TD 13 intensifying; Katia may pass uncomfortably close to U.S.

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:28 PM GMT on September 02, 2011

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Tropical Depression Thirteen formed last night over the Northern Gulf of Mexico and is slowly intensifying, but isn't in a hurry to go anywhere. What TD 13 will do is dump torrential rains along the northern Gulf Coast over the next three or more days. So far, rain amounts along the coast have mostly been below one inch. At New Orleans Lakefront Airport, just 0.32" inches of rain had fallen from TD 13 as of 10 am CDT. Some coastal regions have received up to two inches, according to radar rainfall estimates. TD 13 is generating a large area of 30 - 35 mph winds over the Gulf of Mexico. At 7:20 am CDT, winds at the Mississippi Canyon 711 oil rig were southeast at 47 mph. This is above tropical storm force, but the wind instrument was 348 feet (106 m) above the ocean surface, and winds near the surface were probably considerably lower, near 35 mph. Latest surface wind observations from an Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft support leaving TD 13 as a tropical depression. Long range radar out of Mobile, Alabama shows heavy rain showers building along the northern Gulf Coast, but these rain showers are not well-organized into spiral bands. Strong upper-level winds out of the west-northwest are creating a moderate 10 - 20 knots of wind shear over TD 13, keeping the storm's heavy thunderstorms disorganized and pushed to the east side of the storm. However, latest satelllite loops show TD 13 is becoming increasingly organized, with a respectable spiral band forming on the southeast side, and an increase and areal coverage of heavy thunderstorm activity. This is very likely to be a tropical storm later today.


Figure 1. Radar-estimated rainfall from TD 13 from the New Orleans radar.


Figure 2. U.S. drought conditions on August 30. The rains from TD 13 have the potential to bring major drought relief to drought-stricken portions of the coast. Note how Eastern North Carolina is no longer in drought, thanks to the rains from Hurricane Irene. These rains also came close to putting out a persistent fire that had been burning in the Great Dismal Swamp near the Virginia/North Carolina border. Image Credit: U.S. Drought Monitor.

Forecast for TD 13
TD 13's large size, ill-formed circulation center, and the presence of dry air on its west side due to an upper-level trough of low pressure argue against rapid intensification of the storm for the next three days. Also tending to slow intensification will be the slow movement of the storm, which will allow cold water from the depths to rise to the surface, thanks to wind and wave action. Tropical cyclones strongly cool the water's surface when they pass over it, as seen in the time vs. depth chart of sea surface temperatures during Hurricane Irene's passage along the New Jersey coast (Figure 3.) However, the Gulf of Mexico has some very warm waters near TD 13 that extend to great depth (Figure 4), so the surface cooling imparted by TD 13 will be less than that seen for Hurricane Irene. As TD 13 moves closer to the coast, more and more of its circulation will be over land, which will also slow intensification. NHC's 11 am EDT wind probability forecast for TD 13 gave the storm a 23% chance of intensifying into a hurricane by Sunday. Assuming TD 13 does not attain hurricane strength, wind damage and storm surge damage will likely not be the main concern--fresh water flooding from heavy rains will be the most dangerous impact. Also of concern is the possibility of tornadoes. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center is currently not highlighting the Gulf Coast in their "slight risk" area for severe weather, due to the lack of enough solar heating to create instability. However, there will be plenty of wind shear in the lower part of the atmosphere that can potentially create spin in the coastal thunderstorms, and it is possible that as TD 13 intensifies, it may be able to generate several dozen tornadoes.

Coastal Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the extreme western Panhandle of Florida will likely receive very heavy flooding rains that will intensify Saturday and peak on Sunday. These rains should be able to put out the stubborn marsh fire east of New Orleans that has brought several days of air quality alerts to the city, but may cause moderate to severe flooding problems in other areas. The latest rainfall forecast from NOAA Hydrological Prediction Center shows that a large area of 15+ inches of rain is expected over Southeast Louisiana and coastal Mississippi. The region is under moderate drought, so flooding problems will be delayed compared to what we'd normally expect from heavy rains of over a foot. Flash flood watches are posted for New Orleans and surrounding areas, and rainfall amounts of 1 - 3 inches per hour are possible in some of the heavier rain squalls. Ocean temperatures are near record warmth, 88°F (31°C), which will provide plenty of moisture for heavy rains, and plenty of energy to help TD 13 strengthen into a strong tropical storm. Steering currents will be weak in the Gulf this weekend and early next week, which will likely make the motion of TD 13 erratic at times.


