Isaac slamming Gulf Coast with damaging floods, tornadoes

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:44 PM GMT on August 30, 2012

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Slow-moving Tropical Storm Isaac continues to hammer coastal Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida's Panhandle with tornadoes, torrential rains, high winds, and a damaging storm surge. Over the past 24 hours, destructive tornadoes have touched down in Biloxi and Pascagoula, Mississippi, and one person was killed by a tree falling on a car in Pearl River County, Mississippi. A major flood event is occurring in Slidell, Louisiana, where Isaac's storm surge filled Bayou Bonfouca and the W-14 Canal, inundating portions of the city with 1 - 5 feet of water. While Isaac is now a weakening minimal-strength tropical storm, it is still a potent rainmaker, and will cause damaging floods all along its path for the next three days. Major river flooding is occurring or is about to occur on a number of rivers in the landfall area. In north central Tangipahoa Parish in southeast Louisiana and southwestern Pike County in southern Mississippi, a mandatory evacuation has been ordered for all low-lying areas and along the Tangipahoa River, due to the potential failure of the Lake Tangipahoa dam. Audubon Park in New Orleans, recorded 11.19" of rain as of 7 pm Wednesday night. An earlier amount of 19" was found to be erroneous, and this is not a 24-hour precipitation record for the city. According to wunderground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, New Orleans' greatest 24-hour rainfall on record is 14.01" on July 24 - 25, 1933. The Louisiana official state 24-hour record is 22.00" on Aug. 29, 1962 at Hakberry, although U.S. Army Corps of Engineers `Storm Studies' mentions a 23.80" falling in a 24-hour period at Millers Island during a TS on Aug 7-8, 1940. Storm total was 37.50" over a 60-hour period there during that event.

A few other rainfall totals from Isaac, through 11 am EDT on Thursday:

15.02" Marion, MS
10.09" Hattiesburg, MS
10.15" Gulfport, MS
9.80" Slidell, LA
9.74" Biloxi, MS
8.52" Mobile, AL
5.57" Baton Rouge, LA


Figure 1. Isaac's winds and storm surge overcomes the seawall and floods South Beach Boulevard in Waveland, Miss., Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012, the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina hitting the Gulf Coast. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis). Waveland experienced a storm surge in excess of 5' for 36 hours.

Isaac's storm surge winds down
Storm surge levels along the coast of Mississippi and surrounding areas are gradually receding, and the surge has finally fallen below 5' at Waveland, which experienced a storm surge in excess of 5' for 36 hours. Isaac's storm surge levels were characteristic of a Category 2 hurricane, and lasted for an exceptionally long period of time. Waveland, Mississippi experienced a peak surge of 8' and peak storm tide of 9' (surge plus the natural high tide), which beat the levels that occurred during Category 2 Hurricane Gustav of 2008 (7' of storm tide.) The peak 11.06' storm surge at Shell Beach, which is in Lake Borgne, 30 miles southeast of New Orleans, exceeded the 9.5' surge recorded there during Gustav. According to an article in nola.com, Isaac pushed a storm surge of 13.6' into Lake Borgne, on the east side of New Orleans. This is not far from the 15.5' storm surge Hurricane Katrina brought to the location. It is quite possible that Isaac's storm surge might have breached levees of the east side of New Orleans, flooding areas inhabited by tens of thousands of people, had the Army Corps of Engineers not completed their $14.5 billion upgrade to the New Orleans flood defenses this year. I estimate that storm surge damage from Isaac will exceed $2 billion. Isaac has likely caused $2.5 billion in insured damage not related to flooding, insurance firm Eqecat estimated yesterday. Here were some of the peak storm surge values that were recorded at NOAA tide gauges during Isaac:

11.1' Shell Beach, LA
8.0' Waveland, MS
3.5' Pensacola, FL
4.6' Pascagoula, MS
3.8' Mobile, AL


Figure 2. A TRMM satellite 3-D view of rainfall on Aug. 28 showed a few very powerful thunderstorms near Isaac's eye were reaching heights of almost 17 km (10.6 miles.) Intense bands of rain around Isaac were occasionally dropping rain at a rate of over 2.75 inches per hour. Image credit: SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce.

