Katrina a Category 2 storm

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:45 PM GMT on August 26, 2005

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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.

Jeff Masters

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186. BigEasyBill
5:20 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
The New Orleans folks need to calm down. There is no need for the city or its leaders or Nash Roberts to overreact unless something changes. If panic sets in for everything that enters the Gulf (thousands will die in New Orleans, the city is below sea level, it's comig up the mouth of the river, get 20,000 body bags, cats and dogs living together,evacuate now!!!!!), then when a real threat happens, no one will listen.

Have a beer and keep an eye on things. Maybe go to K&B and get some water and batteries. And then get some masking tape for the windows!!!! :)

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185. raindancer
5:24 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
Oneday - That is HILARIOUS! I bet the Key Wester's are shocked by all the snow!

Softball - Typically, I agree - the NHC is very good - all things considered. Though, they're not very good when it comes to giving last minute updates before landfall. Stormtop has a point with what has happened in the last 12 hours or so... That SW jaunt off the south tip of FL was way out of the ballpark. The NHC is darn lucky Katrina made it ashore before she pulled the SW turn. Otherwise, the Keys would have been a huge mess - and not prepared.
Member Since: September 14, 2001 Posts: 0 Comments: 79
184. STORMTOP
5:25 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
she is moving at 7 mph still no decrease in speed...
183. Valence
5:19 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
Softball -

The NHC has been "right" so far this year only in the respect that haven't made a major mistake.

But remember, their forecast for projected path are constantly changing, based on imperical data, and the result of computer models that use that data. Did their projected path 3 days ago show Katrina would have moved SW through FL and still be moving W almost 12 hours off shore?

The longer you go in time, the further off your pojections can be. Its called margin of error, and it compounds on itself the futher out you project. It is possible that this storm could hit NO? Yes. It may only be a 5% change right now, but by 5pm it could be 10-15%. And a day from now it could be 33%. These storms are only predicable to a point; and while is fun in some respects to prognosticate in this blog, just remember that most of us are not experts. And the experts can even be wrong. (Even a blind man can hit the bullseye on a dart board once.)

JV
182. GPTGUY
5:24 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
hey stormtop where did you hear that info i live in gulfport
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181. leftyy420
5:23 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
we are just saying that the conditions are ripe in the gulf. shear will be light and we have a storm that has proved to be a monster alreadt to south florida. she will be a monster when she makes landfall and i am scared for some of you guys cause their are so many outcomes that all end with loss of life and detruction like that of andrew
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
180. stormydee
5:18 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
After seeing Francis, Jeanne, and now seen what Katrina did...maybe these female named hurricanes have a mind like a woman, wants to change her mind with the wind. It seems that Francis and Jeanne followed the FL turnpike, poss because of the cleared trees, maybe they thought it was a river they could feed off and maybe that is why the Space Center has NEVER had a direct since the Space Center to Tampa is the widest area of the state...then Katrina who is moving due west until landfall, sees all the water in south FL and sees that the land below her path is a shorter path back to water. She wanted to get her bands back in the water before she lost her strength. I mean, I know hurricanes don't have brains, only eyes ha/ha, but seems weird....
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179. 53rdWeatherRECON
5:21 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
She is putting her breaks on again.
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178. STORMTOP
5:20 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
lefty i just heard some info they are going to shift it as far west as gulfport as it stands right now...that is a huge shift....
177. SiliconTaurus
5:20 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
I just became a member today. I just have to say I find all of you more helpful than the TWC or local weather reports. All of you have really helped me understands the real inner workings of these storms. Just wanted to say thanks and good job to all of you. Ill be watching lol :).


