Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hurricane Heads for Haiti
Gustav Strengthens, Likely to be Major

Update: As of 11 am, Hurricane Gustav remains at 90 mph strength. A Hurricane Warning has been extended to eastern Cuba. Based on the expected intensification and track heading into the Gulf of Mexico, oil prices are higher in this morning's trading, and natural gas is up over 6%.

As expected, Tropical Storm Gustav continued to strengthen overnight, becoming a Category 1 hurricane. By 8 am, maximum winds were 90 mph, and further strengthening to Category 2 is possible before Hurricane Gustav makes landfall on southwestern Haiti today. The current movement is toward the northwest at 9 mph, but a turn to a more westerly track is forecast. This will keep the storm more over very warm water, which should lead to further intensification. The official intensity forecast has Gustav becoming a major hurricane (Category 3 or higher) in the northwestern Caribbean within a few days.

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