Isaac's storm surge on the Mississippi River
A storm surge estimated at 12' moved up the Mississippi in Plaquemines Parish near Port Sulphur, LA, near 8:30 pm EDT Tuesday, causing overtopping of the levees and flooding of homes in the mandatory evacuation areas behind the levees. These levees were not part of the $14.5 billion levee upgrade New Orleans got after Hurricane Katrina, and were not rated to Category 3 hurricane strength, like the levees protecting New Orleans are. Since salt water is more dense than fresh water, the surge travelled along the bottom of the river, with the fresh water flow of the river lying on top. The surge continued upriver, and before reaching New Orleans, encountered an underwater barrier in Plaquemines Parish. This barrier was constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers beginning on August 15, in order to keep salt water from moving upstream and contaminating drinking water for Plaquemines Parish and New Orleans. Salt water had made it 90 miles upriver to the outskirts of New Orleans, due to the low flow rate of the river (which had dropped 7' below average in height due to the drought of 2012.) According to a spokesperson for the National Weather Service River Forecast Office, this barrier was probably able to completely block the flow of salt water upriver due to Isaac's storm surge, and no salt water made it as far as New Orleans. However, the massive intrusion of ocean water into the river channel caused the mighty Mississippi's fresh water flow to back up for hundreds of miles. Water levels were elevated by 10' in New Orleans (103 miles upstream from the mouth of the Mississippi), 8' in Baton Rouge (228 miles upstream), and 1.4' at Knox Landing, an amazing 314 miles upstream.

Hurricane Kirk in the Central Atlantic
Hurricane Kirk intensified into a 75 mph Category 1 hurricane this morning, becoming the busy 2012 Atlantic hurricane season's fifth hurricane. With the season's mid-point of September 10 still almost 2 weeks away, we've already had 12 named storms and 5 hurricanes, which is close to what an entire season experiences in an average year (11 named storms and 6 hurricanes.) Kirk should stay well out to sea and not trouble any land areas.


Figure 3. Morning satellite image of Hurricane Kirk.

Tropical Storm Leslie forms in the Central Atlantic
Tropical Storm Leslie has formed in the Central Atlantic. Leslie's formation on August 30 puts 2012 in 2nd place for earliest formation date of the season's 12th storm. Only 1995 had an earlier formation date of the season's 12th storm. With records dating back to 1851, this year is only the second time 8 total storms have formed in August. The other year was 2004, when the first storm of the season formed on August 1 (Alex), and the 8th storm (Hermine)
formed on August 29th. Leslie is organizing quickly, and appears destined to become a hurricane before the week is out. Fortunately, Hurricane Kirk is weakening the ridge of high pressure to the north of Leslie, and Leslie is expected to turn to the northwest and miss the Lesser Antilles Islands. In the long term, it remains unclear if Leslie will follow Kirk and fully recurve out to sea. The latest 2 runs of the GFS model have predicted that Leslie will recurve out to sea and not threaten any land areas, but the latest 2 runs of the ECMWF model have predicted that the trough of low pressure pulling Kirk to the northeast will not be strong enough to recurve Leslie out to sea. Instead, the ECMWF predicts that a ridge of high pressure will build in early next week, forcing Leslie more to the northwest, making the storm a potential threat to Bermuda, then to the Northeast U.S. and Canada in 8 - 11 days.

Jeff Masters

Hurricane Isaac Louisiana (apphotos)
Two men walk in the storm surge from Isaac, on Lakeshore Drive along Lake Pontchartrain, as the storm approaches landfall, in New Orleans, Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Hurricane Isaac Louisiana
west palm beach flood isaac (alishu)
West Palm Beach flood from Isaac
west palm beach flood isaac
Hurricane Isaac Impacts Navarre Beach & Pier10 (jennjeff1)
Hurricane Isaac versus Navarre Beach Pier, the longest concrete pier on the Gulf of Mexico
Hurricane Isaac Impacts Navarre Beach & Pier10

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Isaac still looks pretty good.

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Quoting Brock31:
Welcome Leslie!

Please send swell.

Thanks.


Hellyea. I second that. frothing
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Quoting reedzone:
Alot of people thought Isaac, as an invest where Leslie is at, was going to recurve...

