New Orleans to Pensacola at high risk from Katrina

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:05 PM GMT on August 27, 2005

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The Hurricane Hunters measured a central pressure of 949 mb at 11:14am EDT, up from the cental pressure of 941 mb measured at 7:07am EDT. Concentric eyewalls with diameters of 13 and 40 nm were reported, satellite images show that the eye has filled in with clouds and the cloud top temperatures have warmed. These observations indicate that an eyewall replacement cycle has begun. This was expected, since the 7:07am Hurricane Huneter report indicated that the eye diameter had shrunk to 9 nm, about the smallest diameter one gets before an eyewall replacement cycle begins.

The maximum winds may fall below 115 mph while Katrina undergoes this eyewall replacement cycle, as the inner eyewall collapses and a new outer eyewall forms. This would make Katrina a strong Category 2 storm, and indeed the maximum winds seen so far by the Hurricane Hunters were only 87 knots (100 mph) at 10,000 feet. This is a temporary affliction, since Katrina is in nearly ideal conditions for strengthening, and is expected to reach Category 4 status by Sunday. The convection and outflow are starting to look better on the north side of the hurricane, and Katrina should have a more symmetrical shape typical of Category 4 hurricanes by Sunday. As seen in the cumulative wind image below, Katrina has increased markedly in size the past 12 hours, and will deliver a widespread damaging blow wherever she comes ashore.



The favorable intensification conditions for Katrina are expected to last up until landfall, when some increase in shear may occur. Intensification forecasts are highly unreliable, though, and it would be no surprise if Katrina were a Category 2, 3, or 4 landfall. The track forecast is getting more believable, as Katrina's westerly motion shows that it has begun it recurvature, pretty much where NHC and the models were predicting. A landfall between New Orleans and Pensacola is on track for Monday morning or afternoon. I expect a Category 3 storm at landfall.

I'd hate to be an Emergency Management official in New Orleans right now. Katrina is pretty much following the NHC forecast, and appears likely to pass VERY close to New Orleans. I'm surprised they haven't ordered an evacuation of the city yet. While the odds of a catastrophic hit that would completely flood the city of New Orleans are probably 10%, that is way too high in my opinion to justify leaving the people in the city. If I lived in the city, I would evacuate NOW! There is a very good reason that the Coroner's office in New Orleans keeps 10,000 body bags on hand. The risks are too great from this storm, and a weekend away from the city would be nice anyway, right? GO! New Orleans needs a full 72 hours to evacuate, and landfall is already less than 72 hours away. Get out now and beat the rush. You're not going to have to go to work or school on Monday anyway. If an evacuation is ordered, not everyone who wants to get out may be able to do so--particularly the 60,000 poor people with no cars.

Dr. Jeff Masters

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731. LAtigerchic
9:48 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
thanks lefty
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730. leftyy420
9:48 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
i am sorry i meant al/fl border
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
729. Dragoon
9:45 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Some of us are just concerned about those who are in the way of the storm, not actually in the way ourselves. I'm in Pennsylvania for example, but my passion is tropical meteorology.

This storm has the potential to make Jeanne and Frances look like nothing. It has the potential to cause more damage than each and every storm last year COMBINED. Some of the drama is well deserved.
728. leftyy420
9:47 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
east, the watches extend form the la/txborder all the way to the ms/fl border
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
727. newinfl
9:47 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
u right lefty. u keep tracking.
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725. fortlauderdalegirl
9:42 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
I'm happy to see that in this insensitive world we live in, there are still people who really want to help others. I wouldn't call that "soap opera-ish". I'd call that being human. We'll all here to help and support each other. Some of us have family in the line of this hurricane. We want to help anyone - anyway we can. I hope and pray that there will be people willing to help my family who will be directly affected by this in NO/MS.
724. TampaSteve
5:44 PM EDT on August 27, 2005
My grandmother went through Andrew, my in-laws went through Charley. Anyone who WANTS New Orleans to get hit by Katrina is SICK. There is NOTHING funny about a major hurricane!
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723. leftyy420
9:46 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
ok guys, lets ignore the chikldren in the room. some of us need to foucs on the storm and the situations not dumb kids. if we ignore their comments they will leave
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
722. LAtigerchic
9:45 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
I need a geography check...hurricane watches have been posted from Intercoastal City...is that E or W of Morgan City?
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721. ELLSSUU
9:44 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Perhaps we've already got our things prepared and are waiting for a better traffic opportunity to present itself. I've done this many times and know when the roads will clear.
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720. whirlwind
9:43 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
prayers dont work..if it did then there would be no hurricane in the FIRST place...LMFAO
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718. USAmet
9:40 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
MJH, completely agreed... if u remember the track about 2 days out for Ivan and Dennis was better than the one about 12-24 hours out. I think sometimes the scientist use too much human opinion in these models ending in a result of over estimation in shorter range forecast.

As for StormTop, ya he did good on this one but what about the storm that hit Mexico a month back that he said would hit LA\TX border as a CAT3??? Anyone who knows forecasting knows that its an estimation but to be over 700 miles off is just absurd on any forecast.
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717. MSY68
9:43 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
CAT if ur real and really want a HITin NO..why dont u drive down here and join us...well make room for you
716. newinfl
9:40 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
catchaser - look at this link for the possible damage to New Orleans.Link
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715. MSY68
9:41 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
CAT is not real .. probably some demented kid
714. FLPhil
9:36 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
I found this site during Katrina's 1st landfall. Its pretty cool, live webcam broadcasts during the strom. Link The guys who do it are already on there way to Mississippi.
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713. SouthernLady
9:36 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
CAT...I wish this truly was a soap opera. We could pull a "Dallas" and wake up realizing all the bad stuff of last season was just a bad dream...It isn't though and people's lives are on the line. I've been reading these blogs for a long time, but only joined today because of the situation. Thought I might be of some help even though I don't know anything about forcasting. This isn't just a "let's see what's going on on the coast" site right now. Any info, whether forcasting, first aid, roads conditions, ect...are needed. Sorry for the rant...Just my thoughts...