Figure 3. EPA, in conjunction with Rutgers University and the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, has an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV, aka the Glider) deployed off the coast of NJ (since early August) continuously monitoring ocean temperature, density, salinity, sound velocity and dissolved oxygen at different depths. The AUV's path and data are displayed at the following website: http://marine.rutgers.edu/cool/auvs/index.php?did =221&view=imagery. The plot of temperature versus time above shows that in the weeks prior to the arrival of Irene, the ocean was heavily stratified, with warm waters of 24 - 26°C (75 - 79°F, red colors) extending from the surface to a depth of 10 - 15 meters. A sharp thermocline existed at a depth of about 15 meters, and ocean temperatures were colder than 14°C (57°F, dark blue colors) below the thermocline. The strong winds and high wave action of Hurricane Irene on August 28 - 29 stirred up cold water from the depths to the surface, cooling the surface waters to 17 - 19°C (63 - 67°F). In the days since the hurricane, surface waters have begun to warm again. Thanks go to Kevin Kubik, Deputy Director of the Division of Environmental Science and Assessment for EPA Region 2, for making me aware of this data.


Figure 4. The total amount of heat energy in the ocean available to fuel a tropical cyclone, in kilojoules per square centimeter of surface area. Tropical cyclones that move over ocean areas with TCHP values in excess of 70 - 90 kJ/cm^2 commonly undergo rapid intensification. Waters that are warm to a great depth have the highest TCHP, and the Loop Current that brings warm water northwards from the Caribbean to the Gulf of Mexico usually has the highest TCHP values in the Atlantic. Currently, we have an eddy that broke off from the Loop Current earlier this summer, now located a few hundred miles south of the Louisiana coast, that also has high TCHP values. Image Credit: NOAA/AOML.

Hurricane Katia
Hurricane Katia is continuing its long trek across the Atlantic Ocean today, and will not pose a danger to any land areas over the next five days. Katia is still struggling with dry air and moderate wind shear of 10 - 20 knots. Latest satellite loops show surface-based arc-shaped clouds racing to the southwest away from Katia's core, a sign that dry air is penetrating into Katia's thunderstorms and creating strong downdrafts that are robbing the storm of heat and moisture. Katia is over warm ocean waters of 28.5°C, and these waters will increase in temperature to 29°C over the next five days. Katia will pass well north of the region of cooler waters stirred up by the passage of Hurricane Irene last week.

The models are split on when the upper-level trough of low pressure bringing the wind shear to Katia will move away, and the storm may spend two more days battling wind shear and dry air before the upper-level trough pulls away to the north and allows Katia to intensify more readily. It is still unclear how much of a threat Katia may pose to the U.S., but it is becoming increasingly clear that Katia will pass uncomfortably close to the U.S. East Coast. The trough of low pressure currently steering Katia to the northwest will lift out early next week, and a ridge of high pressure is expected to build in, forcing Katia more to the west. This decreases the danger to Bermuda, but increases the danger to the U.S. A second trough of low pressure is expected to begin affecting Katia by the middle of next week, and will potentially recurve the storm out to sea before it hits the U.S. However, the models differ widely on the strength and timing of this trough. Meteorologist Grant Elliot of Australia's Bureau of Meteorology in Perth pointed out to me yesterday that the long-range forecast for Katia has more than the usual amount of uncertainty, due to the inability of the computer models to agree on what will happen to Tropical Storm Talas in the Western Pacific. Talas is expected to hit Japan early on Saturday as a strong tropical storm, then race northwestwards into the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska. Talas is then expected to transition into a powerful extratropical storm in the waters south of Alaska. This storm will create a ripple effect downstream in the jet stream, all the way to North America, by early next week. The timing and amplitude of the trough of low pressure off the U.S. East Coast expected to potentially recurve Katia out to sea next week is highly dependent upon the strength of Tropical Storm Talas during its transition to an extratropical storm. The computer models are not very good at handling these sorts of transitions, leading to more than the usual amount of uncertainty in the long-range outlook for Katia. It will probably be another 2 - 3 days before the models will begin to converge on a solution for the long-term fate of Katia. Dr. Bob Hart's Historical Tropical Cyclone Probability web page suggests shows that tropical storms in Katia's current position have a 17% chance of hitting North Carolina, a 21% chance of hitting Canada, a 13% chance of hitting New England, and a 55% chance of never hitting land. One almost certain impact of Katia on the U.S. will be large waves. Long period swells from Katia will begin affecting the Bahamas on Sunday night, then reach the Southeast U.S. by Monday morning. By Tuesday morning, the entire U.S. East Coast will see high surf from Katia, and these waves will increase in size and power as the storm grows closer. Given the slow movement of Katia as it approaches the coast, plus its expected Category 1 to 3 strength as it approaches, the storm will probably cause extensive beach erosion and dangerous rip tides for many days.

