Remember how Hanna messed up western Cuba? It now looks like Ike is going to mess up the rest of Cuba. The current track forecast has Ike running right down the spine of the country until exiting just east of Hanna’s coverage. Ike’s center will move onto Cuba in several hours, and back over water, into the Gulf, early AM Tuesday.
Ike is currently a Category Four hurricane. It will be considerably weakened after it leaves the Cuban mainland Tuesday, but conditions for its restrengthening are in place. Also, while Ike is forecast to remain right over the Cuban mainland for a couple of days, it is still possible that it will shift to the north, which would cause it to remain stronger during this period.
After leaving Cuba, Ike is expected to be heading roughly northwest. The storm will most likely make landfall on the US Gulf Coast. The five day track does not reach the mainland yet. Yesterday, if you extrapolated the five day track (a dangerous, senseless exercise) it was headed right to New Orleans. Right now, it is headed right for Houston Texas. The northern vs. western heading of Ike is at this point very unpredictable and the official forecasts are not saying anything about where the storm may come ashore.