Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.
By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:38 PM GMT on January 28, 2006
The National Hurricane Center has released its final report on Hurricane Cindy of 2005. Cindy, which had been considered a tropical storm with peak winds of 70 mph when it made landfall, is now considered a hurricane with 75 mph winds. This increases the all-time record number of hurricanes for a season in the Atlantic from 14 to 15. The previous record was 12 hurricanes, set in 1969.
Cindy followed almost the exact same track as Hurricane Katrina. Cindy made landfall in Southeast Louisiana near Grand Isle, then again on the Mississipi coast near Waveland (which doesn't exist anymore, thanks to Katrina). Detailed analysis of Doppler radar wind estimates from the New Orleans radar, plus ground-based measurements from sites not available for analysis at the time Cindy made landfall, led to the upgrade of Cindy to a hurricane. Cindy came ashore on July 5-6, 2005, and did $320 million in damage, thanks to its winds, 33 tornadoes, and 4-6 foot storm surge. Much of this damage occurred in the New Orleans area--which was only the beginning of what the Hurricane Season of 2005 had in mind for that unfortunate city. Wunderblogger squeak thought it would be intere3sting for me to mention that noticed that the surge was higher (6') on the eastern MS Coast--Jackson County--80 miles east of where landfall occured in Waveland (4' surge). according to NHC, this was because a small area of high winds to the SE of the center (the same ones that were used to identify Cindy as a hurricane for a short time) moved over Jackson County, causing the higher surge there.
I'll be back next week with my promised analysis of whether Category 4 and 5 hurricanes are increasing globally. Plus, I'll report live from the annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society in Atlanta, the world's largest gathering of meteorologists.
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