94L
A well-organized low pressure system with a surface circulation but limited heavy thunderstorm activity due to high wind shear is 450 miles south of Halifax, Canada. This disturbance, (94L), is headed northeast out to sea, and is being given a 60% chance of developing into a tropical depression by NHC. 94L is under a high 25 - 30 knots of wind shear, but this shear is expected to fall to the moderate range, 10 - 20 knots, by Saturday morning. However, sea surface temperature will fall from 27°C today to 25°C Saturday morning underneath 94L, and the storm will have a very short window of time to get organized enough to get a name. At this point, it's really a subjective judgement call on whether or not 94L is already a tropical storm.


Figure 5. A Portlight volunteer works to clear storm debris from Hurricane Irene in Hollywood, Maryland.

Portlight disaster relief effort in Maryland
Hurricane Irene heavily damaged the town of Hollywood, Maryland, when a tornado cut off electric power, water, and phone service. Portlight and Team Rubicon volunteers arrived before emergency personnel, after following up on a local tip. What they found was an isolated area whose plight was unknown to the larger community. Most residents were trapped at their homes by heavy debris. Portlight and Team Rubicon worked for two days to clear paths to each address, extract vehicles from debris, and cut down trees that constituted safety hazards. Portlight also instructed local residents how to operate and maintain chainsaws and safely clear debris. No other volunteer organizations or emergency personnel arrived at any time, and Portlight succeeded in meeting the specific needs of the underserved, unserved, and forgotten. Visit the Portlight blog to learn more; donations are always welcome.

I'll have a new post each morning over the coming holiday weekend; wunderground meteorologists Angela Fritz, Rob Carver, and Shaun Tanner will be handling the afternoon and evening posts. Have a great holiday weekend, everyone!

Jeff Masters

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2187. scott39
Quoting P451:


Maybe I shouldn't assume it would be understood that surface winds under the barbs were being discussed.

Read the surface extrapolation. The one barb is flagged. The one right next to it is not but is at 59mph - clearly rain contaminated.

Surface observations of which we have access to are below TS strength throughout the Gulf and the only obs close - are anemometers as much as 100 meters above sea level on rigs.

It's a very sloppy system.

Right now, it looks like its getting punched in the gut by dry air. The convection is drying up and its moving closer to land. Lee is on the ropes for now. Hes going to have to shine in 24 hours or those rainfall totals may go way down. Im feeling better about the way he looks. Thank God for Texas and dry air. Its good for something.
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2186. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Tropical.Cyclone.Formation.WARNING
013/TS/L/CX
MARK
28.78N/91.33W


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2185. Dennis8
Quoting Pirate999:


Guess it's time to go sailing on the bay then. Although I'd rather have the rain...

I feel for Nola... It's looking more and more like Allison.


Yes....we need to split the rain between us..huh? La and Tx
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2184. Grothar
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When is the next flight into Lee?
Member Since: August 10, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 64
Quoting P451:


If she stays on the same perceived heading for four hours or so then you may have a course change instead of a wobble.

For now I think it's too difficult to call. Might have to wait for this latest burst of convection to settle in over the center.




ok looks like will find out in the AM
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114710
2181. NJ2S
Quoting ncstorm:
18Z DGEX





NOT AGAIN!!!! I've been out of the loop all www just looked at the blog
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2180. Dennis8
Quoting HoustonTxGal:


In Spring TX also. The breeze is nice but it is bad for the fire danger.

VERY TRUE- Houston NWS AFD
FIRE WEATHER...
THE RED FLAG WATCH HAS BEEN EXTENDED INTO THE REST OF THE UPCOMING
HOLIDAY WEEKEND BASED ON THE PROGGED TRACK/LOCATION OF TS LEE. BUT
OVERALL NOT A LOT OF CHANGES TO THE PREVIOUS THINKING OF INCREASED
N/NELY WINDS THESE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS COUPLED WITH FALLING DEWPTS
AS MUCH DRIER AIR IS TRAINED INTO THE REGION. SOME HESITATION WITH
AN EXPANDED AREA FOR THE RFW ON SAT AS WE COULD SEE SOME PCPN FROM
THE NRN BANDS LEE MOVE IN FROM THE EAST. HOWEVER...WITH THE FCSTED
TRACK EVENTUALLY MOVING LEE OFF TO THE NE LATE SUN...MUCH DRIER (&
PERHAPS COOLER) AIRMASS SET TO MOVE INTO SE TX INTO MON. THIS VERY
DRY AIRMASS COULD LINGER INTO MOST OF NEXT WEEK BUT LOW-LEVEL WIND
SPEEDS SHOULD BE ON THE DECREASE. 41
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2179. Grothar