The EURO model shows a possible scenario. If the models are right on that trough, it will be very weak and too far north to recurve Leslie.


And at the speed she is moving at, that might keep her in check for a little while, and she may miss that weakness, and be forced further west. I don't like the looks of this at all.

Btw, this is NOT a 75 mph storm. A cat 2 at least.


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Gro posted this already but the new Euro brings Leslie much closer to the US... Still offshore, but closer than the other models.

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184. MTWX
A strong tornado or two may not be out of the question!!


MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 1840
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1257 PM CDT THU AUG 30 2012

AREAS AFFECTED...MS...SERN LA...SWRN AL...WRN FL PANHANDLE

CONCERNING...TORNADO WATCH 597...

VALID 301757Z - 301930Z

THE SEVERE WEATHER THREAT FOR TORNADO WATCH 597 CONTINUES.

SUMMARY...GREATEST TORNADO THREAT MAY BEGIN TO SHIFT WEST INTO ERN
MS OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL HOURS AS ISAAC DRIFTS INTO NWRN LA.

DISCUSSION...REMNANTS OF ISAAC CONTINUE TO DRIFT WNWWD ACROSS NCNTRL
LA WITH CENTER OF CIRCULATION NEAR THE CALDWELL/OUACHITA/JACKSON
PARISH BORDER. OVER THE LAST FEW HOURS DISTINCT BREAKS IN CLOUD
COVER HAVE DEVELOPED OVER ERN MS ALONG WRN FRINGE OF STRONGEST N-S
CONVECTIVE BANDS. WHILE THE N-S CONVECTIVE BANDS HAVE STRUGGLED TO
PROPAGATE WEST INTO THIS REGION NEW CONVECTION MAY ULTIMATELY EVOLVE
OVER ERN MS WHERE ENHANCED BOUNDARY LAYER HEATING IS OCCURRING.
EARLIER THIS MORNING MULTIPLE DISTINCT SUPERCELL STRUCTURES WERE
EMBEDDED WITHIN THE N-S BAND ALONG THE MS/AL BORDER BUT THIS
ACTIVITY HAS RECENTLY WANED IN INTENSITY. THERE IS REASON TO
BELIEVE STRONGER SUPERCELL STRUCTURES WILL BEGIN TO SHIFT INTO THE
AFOREMENTIONED CORRIDOR OF MS AS ISAAC SHIFTS WEST AND AIRMASS HEATS
SLIGHTLY DUE TO BREAKS IN CLOUD COVER.
Member Since: July 20, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1391
Quoting reedzone:
Alot of people thought Isaac, as an invest where Leslie is at, was going to recurve...

The EURO model shows a possible scenario. If the models are right on that trough, it will be very weak and too far north to recurve Leslie.

I agree. And even if it does get picked up by the trough a little, it probably won't be as far East and North as the models are predicting.
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Quoting NoloContendere:
I'm sure the Mississippi emergency management folks are carrying out their mission with the ultimate goal of pleasing you. Thats FAR more important than the public safety, and of course, somebody lurking on WU will have a FAR better appreciation for the situation on the ground than an actual professional onsite.

/sarc



Pfft. I'm allowed opinions on how they're managing info release in a potentially very dangerous situation.

I don't give a rat's behind whether they please me. I do give a rat's behind whether they're appropriately sharing information that people downstream need in order to decide how to best be safe.

Jindal just ordered immediate evac of the city of Kentwood, he's supposed to give a press conf shortly. Hopefully he will have better info for people there to work with. Believe me, my concern is not for satisfying my own curiosity, I'm not one of the many thousands of people in harm's way if the thing gives out.
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Quoting Chiggy:


This is the 00Z run right?


The EMCWF does not run as often as the other models. Only available to a few people.

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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
That doesn't always hold true. Ivan was fairly strong (65kt) at this approximate location amnd he tracked straight throuhg the Caribbean.Dean was 45 kt in this area also amnd he continued west through the Caribbean too. As they say, there is an exception to every rule. I am not saying Leslie will continue west but there is always the possibility no matter how remote it may be.


