Looking back at Hurricane Gustav's record 211 mph wind gust

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 04:28 AM GMT on Δεκέμβριος 30, 2008

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As we look back at the weather events of 2008, perhaps the most impressive record set during the year occurred during Hurricane Gustav, which pounded Cuba as a Category 4 hurricane in August. Gustav set a new world record for highest wind gust ever measured in a hurricane. As Gustav passed over the Paso Real de San Diego meteorological station in the western Cuban province of Pinar del Rio, Cuba, on the afternoon of August 30, 2008, a wind gust of 211 mph (94.4 m/s) was recorded (it was originally pegged at 212 mph, but has been "downgraded" to 211 mph after an official review by the World Meteorological Organization). The powerful winds blew down the anemometer, and it is possible that higher gusts occurred after the instrument failed. Not only is this the highest wind speed ever measured in a hurricane, it is the second highest wind gust ever measured at a non-mountain location on Earth, and is the third highest wind gust ever measured on the surface of the planet. The highest wind gust in recorded history is the amazing 253 mph reading recorded on Barrow Island, Australia, during Tropical Cyclone Olivia in 1996. The second highest wind speed ever measured was 231 mph (370 km/hr) on the top of Mt. Washington, New Hampshire, on April 12, 1934, during passage of an extratropical storm. The fourth highest wind gust on record was the 207 mph gust measured in Greenland at Thule Air Force Base on March 6, 1972. The previous highest wind gust measured in a hurricane was 186 mph at Blue Hill Observatory, Massachusetts, during the notorious 1938 "Long Island Express" hurricane.


Figure 1. Anemometer used to measure the record 211 mph gust in Hurricane Gustav. Gustav's powerful winds flattened the instrument against the roof of the observing station. Image credit: Jose M. Rubiera Torres, Instituto de Meteorologia of Cuba.

Is this a believable record?
The instrument used for the measurement in Gustav was a Dines pressure tube anemometer mounted on the roof of the weather office. According to Jose M. Rubiera Torres of Cuba's Instituto de Meteorologia, "The graph is neat and the instrument was in perfect technical working condition. The wind peaked up to 340 km/h and then the anemometer mast fell over the concrete roof of the station's building, sharply interrupting the measurement. The graph [Figure 2], shows that wind gusts were increasing at a regular pace with time, until the instrument broke down when it got to the 340 km/h mark." Dines anemometers have a proven track record of reliability, and have been used in Cuba for over 60 years. A formal committee under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) certified the record in 2009.


Figure 2. Trace of the Dines anemometer used to measure the record 211 mph gust in Hurricane Gustav. Image credit: Jose M. Rubiera Torres, Instituto de Meteorologia of Cuba.

How did such a strong gust occur?
At the time Hurricane Gustav moved over the Paso Real de San Diego meteorological station, the storm was rated a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 150 mph, gusting to 185 mph. When the peak wind gust of 211 mph was measured at 22:35 GMT, the western eyewall of Gustav was over the anemometer site, as seen on Cuban radar (Figure 3). The town of Paso Real de San Diego is at an elevation of about 40 meters, and lies 25 km inland, about 12 km south of a rugged line of mountains up to 700 meters high. The counter-clockwise flow of air around Gustav's eyewall meant that the winds arriving at Paso Real de San Diego were forced to pass over these mountains first. The mountains probably focused and accelerated the winds through gaps between the peaks, and the air accelerated further as it rushed downhill under the force of gravity. Strong downbursts due to collapsing precipitation cores inside Gustav's eyewall probably contributed to the extreme gusts. When hurricanes make landfall, the intense thunderstorm cells that comprise the eyewall sometimes collapse suddenly, sending a downward cascade of intense winds to the surface. When this rush of wind hits the ground, it spreads out in all directions, forming a strong surface wind event known as a downburst. It has been theorized that some of the extreme damage noted in Florida during Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and Hurricane Andrew in 1992 may have been associated with downbursts from collapsing eyewall thunderstorm cells. This behavior may also be responsible for some of the extreme damage in Mississippi from Hurricane Katrina. Animations of infrared satellite imagery available from the University of Wisconsin CIMSS Satellite Blog show that the eyewall of Gustav collapsed during passage over the high mountains to the north of Paso Real de San Diego, but this occurred after the world record wind gust was measured.


Figure 3. Radar image of Hurricane Gustav (top) at 22:25 GMT on August 30 2008, five minutes before the world record 211 mph hurricane wind gust was measured. The site of the Paso Real de San Diego meteorological station where the record was set is marked with a red dot. A topographic map (bottom) shows the line of mountains up to 1200 meters high that lies just north of the town. The counter-clockwise flow of air around the eye of Gustav brought the strongest winds of Gustav across the mountain range then downhill to Paso Real de San Diego. Radar image credit: Instituto de Meteorologia of Cuba. Topographic map image credit: Wikipedia.

Note: this post was updated in 2010 to reflect the official WMO review of Gustav's wind gust, plus the addition of the new World Record wind gust set in TC Olivia in 1996.

