Hurricane Gustav made landfall on the central coast of Louisiana around 8 am this morning as a slightly weaker storm than was the case 12 hours before. New Orleans may have been spared severe damage, but they’re still getting high winds and heavy rain. As for us, it’s sunny and warm – no sign yet that there’s a major storm a couple hundred miles away. The last local forecast I saw had the Galveston area getting light rain and 20-30 mph breezes – hardly anything, really.
Because of the counter-clockwise rotation plus the position of the coast and the Gulf of Mexico, the eye, east, and northeast quadrants of a hurricane are called the “dirty” side as the heavier rain and high storm surge is pushed into those quadrants. Conversely, the west and southwest quadrants are called the “dry” side because most of the storm’s energy was spent over land in that rotation.
With Hurricane Rita in 2005, Hurricane Humberto in 2007, and Tropical Storm Edouard in 2008, our area of mainland Galveston County ended up on the “dry” side of those storms. In other words, we’ve been lucky several times in a row.