Eric
Daytona beach,FL
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176. 53rdWeatherRECON
5:18 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
She will Stall..........................................
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175. STORMTOP
5:18 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
not right with this one...way off..they got surprised themselves by katrina going right over the nhc...
174. lippy
5:19 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
stormjunkie- that's a reasonable point. If I was in NO, I'd definitely get out before the order goes up.
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173. leftyy420
5:19 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
well they expected a 40 mph ts right now still over florda. i see a cat 2 in the gulf and that scares me
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
172. GPTGUY
5:18 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
Stormtop youre still thinking pass christian as the landfall im in gulfport..i would be on the east side :O(
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171. leftyy420
5:16 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
i do not think the dry air will be a limiting factor as this storm has been suprising all people while fighting dry air. also you don't have many cat 5 hitting the us cause the conditions to form one must be ideal and thats what we will have. she should itensify up untill landfall. that would give her a chance to be a strong cat 4 or a cat 5 based on the nhc forcast and error added in. they ar forcasting 115 kts right now. the error would make that 135kts or about 156 mph and at that point it doesn't matter if s 145 or 156 she will be detrcutive
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
170. StormJunkie
5:10 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
People who were in SE S carolina remember what a nightmare evacs can be. People sat in traffic for 24+ hours. If the storm had gone where it was supposed to people would have been stuck in their cars. This is my concern for NO.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16880
169. softballguy
5:11 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
I totally respect all of you on here, but hasn't the NHC been right all year long with storms? Wouldn't it be wise to go by what they say?
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168. KShurricane
5:12 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
My best guess for landfall is somewhere near the MS-AL border, probably closer to the MS side. I think Florida is probably clear, and I would give it a 15-25% chance of hitting NO. Intensity could be weak to moderate cat 4.
167. TybeeIslandGA
5:14 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
Thank you Lefty...I will try a few those things and if not...I'll just remain glued to this Blog. I LOVE it!! Thanks again my friend!!
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166. leftyy420
5:14 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
later tinight but if u use my ftp site i found the new one is out just not posted yet here is a easier link to use once a storm is named and it has the 2pm gfdl run


Link
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
165. energyguy
5:11 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
lefty when does next gfdl run come out? 1.30edt?
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164. 147257
05:13 PM GMT op 26 Augustus, 2005
damn already a cat 2 worse damage in miami?
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163. leftyy420
5:08 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
it should be just fine u should try to download a new version of internet explorer as well as any updates for you windows mediaplayer, should be a link thro the media player for updates. that should help. the problem is its some small thing that is off and we hit all the major ones. try to update ur explorer and get all updates availible and try again. might be a little work so its upto you if u want to keep trying. i am willing to help u till we get her if u want. if u do wnat to keep trying, try those things but ur dsl 1.5 might not be enough. i just thought it would be
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
162. OneDay
12:09 PM CDT on August 26, 2005
Heavy snow showers in Key West!!! With winds at 46 mph...that's a blizzard. This is one crazy storm!!

Link

LOL...Hey, even Stormtop didn't forecast this!
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161. STORMTOP
5:09 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
im starting to think pass christian is going to get a double whammy camille now katrina...
160. newtoNOLA
5:09 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
I just watched the local NO news and the forecaster said "we're going have to watch this storm for the next couple of days" A couple of days is Sunday afternoon! NO doesn't have "a couple of days" to make a decision
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159. GPTGUY
5:07 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
KShurricane where do you think the landfall will be?
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158. wxgssr
5:07 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
Steve Gregory has come west...he is a BIG fan of the GFS and the big shift has grabbed his attention. He says that everybody from NOLA to Panama City is under the gun. He also mentions the possibility of dry air entrainment from the N and NE of katrina as a limiting factor.
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157. raindancer
5:09 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
Well stated Valence...
Member Since: September 14, 2001 Posts: 0 Comments: 79
156. lippy
5:03 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
Wow stormtop, that's pretty offensive, but I'll take your attention as a compliment. Listen, folks, I'm not preaching complacency or blind trust in the NHC or anything that extreme. Everyone should do what they think is right and safe for them. I'm saying I think it's way too early for anyone to get too worked up. Everyone on the Gulf Coast should be paying attention and ready to scram, and like raindancer said, should have been stocked with plywood and supplies three months ago. Get gas? Yeah, sure, I'm pretty far from the cone of uncertainty, but I'm going to fill up after work. I'll hold off an evacuating until something actually happens.
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155. STORMTOP
5:06 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
she is growing in size rapidly right now....
154. raindancer
5:07 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
Steve Gregory has a new update out that's worth a good read. Much like I stated this morning - Katrina has ideal conditions for the moment, but there are many negative factors in her path (dry air being a big one), shear, and cooler heat content. An explosive Cat 5 situation does not appear to be in the cards at the moment.
Member Since: September 14, 2001 Posts: 0 Comments: 79
153. leftyy420
5:06 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
i expect that we will have a btetr idea by 5 on the thinking in the tpc right now. they are probly just waiting for another run of the models and the next recon of the upper enviroment. i expect a shift west not all the way to noew orleans but she will be in the cone and still in the threat area.
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
152. TybeeIslandGA
5:03 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
Lefty...Thanks sooo much for trying in this time of CHAOS. I have windows xp home and win media player v 10.0. Do you think 1.5 mb is suitable?
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151. Valence
5:02 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
There is a reason that only 3 cat 5 storm have ever struck US soil - the conditions near the coast, even in the hurricane hotbets like the Gulf and FL straights, are not exactly ideal for maintaing that kind of strength. You need to have a storm with good forward speed, approaching a coastline thats not too shallow and with warm water temps, and it must be near the end of an eyewall replacement cycle as it nears the coast. It is IMPOSSIBLE to predict if those conditions are going to be met with Katina (so stop it!).

