The much-feared “rapid intensification” happened overnight, as Gustav exploded into a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds. It’s expected to get stronger. Meanwhile the expected track continues to target the western two-thirds of Louisiana, though some models anticipate a left turn toward Texas at the tail end of the forecast.
It appears increasingly unlikely that Gustav will be “another Katrina” for New Orleans, let alone something worse (though it’s still not impossible; New Orleans is well within the cone of uncertainty). But “another Besty” remains a live possibility. Evacuation is still appropriate.
I’ll have much more to say shortly after noon, once my eight-month-old daughter goes down for a nap. (Continuous hurricane-blogging is a little more difficult for me now than it was three years ago!)