On the afternoon of September 3, Ike strengthened into a hurricane. Rapid deepening began late that afternoon, and by early that evening, Ike strengthened into a Category 3 hurricane.
The eye continued to become better defined, and by late that evening, Ike strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane, and potentially reach a category 5.
At the present time, numerical forecast models and the National Hurricane Center indicate that Ike will continue on a generally westward path, eventually reaching the Bahamas and potentially threatening Florida as a major hurricane around September 9th (NHC)