Jeff Masters

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2012 End of Days Countdown has Begun

There is a planet that orbits the sun every 3600 years. This planet has been referred to as Planet X, which is what astronomers call planets that have not been named. The first real pictures Planet X were photographed shortly after January 26, 1983, when NASA launched the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS). The astronomers calculated that Planet X was over 50 million miles away from us at that time. In 2004 Planet X was determined to be only 7 million miles away. It's moving closer. Confirmation of the tenth planet "Planet X" was taken in Japan on February 28, 2008. Planet X exists, and it will be here by the end of 2012. Planet X will appear as two suns in the sky to us, no later than 2011.

This five part video series will give you some more insight on what's happening in the cosmos, that will gravely effect the earth in the next few years


sure there is NOT
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Quoting ILwatcher:
726. Thank You!!!! Now I don't have to worry about my 401K drying up before I need it. I'll never need it.


LOL!
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Quoting SevereHurricane:


If you like that one you will love this site.


That site is good...
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we may see the END of the WORLD with yellowstone
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726. Thank You!!!! Now I don't have to worry about my 401K drying up before I need it. I'll never need it.
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happy new year
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yawn
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Quoting Drakoen:
End of the world 2012


If you like that one you will love this site.
Member Since: Σεπτέμβριος 7, 2008 Posts: 17 Comments: 1604
End of the world 2012
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Bad night in Indonesia, 7.6 Earthquake near the north coast of Papua, Indonesia at 1943 hrs.
4.8 at 2047
5.1 at 2130
5.6 at 2149
5.2 at 2207
5.0 at 2223
7.5 at 2233
Link
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There is more too it. This is a weather blog so im not as deep on the subject as I would like.
Member Since: Σεπτέμβριος 7, 2008 Posts: 17 Comments: 1604
Quoting SevereHurricane:


December 21,2012
thats not armageddon thats the 26000 year solar cycle which ends at dec 21 2012 11 11 am gmt
Member Since: Ιούλιος 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
722. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Philippines Atmospherical Geophysical Astronomical Services and Administration

Tropical Depression "AURING" has maintained its strength and continues to threaten Eastern Visayas.

Tropical Cyclone Bulletin #3
===============================
At 5:00 AM PhST, Tropical Depression Auring located at 10.0°N 126.7ºE or 120 kms east-northeast of Surigao City has 10 minute sustained winds of 25 knots.

Signal Warnings
===============

Signal Warning Number 1 (30-60 kph winds)

Visayas Region
------------
1. Northern Samar
2. Eastern Samar
3. Western Samar
4. Leyte
5. Southern Leyte
6. Biliran Island
7. Camotes Island

Mindanao Region
----------------
1. Surigao del Norte
2. Siargao Island
3. Dinagat Island
Member Since: Μάιος 24, 2006 Posts: 51 Comments: 46160
OK, I'm back, we definitely need a laptop!
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Quoting presslord:
Israeli ground troops in Gaza...I think I'm more concerned about Armageddon than global warming....


December 21,2012
Member Since: Σεπτέμβριος 7, 2008 Posts: 17 Comments: 1604
Okayyyyyy --Now I get it..... best head back to the kitchen.... I'll be back later- feed time-- -- I think my brain has Global Warming and is melting
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Surfmom, go back to about post 680, thats where we finally started to get some humor and good times back on this blog, then read forward.
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Quoting MissNadia:
Mom , He thinks we are all fakes!!!
ya think......? Clearly delusional -- no one could make anything like me up.... just ask my spouse
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Skyepony - canm sorta relate to "bad day picking up the dead they were everywhere"
Once Had a major raccoon attack on our coop. Lordy, there were body parts everywhere too..... So I can imagine (numbers increased) the sight....it was a first time experience for me....little lesson in it as well
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Quoting surfmom:
...... help me out here....


It clearly shows warming of the average global telephone number, I mean temperature, in the last 35 years or so. You cannot see that? Maybe I should ignore you, then.

(Severe case of tongue-in-cheek going on here!)
Member Since: Αύγουστος 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Mom , He thinks we are all fakes!!!
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Quoting Skyepony:
atmo~ There is alotta commercial chicken farming in MS. They are regulations on the chicken houses & they are pretty secure. In Katrina my uncle's came through well with 2 roofs lifting a little out of 6, better than the dude done the road who's chicken houses got hit by a tornado. Bad day pickin up the dead~ they were everywhere.



Ok, I recant my comments about the building practices of chicken houses in southern Miss. I am very surprised to find out that they would be anything other than shacks put together from scraps.

So which is built better, the chicken shacks or the houses in rural Mississippi? Should they evacuate to the chicken houses in the event of a severe wx warning?

(Sorry, the La native in me forces me to deride MS at least a little)

Bad day pickin up the dead~ they were everywhere. Yeah, that would be very uncool.
Member Since: Αύγουστος 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Quoting Orcasystems:


MissNadia ... Lady
Surfmom ... Hysterical Landlubber
Floodman ... 20 Century
RTLSNK ... (pick something)
Presslord ... Jehovah Witness

Anyone see the pattern?

...... help me out here....
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I did plant two trees today......
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Splash !!! Lively afternoon conversation....