True. .if the Bermuda high stays strongly intact..
As for Leslie, due to the lack of vertical instability overall so far this season as well as a large amount of dry air infiltrating many systems this year, I wouldn't be at all suprised to see Leslie struggle to strengthen significantly. Which in this year's case I would concur with a further west track as the European model is insisting as of the lastest run
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
TROPICAL UPDATE
___________________________



very active tropics
Must be a busy day down at the NHC.
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we need too watch Leslie vary closey has it could come marh closer then what mode runs are thinking
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114072
Quoting JLPR2:
Kirk is the cutest hurricane in awhile. xD



And to think the original disturbance was huge.
To boldly go where many canes have gone before...Cane Trek..
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TROPICAL UPDATE
___________________________



very active tropics
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Quoting jeffs713:

I kinda addressed that in an earlier post. The COE keeps the Mississippi as low as they reasonably can - any lower, and you run into issues with river navigation, refinery operation, and drinking water supplies. You can't divert it to Lake P, as there is too much infrastructure that relies upon the river in New Orleans itself.

As for allowing the areas south of the river to flood... I will let this picture illustrate my point. Bear in mind all the white and pink is where people live and work.



My thought would to be then to canal to the Mississippi though Lake Marephas to the Mississippi.

Eventually, we need to have a more permanent solution.
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I'm sure the Mississippi emergency management folks are carrying out their mission with the ultimate goal of pleasing you. Thats FAR more important than the public safety, and of course, somebody lurking on WU will have a FAR better appreciation for the situation on the ground than an actual professional onsite.

/sarc

Quoting LurkyMcLurkerson:


Agreed. My personal faith in the basic competence of MS emergency management is dropping with every minute they don't give a full official update on the situation.
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Quoting WxNerdVA:
Joyce on ATCF?

Boy, that escalated quickly!

??? that was so confusing. We have Kirk a hurricane and newly formed Leslie. Joyce has been gone for a while.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 123 Comments: 7890
Quoting CloudGatherer:
There've been a bunch of stories out of the region about the incredibly poor quality of the remote sensor and gauge readings. The good news is that all the flood control measures worked. The bad news is that we can build multi-billion barriers, but still install gauges that aren't robust enough to deliver reliable readings in storm conditions. A clearly erroneous reading like the one you quote is not a huge problem - but where we'll lack meaningful data about the conditions that the system actually encountered, it's a long term planning problem.
That Mississippi gauge Twisterman posted delivered reliable data during 2011 flood. The monitoring system along the Mississippi and its tributaries is actually quite remarkable.

Perhaps you are talking about trouble with new sensors monitoring the new flood control around NOLA. I don't know.

Quoting Twisterman555:


I wonder what is going on here. . . . can this be right?
Temporary glitch. Maybe a twig or something? Gauge seems to be functioning okay now. Link
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Quoting WxNerdVA:
Joyce on ATCF?

Boy, that escalated quickly!




Joyce is long gone
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114072
Quoting HrDelta:


Hoping something like my idea would be plausible.

I kinda addressed that in an earlier post. The COE keeps the Mississippi as low as they reasonably can - any lower, and you run into issues with river navigation, refinery operation, and drinking water supplies. You can't divert it to Lake P, as there is too much infrastructure that relies upon the river in New Orleans itself.

As for allowing the areas south of the river to flood... I will let this picture illustrate my point. Bear in mind all the white and pink is where people live and work.

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Quoting Grothar:
The long term EMCWF takes Leslie much closer than other models.




This is the 00Z run right?
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Something wrong with 12Z Euron run? - Not showing up on Raleigh site! Usually it starts putting out runs by 1pm CDT... an hour ago!
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Quoting MTWX:


She almost did last year!

Yep. With the increasing frequency of extreme weather events (REGARDLESS of the cause), last year was a "shot across our bow" from mother nature. Just think if the river wasn't at very low levels already (or worse, was running near flood levels), and Isaac came ashore. Or came ashore 150 miles to the west, and *then* stalled. Nightmare scenario much?

The COE has a history of being innovative, yes. But they also have a history of refusing to "think outside the box", and leave themselves options. Last year's flooding was one of those - it was very nearly a disaster of epic proportions.
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Quoting jeffs713:

Right. And ORCS is also our biggest "Achilles Heel" in terms of infrastructure. It lets loose, or gets diverted somehow... and there is no backup. No plan B.