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Quoting SLU:
Not sure if that's a hurricane ....




guys stop downcasting this she has gone in march better overe the past few hrs and yes it his a hurricane dont even look at the t-storm off too here W the main storm you sould be looking at is the hurricane not the t-storms off too here W
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114710
Am I alone in thinking that South Florida might get something decent tropical-wise sometime in the next, say, few weeks to a month? Anyways looks like the Gulf Coast is in for a soaker. Maybe Lee is like Katrina's gentle little brother, because if they're twins...well I don't want that to happen.
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Quoting Dennis8:


Very true..good observation

I think Lee is more of an eddycane.... like being on a carousel you can't jump off. Someone has the graf of the minor and main eddies in the GOM.
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Quoting P451:


Maybe I shouldn't assume it would be understood that surface winds under the barbs were being discussed.

Read the surface extrapolation. The one barb is flagged. The one right next to it is not but is at 59mph - clearly rain contaminated.

Surface observations of which we have access to are below TS strength throughout the Gulf and the only obs close - are anemometers as much as 100 meters above sea level on rigs.

It's a very sloppy system.



Agree it is not a well organized system. If you had said the SFMR readings were contaminated I would have understood. HWIND had so far shown the higher winds on the eastern side of the system.
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2173. SLU
Not sure if that's a hurricane ....

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Quoting FormerTigergirl:



Geaux Tigers...Geaux Tigers!!!


lol
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Looks like Katia hasn't moved much lately. Appears as though the center is trying to work its way under heavier convection, leading to the reforming of the low little further south, with very little forward momentum in the last few frames.

She sure is getting close to the Leewards. I mean, look at how close the island chain is to Katia. I think we will have to see some warnings soon. Just in case. She sure has been trending pretty far south.

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/flt/t2/flash-vis.htm l
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Quoting Dennis8:


Breezy night BUT DRY..saw some dark clouds on way to dinner but a Tease..Lee is a RAIN TEASE


Guess it's time to go sailing on the bay then. Although I'd rather have the rain...

I feel for Nola... It's looking more and more like Allison.
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this is just 1 weird system..sucked the ULL right on up...could this be a new type of storm system we could be seeing more of in the near future???? HYDROCANE...lol!!!
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Quoting Dennis8:


Breezy night BUT DRY..saw some dark clouds on way to dinner but a Tease..Lee is a RAIN TEASE


In Spring TX also. The breeze is nice but it is bad for the fire danger.
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My gut feeling tells me that Maria (not from 94L obviously) will strike or at least brush South Florida as a hurricane, or maybe I'm talking Katia LOL but something keeps telling me that Florida's luck will expire much sooner than most of us think...
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2164. Dennis8
Quoting uptxcoast:
Friday night lights in Spring, TX. East wind gusting to about 30 mph maybe more....Just north of Houston


Breezy night BUT DRY..saw some dark clouds on way to dinner but a Tease..Lee is a RAIN TEASE
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Where do you live? I'm near Baton Rouge.



Geaux Tigers...Geaux Tigers!!!
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2162. SLU
183

WHXX01 KWBC 030026

CHGHUR

TROPICAL CYCLONE GUIDANCE MESSAGE

NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL

0026 UTC SAT SEP 3 2011



DISCLAIMER...NUMERICAL MODELS ARE SUBJECT TO LARGE ERRORS.

PLEASE REFER TO NHC OFFICIAL FORECASTS FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE

AND SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE INFORMATION.



ATLANTIC OBJECTIVE AIDS FOR



TROPICAL CYCLONE KATIA (AL122011) 20110903 0000 UTC



...00 HRS... ...12 HRS... ...24 HRS. .. ...36 HRS...

110903 0000 110903 1200 110904 0000 110904 1200



LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON

BAMS 18.3N 53.9W 19.0N 55.9W 19.7N 57.2W 20.3N 58.4W

BAMD 18.3N 53.9W 19.6N 55.6W 21.0N 57.4W 22.2N 59.3W

BAMM 18.3N 53.9W 19.2N 55.5W 20.2N 57.0W 21.1N 58.5W

LBAR 18.3N 53.9W 19.6N 55.4W 20.9N 57.2W 22.1N 59.2W

SHIP 65KTS 66KTS 67KTS 67KTS

DSHP 65KTS 66KTS 67KTS 67KTS



...48 HRS... ...72 HRS... ...96 HRS. .. ..120 HRS...