What we can say for sure is that this is going to be an intense storm, probably a major hurricane, and bring lots of rain and wind over a large area. Lefty's right - anyone from NO to Tallahasee (remember, the E side of the storm will be the strong one) needs to start preparing now. If you still need supplies (water, batteries, plywood, gas) get them NOW. If you are going to evacuate, get you house in order, collect your important document, and find a place to go (FYI - try leaving at night, less traffic).

Im sure the national news is going to focus their attention on the area effected most the the eyewall - but for those of you who have not been through a storm, there is plenty of damange and flooding hundreds of miles away.

JV
150. leftyy420
5:04 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
no weatherguy that will not effect it. believe it or not that is related to the hurricane and the moist air she is bringing up to an area that is very hot and humid and she is generating thunderstaorms that far up
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
149. STORMTOP
5:02 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
lefty you know me i have no faith in the models but i can read ir and wv and atmospheric charts...why are they waiting this trough is still not moving and katrina is just moving along she is coming up on the 83 degree long....something will have to be done soon....i guess they will wait till 5pm
148. KShurricane
5:01 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
I still think it will recurve before hitting NO, but that new GFS is definately ominous. I found a good page about the possible effects of a cat 4 or 5 hitting New Orleans.

Link
147. wpb05
5:04 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
this is showing no indication of thinking about a turn anytime soon
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146. Randyman
4:56 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
I don't think so StormTop! I'll still get a significant blow if hit the Middle Texas Coast...how about if it continues that wsw track into Mexico?
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145. leftyy420
5:02 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
valence all i can say is right now they forcast a cat 4. i stated befor the error in intesity is 20 kts, so she coule be a strong cat 5. i just want peopleto prepare and not get caught off guard
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
144. jeff14photos
10:03 AM PDT on August 26, 2005
ok guys not fighting please thanks cant you just get along
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143. weatherguy03
5:03 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
Lefty can I get your opinion on this?
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142. bamasam
4:53 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
Any chance this thing never makes a north turn?
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141. STORMTOP
5:00 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
no weather guy what you need to look at is the trough in the rockies that shows up clearly on your likk..that is stationary that is what will turn the stornm north not ne..
140. Valence
4:57 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
Wow!

Every time I leave the computer, this this does some amazing work. Im supergluing my ass to the chair and inserting a cahtoder for the next 75 hours.

In all seriousness, some of you are getting a little crazy with the cat4 / cat5 projections. Is is probably or even likely that Katrina can reach this intensity? Sure. Even the conservative NHC is projecting a cat 4, so you know its gonna happen.

There are 2 big questions left to be answered: When and how much is the thing going to turn (ie where is it going), and depending on where it goes, how much of its intensity can it hold as it approaches land.

JV
139. leftyy420
4:59 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
exactly stormtop. it will be bad way befor the eys reaches land
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
138. LSUHurricaneHunter
4:58 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
check out the 12Z gfs loop it has shifted way west, NEW ORLEANS better watch out!


Link
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137. weatherguy03
4:56 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
Just wanted to get an opinion here..Looking at WV loop...Link...See that spoke of energy coming down over N.ALA. and N.Miss...Could that have an influence on Kat. and turn her more NW or N down the road.
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136. leftyy420
4:58 PM GMT on August 26, 2005
all i know is there is alot of disscussing the exact landfall. if u are in the cone right now u need to start preparing and all points west. all models have been shifting west so i expect the cone to start be shifting west as well
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987

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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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