Hoping something like my idea would be plausible.
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Quoting Skyepony:
Most my family there is holed up just east of that evacuation over the Tangipahoa Dam near McComb (they are just sw of Tylertown). They lost power yesterday & was on generators. Can't get a hold of them today. Land-line seems out. Cell-phones are down. Hope communication is better 10 miles to their west..


Must be worrying for you. Hope everything turns out all right.
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Isaac GFS ensembles..this was showing a pretty tight recurve out to the NE and now look..a hot mess..

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In the Caribbean Frigate birds are also known as "Weather Birds" (notice my avatar) as they come inland before and during storms. Before modern times they were used along side the barometer to predict tropical weather and strong storm fronts. You can find many references to them and weather in old sailing books.

"Non-Instrument Weather Forecasting":

"Hawaiian proverbs suggests that observations of the flights of seabirds were used to predict weather; generally birds and other animals hunt for food in good weather and seek shelter from stormy weather:

Lele ka 'iwa, malie kai ko'o: "When the 'iwa [frigate bird] flies [out to sea], the rough sea will be calm." (Pukui 'Olelo No'eau, No. 1979)

'Olelo ke kupa o ka 'aina ua malie; ua au koa'e: "The natives of the land declare that the weather is calm when the tropic bird travels afar." (Pukui 'Olelo No'eau, No. 2498)

Ua ho'i ka noio 'au kai i uka, ke 'ino nei ka moana: "When the noio bird returns from sea to land, the sea will be stormy." (Pukui 'Olelo No'eau, No. 2787"

Link

Link

They often come inland here to skim fresh water. When I was working at the Key West Golf Club years back, we would see them skimming in the ponds there.

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One of our teams repairing a roof in Gulfport MS live streaming video
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Wth is up with the euro? Is it not running yet or what?
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Quoting Chiggy:


NRL reports 13.8N - 44.2W - Call it 14.0N and we are even! lol...
20120830.1815.goes13.x.vis1km_high.12LTWELVE.30kts -1007mb-138N-442W



navy site has not update so the info you are seeing on there is old
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114072
156. MTWX
Quoting jeffs713:
Well, yes and no. Running the port through the lake isn't viable, as there is a LOT of infrastructure in place that relies on the current course of the river. Allowing the areas south of NOLA to sink is foolish, as thousands of people live (and work) there. Also, the lake averages in depth at only 12'... you need a lot more than that to handle anything oceangoing. Right now, the Old River Control Structure (ORCS), well north of Baton Rouge, controls the split of flow between the Atchafalaya River and the Mississippi River. Generally, the CoE (Army Corps of Engineers, who run the ORCS and manage streamflow), tries to keep the Mississippi River at a navigable level, with anything above that minimum going into the Atchafalaya.

That said, Mother Nature doesn't give a flying **** what we mere mortals do to "control" the river. She will have her say eventually.


She almost did last year!
Member Since: July 20, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1391
Gov. Jendal has just announced a mandatory evacuation of the City of Kentwood.
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Quoting MTWX:


That's what this guy is there for... Old River Control Structure

Right. And ORCS is also our biggest "Achilles Heel" in terms of infrastructure. It lets loose, or gets diverted somehow... and there is no backup. No plan B.
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Quoting Tazmanian:



we been haveing Leslie for a few hrs now
I was out for a few hours and we get Leslie lol
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Quoting Thing342:
AL, 12, 2012083018, , BEST, 0, 142N, 445W, 40, 1004, TS, 34, NEQ, 40, 30, 0, 40, 1012, 250, 40, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, LESLIE, M,


NRL reports 13.8N - 44.2W - Call it 14.0N and we are even! lol...
20120830.1815.goes13.x.vis1km_high.12LTWELVE.30kts -1007mb-138N-442W
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Quoting HrDelta:


I wonder if there is some sort of Middle Option. Like Inverting the relationship of the Atachfalaya and the Current Delta. Or, just allowing the areas south of New Orleans to sink, and moving the Port to Lake Pontchartrain. The Lake is something of a natural harbor. Try and reorganize part of New Orleans East and turn it into a Port.
Well, yes and no. Running the port through the lake isn't viable, as there is a LOT of infrastructure in place that relies on the current course of the river. Allowing the areas south of NOLA to sink is foolish, as thousands of people live (and work) there. Also, the lake averages in depth at only 12'... you need a lot more than that to handle anything oceangoing. Right now, the Old River Control Structure (ORCS), well north of Baton Rouge, controls the split of flow between the Atchafalaya River and the Mississippi River. Generally, the CoE (Army Corps of Engineers, who run the ORCS and manage streamflow), tries to keep the Mississippi River at a navigable level, with anything above that minimum going into the Atchafalaya.