110905 0000 110906 0000 110907 0000 110908 0000



LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON

BAMS 21.1N 59.5W 23.6N 61.8W 27.4N 64.0W 31.4N 67.8W

BAMD 23.5N 61.3W 26.2N 65.0W 28.5N 67.5W 29.4N 69.8W

BAMM 22.2N 60.1W 24.5N 63.0W 27.5N 65.2W 30.0N 68.3W

LBAR 23.1N 61.3W 25.5N 65.7W 28.3N 68.8W 30.9N 72.7W

SHIP 69KTS 67KTS 72KTS 75KTS

DSHP 69KTS 67KTS 72KTS 75KTS



...INITIAL CONDITIONS...

LATCUR = 18.3N LONCUR = 53.9W DIRCUR = 300DEG SPDCUR = 9KT

LATM12 = 17.4N LONM12 = 52.1W DIRM12 = 302DEG SPDM12 = 10KT

LATM24 = 16.2N LONM24 = 50.0W

WNDCUR = 65KT RMAXWD = 25NM WNDM12 = 65KT

CENPRS = 988MB OUTPRS = 1013MB OUTRAD = 275NM SDEPTH = D

RD34NE = 150NM RD34SE = 120NM RD34SW = 75NM RD34NW = 135NM



$$

NNNN
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i think Katia is going to come a lot more closer then mode runs are thinking
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114710
Quoting luigi18:

looks like she's is looking for a Puerto Rican Pina colada!



yup
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114710
Cue Keeperof theGate  -  MARK
Quoting ARMudWeather:

OMG....you are so dull man. Are you serious!!?? Really. LMAO. Let me tell you something...you will never survive on this blog without a sense of humor! Mark my words.

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2156. luigi18
Quoting Tazmanian:
looks like too me Katia it moveing a little SW

looks like she's is looking for a Puerto Rican Pina colada!
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Quoting Abacosurf:
That March of 92 storm was a gale....in the gulf.


There is no tropical weather in March! Furthermore, there was no gale in the gulf in 92. Maybe a stalled front, but no gale. Ask someone from Alaska or the northeast about that!
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2154. vince1
Quoting notanothergoof:
THATS JUST GREAT THE NOW THE RECON GETTING SCARY

Take a Valium.
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2153. ncstorm
TWC is giving SE MS a Torcon rating of 6/10 for severe weather during the labor day weekend..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14427
Quoting Tazmanian:




it sould dos make it closer too land thats why i think a hurricane watch will go up at some point in time if she comes any march closer


Sould,dos, march? Time to put down the bottle
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...Happiness is the sound of the fogger going by!
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2149. xcool
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2147. WoodyFL
Quoting Termite3344:


ok,, what is a Gale Storm


An old movie and TV actress.
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Quoting P451:


She's lopsided. The large ball of convection is weighted heavy on her south side and is rotating around the center.

It's making it difficult to extrapolate a distinct heading on any short loops - which will tend to put emphasis on a short lived wobble.

However, long ones show she had a pretty steady WNW movement the past 24 hours.

Would have to give her several more hours to see if she is changing course or not.




and if not?
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114710
2144. mobal
I think we here in Mobile may get some rain this weekend.
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I guess Lee will make the "cold" front that is supposed to move through Texas next week will be a dry one but at least the temps will not be as hot. Won't help the dying vegatation but at least it will feel better.
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Quoting Fishaholic25fl:
So is anyone worried about katia at all........... anyone thinking about a andrew? track that wednesday turn on the cone is a little eairy.
No shot!
Have a nice weekend and keep an eye over your shoulder until November.
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2139. scott39
Quoting P451:


Gut feeling? Nope.

Gut feeling says it's not even a purely tropical system.

Good, I hope your gut is right. I know its going to be rain and wind and slow moving. I just dont want any last minute suprises like 75mph to 80mph and moving slow.
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NEW ORLEANS — A slow-moving system in the Gulf of Mexico strengthened Friday to become a tropical storm,  as the Big Easy and other Gulf cities prepared for up to 20 inches of rain by unclogging storm drains and upping flood defenses.

"Prepare for the worst, let's hope for the best," New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu urged residents as he declared a state of emergency Friday afternoon. The governors of Louisiana and Mississippi also declared emergencies.

The city has closed flood gates and staged rescue boats ahead of what is expected to be "localized flooding" in some areas over the next five days. New Orleans is also hosting 200,000 visitors attending several conventions this weekend.




http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44356786/ns/weather/# .TmF4NqN5mK0
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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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