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 , 3:45 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
Recent Hurricane Hunter measurements show the pressure has dropped significantly, and is now down to 971 mb. Surface winds have increased to 100 mph, making Katrina a Category 2 hurricane. It would be no real surprise to see Katrina attain Category 3 status by this evening, and probably a Category 4 on Saturday.
The forecast track has not changed significantly, with a landfall Monday morning still expected along the end of the Gulf of Mexico's bowling alley, the Florida Panhandle between Pensacola and Panama City. However, two key computer models--the NOGAPS and GFDN--have made a large jump to the west, bringing Katrina over Louisiana. New Orleans can definitely not breathe easy until Katrina makes its turn north and we have a better idea where she is going.
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