That said, Mother Nature doesn't give a flying **** what we mere mortals do to "control" the river. She will have her say eventually.
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
I highly doubt this for Kirk
AL, 11, 2012083018, , BEST, 0, 277N, 500W, 75, 984, HU
I don't.


Link
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Quoting Gearsts:
We have Leslie?



we been haveing Leslie for a few hrs now
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114072
The long term EMCWF takes Leslie much closer than other models.


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Leslie at 45mph.
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Quoting yankees440:


Much will depend on the strength of leslie as a weaker system will tend to trend west like isaac and a deeper system will head more poleward.. ..
That doesn't always hold true. Ivan was fairly strong (65kt) at this approximate location amnd he tracked straight throuhg the Caribbean.Dean was 45 kt in this area also amnd he continued west through the Caribbean too. As they say, there is an exception to every rule. I am not saying Leslie will continue west but there is always the possibility no matter how remote it may be.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8242
The ATCF line on Leslie:

AL, 12, 2012083018, , BEST, 0, 142N, 445W, 40, 1004, TS, 34, NEQ, 40, 30, 0, 40, 1012, 250, 40, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, LESLIE, M,
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142. MTWX
Quoting jeffs713:

Yep. This is very well known in geological circles, as the Mississippi River changes course every few hundred years due to silt. For example, right now, the river REALLY wants to change course to the Atchafalaya River basin, as that is the shortest route to the sea right now.

Here are a couple of illustrations to my point:




As long as we divert the river into its current course, we will continue to have these problems. But if we stop diverting the river, one of our most vibrant cultural cities, and also a HUGE section of infrastructure (the oil refineries at Reserve and Norco) go completely to waste and cease to become viable... with far-reaching impacts. There simply is not a good option.


That's what this guy is there for... Old River Control Structure
Member Since: July 20, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1391
I disagree with this for Kirk
AL, 11, 2012083018, , BEST, 0, 277N, 500W, 75, 984, HU

I'll go more towards a 90-100 mph
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Quoting jeffs713:

Yep. This is very well known in geological circles, as the Mississippi River changes course every few hundred years due to silt. For example, right now, the river REALLY wants to change course to the Atchafalaya River basin, as that is the shortest route to the sea right now.

Here are a couple of illustrations to my point:




As long as we divert the river into its current course, we will continue to have these problems. But if we stop diverting the river, one of our most vibrant cultural cities, and also a HUGE section of infrastructure (the oil refineries at Reserve and Norco) go completely to waste and cease to become viable... with far-reaching impacts. There simply is not a good option.


Well, if a solution is not found nature will impose one sooner or later.
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Quoting shoreacres:


Yes, and no. The issues are far more complex than that. Here's a good post that gives a bit of an overview, with an emphasis on canals and inland drilling.

You might also be interested in the website of the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana.


Thanks
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Quoting jeffs713:

Yep. This is very well known in geological circles, as the Mississippi River changes course every few hundred years due to silt. For example, right now, the river REALLY wants to change course to the Atchafalaya River basin, as that is the shortest route to the sea right now.

Here are a couple of illustrations to my point:




As long as we divert the river into its current course, we will continue to have these problems. But if we stop diverting the river, one of our most vibrant cultural cities, and also a HUGE section of infrastructure (the oil refineries at Reserve and Norco) go completely to waste and cease to become viable... with far-reaching impacts. There simply is not a good option.


I wonder if there is some sort of Middle Option. Like Inverting the relationship of the Atachfalaya and the Current Delta. Or, just allowing the areas south of New Orleans to sink, and moving the Port to Lake Pontchartrain. The Lake is something of a natural harbor. Try and reorganize part of New Orleans East and turn it into a Port.
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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.