Well, yes, it is too early to say good by to Gustav. Gustav is still a hurricane and is still affecting the Louisiana coast. The worst that can happen may still be in the future for this storm, depending on the effects of rain over the next 72 hours. It does not seem as though any major levees are going to break, but nothing can be certain yet.
One thing that MIGHT be certain, and I truly hope it is:
It was predicted that Gustav could hit the coast as a Category Four storm, possibly in just the right place to do serious damage to New Orleans. But it did not.
In the old days, i.e., four or more years ago, this would mean the following: People would think “Oh, they always tell us how bad it is going to be and they are always wrong.” … and then, the next serious hurricane comes along and very bad things happen because people are not prepared.
This is essentially what happened with Katrina. Katrina was bad because people are fundamentally, by nature, utterly stoopid.
But people can learn. I think it will take quite a bit of time before people stop paying attention to the meteorologists again. A few weeks, at least. But we are probably still OK when speaking of the next Atlantic Hurricane in lie: Hurricane Hanna, which just now became a hurricane, which will probably affect Florida, Georgia and South Carolina with at least tropical storm or near tropical storm winds and/or heavy surf. This storm will probably come ashore in or near the Georgia/South Carolina border, then plow up along the Appalachian Mountains. Such a storm track may lead to serious mountain flooding and is not to be taken lightly.
It is way to early to say much about Hanna. Stay tuned.