[Update 9:30P MDT]:
Hurricane Ike looks like he is about to make landfall on eastern Cuba’s north coast. As Brian points out however, Ike has wobbled a little bit on the approach to Cuba. A little movement to the northwest on satellite imagery was apparent earlier this afternoon. The NHC makes note of this, but doesn’t think it is a permanent change to his trajectory.
Ike has slightly weakened today, currently with sustained winds of 120mph, putting him in the middle of the Category 3 classification. Hurricane warnings are out for a number of the Bahamas still in Ike’s powerful northeastern quadrant, as well as for most of Cuba. Hurricane watches have been issued for western Cuba and the Florida Keys, which went under a mandatory evacuation order earlier today.
By tomorrow night, Ike should be about halfway across Cuba. By this time Tuesday night, Ike should be back over water, this time the Gulf of Mexico. The official intensity forecast calls for Ike to weaken to a Category 1 storm by this time Tuesday night. As Ike crosses over the warm Gulf waters and doesn’t have to fight off any shear he should reintensify on his way to the Gulf coast. The track forecast out tonight points toward a possible Texas landing. That’s based on an evaluation that the next synoptic-scale trough doesn’t reach far enough south to induce Ike to move in a more northerly direction.