SWFL Surfers .... good things come to those who wait,,, Well, IU'm getting SO impatient....Quiet Weekend, but swell is on the way/ -- looking like mid week. gulf temp
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Quoting presslord:
hey hurristat....welcome to the Twilight Zone....


ROFLMAO... that show was both good and hilariously cheesy at the same time...
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708. Skyepony (Mod)
atmo~ There is alotta commercial chicken farming in MS. They are regulations on the chicken houses & they are pretty secure. In Katrina my uncle's came through well with 2 roofs lifting a little out of 6, better than the dude done the road who's chicken houses got hit by a tornado. Bad day pickin up the dead~ they were everywhere.

Member Since: Αύγουστος 10, 2005 Posts: 192 Comments: 38664
BeachFoxx... (Sweet Southern Gal mixed w/ a little Pirate Spirit!) LOL
Quoting Orcasystems:


MissNadia ... Lady
Surfmom ... Hysterical Landlubber
Floodman ... 20 Century
RTLSNK ... (pick something)
Presslord ... Jehovah Witness

Anyone see the pattern?

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hey hurristat....welcome to the Twilight Zone....
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hey everyone
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Quoting RTLSNK:
Hey Orca, if you have 3 feet of snow on the ground, and your dogs are only six inches high, do you put a long leash on them, toss them out ten feet into the snow, wait five minutes and then reel them in? Just wondering.


Looks like a Glacier up here... is rained for a few days.. then went back to freezing temperatures.. you can barely break the surface of it. Damn dogs slide all over when you throw them.
Member Since: Οκτώβριος 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting RTLSNK:
Would like to stay and play, but She Who Must Be Obeyed wants equal computer time!! BBL.


Hey... I think she deserves her own laptop.. I bought SWMBO'ed one.. it worked like a charm
Member Since: Οκτώβριος 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting MissNadia:
I can't believe that ORCA and PRESS would pick on a "LADY"....I'm not taking any chances. I plan to board the ARK and hide on the "POOP" deck.


MissNadia ... Lady
Surfmom ... Hysterical Landlubber
Floodman ... 20 Century
RTLSNK ... (pick something)
Presslord ... Jehovah Witness

Anyone see the pattern?

Member Since: Οκτώβριος 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Would like to stay and play, but She Who Must Be Obeyed wants equal computer time!! BBL.
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LOL
Living w/ that snow, and walking little dogs... sounds like animal cruelty! Poor little pups!
Quoting RTLSNK:
Hey Orca, if you have 3 feet of snow on the ground, and your dogs are only six inches high, do you put a long leash on them, toss them out ten feet into the snow, wait five minutes and then reel them in? Just wondering.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hey Orca, if you have 3 feet of snow on the ground, and your dogs are only six inches high, do you put a long leash on them, toss them out ten feet into the snow, wait five minutes and then reel them in? Just wondering.
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Nadia,

Orca loves to pick on "the ladies"! (save space on that ark for me!)

Press still owes me a picture! LOL
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I can't believe that ORCA and PRESS would pick on a "LADY"....I'm not taking any chances. I plan to board the ARK and hide on the "POOP" deck.
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Hi all....

Popping in to take a quick peek at the weather... we've got some storms brewing.

Looks like there's been some stormy weather here too! LOL

Comets, I like comets, in fact, I think they like like diamonds falling from the sky! Hmmmm.... reminds me of a song, "Lucy in the Sky..."

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Israeli ground troops in Gaza...I think I'm more concerned about Armageddon than global warming....
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BRB, taking the dogs for a walk.
Member Since: Οκτώβριος 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting atmoaggie:


Good one!


Now that Nadia character might be a fun target... or maybe the RTLSNK. hhhmmm I know.. BF
Member Since: Οκτώβριος 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
A "swarm of comets", now there is a perfect example of science that you can sink your teeth into. Just when I was thinking of spending billions of taxpayers dollars on saving the polar bears, I now have to consider what it is going to cost to build a rocket system that can destroy a "swarm of comets" before they can turn us all into crispy critters. Its just one thing after another lately isn't it. LOL
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Naw.. your to easy.. like shooting fish in a barrel.


Good one!
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686
I bet it is beautiful!!!!!!!he he he
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Quoting atmoaggie:


Oooo Oooo, can I be it this time? You guys never let me have a turn.


Naw.. your to easy.. like shooting fish in a barrel.
Member Since: Οκτώβριος 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
You guys should see when Kerry Emanuel, Greg Holland, Chris Landsea, and Bill Gray are in the same room...what fun!

Not all that different than in here, usually.
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I've reformed....I'm behaving...
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Quoting MissNadia:
I see ORCA... I see PRESS... where is MIKE SLT?

Hey you.. your on my poop list...
Nothing like a fresh blanket of snow... your nuts.. and it snowed again last night and this morning.
Member Since: Οκτώβριος 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting Orcasystems:


I see you are :)
So who you going to pick on this time old timer.


Oooo Oooo, can I be it this time? You guys never let me have a turn.
Member Since: Αύγουστος 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
I see ORCA... I see PRESS... where is MIKE SLT?
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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