Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hurricane Gustav Now A Major Storm

Gustav is expected to be at least a Category 3 and possibly a Category 4 hurricane when it reaches the Gulf Coast.

Declared a Category 4 storm Saturday afternoon, Hurricane Gustav continues to strengthen and will soon reach Category 5 status—the highest—according to U.S. officials.

Gustav is poised to deliver a punishing blow to western Cuba late Saturday before entering the Gulf of Mexico and passing over a deep, warm current infamous for supercharging storms before targeting the U.S. Gulf Coast (Gulf Coast map).

Hurricane Gustav photo

The hurricane's Category 4 designation came after a reconnaissance flight into the storm reported to the National Hurricane Center in Miami that winds around Gustav's eye had reached about 145 miles (233 kilometers) an hour.

At a teleconference Saturday, National Hurricane Center director Bill Read said he is going to raise Gustav to Category 5, though he has not yet done so, according to the Associated Press.

Category 4 storms have winds of 131 to 155 miles (211 to 249 kilometers) an hour (hurricane facts, photos, videos, more).
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