Prayers for everyone.
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712. iyou
9:39 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Yes CatChaser - wipe that drool off your chin.
Member Since: July 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5219
711. MexicoMark
3:23 PM CST on August 27, 2005
The post about stuff to do at a shelter is VERY important! I am Red Cross volunteer, and although I have yet to do one of these major disasters my training tells me that one of the MOST important things is to keep busy in the shelter. Boredom leads to worry and these BOTH make the stay less plesant than it would be if you were doing something. Speaking of doing something, ask the staff if you can help! Bring a couple of books and share/trade, SEVERAL decks of cards (they wear out!), your meds and written prescriptions, and an addressbook with important information in it like your credit card numbers, insurance policy numbers, phone numbers, and of course your cell phone if you have one. Don't forget to bring a charger for the phone! Rechargable batteries are also a good thing to get. For future reference get one of those shake-up or otherwise hand charged flashlights and/or radios. I have a couple of them and am getting more just for these kinds of emergencies.

I hope all in the path of this storm manage to dodge it somehow, or ride it out. If it helps, know that the Red Cross is preparing to enter the area as soon as it's safe, to help out. I expect to get a notification/mobilization call soon.
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710. IKE
9:39 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
catchaser...you WANT a NO hit! You're pitiful! Seek help immediately...what a joke!
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708. JaxAdjuster
9:37 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
You don't taunt victims Cat. No professional ever would, nor would a decent human being. If you cannot have compassion for people who are suffering or are about to suffer, then it is you who are in the wrong line of business.
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707. leftyy420
9:39 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
what do u guys think, is that the eye or a shadow
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
706. LAtigerchic
9:38 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
dryfly..i agree with you, karma has a way of coming back to us...i only have prayers and good thoughts for the people trying to get out of NO and places south of there..the people of LA are going to need moral support if this thing gets as bad as forcasted...
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705. whirlwind
9:36 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
I dont get it...some of you might die. And yet instead of preparing, you insist on chatting on a blog....reminds me of that idiot who drove his car during the storm and a tree fell on it and killed him...
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704. AySz88
5:36 PM EDT on August 27, 2005
Catchaser, look at this and see if you still want New Orleans to be hit.
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703. ELLSSUU
9:38 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Contra started here, New Orleans region, at 4 pm.
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702. MJH
9:34 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
The westward track was over estimated for Ivan and Dennis. Both had tracks aimed for Mobile and the brunt hit Pensacola eastward. This time the brunt may hit where they projected Ivan and Dennis to hit.
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701. MIAWX
9:37 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
I just have to say "hats off to Stormtop". He so far has forecasted this storm unbelievably! I recall him saying a hit to South FL and a Cat 5 near New Orleans, WOW!
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700. MSY68
9:38 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
they jus said they will be closing the causeway once winds reach 52mph..with the size of this monster..people may not have as much time as they think
699. wxfan
9:36 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
lefty, look at this one - the convection has wrapped around the north side of the storm now.

LOL at the CNN thing - they're creating science as they go along - but making up stories isn't new for those clowns.
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698. Halon056
5:38 PM EDT on August 27, 2005
I mean it looks like a jog to the north.....
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697. leftyy420
9:37 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
its not ur honesty. its ur indeifference tosome one who si struglling to run from a life threatening situation while u sit there knowing u woill be safe
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
696. MSY68
9:38 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Contraflow is in progress...started at 4pm
695. newinfl
9:34 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
catchaser. There are several cat asjusters on this blog and none of us wish for the damages that will be sustained in a storm of this size. The possibility of the damage of this storm to ruin the lives of so many is not what we are about. This storm has the possibility for us not to be able to restore these people to where they were before the storm and that is what we are to be about.
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694. iyou
9:36 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Halon - what do you mean??
Member Since: July 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5219
693. LAtigerchic
9:36 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Does anyone know if contraflow has started yet? I know they were thinking about it.
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692. dryfly
9:35 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
More than Insenitive. Downright RUDE & CRUEL.

What goes around comes around... Karma has a way of catching up with people.
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690. MSY68
9:36 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
oops...CAT5 not 6...sorry typo
689. leftyy420
9:35 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
here is the linkto the close up of the storm with the dimple in the middle

Link
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
688. MSY68
9:35 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
CNN is predicting $3.55 by weeks end if CAT 6 hits NO...
687. LAtigerchic
9:35 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Lili caught some dry air, and a pool of cooler water as she came into Vermillion Bay (she was an October storm). Regardless, she was still a hurricane when she made Alexandria that day.
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686. ELLSSUU
9:29 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Catchaser and a few others,

I find your comments rude and insensitive for those of us that live and work here. This could be devastating on a biblical proportion to our area.

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685. SouthernLady
9:31 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
My Ex-husband just brought my son back from the wedding...They still haven't changed Hyw.49 ALL northbound yet, but the traffic is really starting to pick up he said...
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684. leftyy420
9:33 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
here is another loop that is a little netter but not as close. u can select the soom button. she shows the 2 eye walls we all saw hours agao and the collapse of the inner wall and the process of that wall ttaking over

Link
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
683. JaxAdjuster
9:34 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Left could you provide the link again?

Thanks
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682. whirlwind
9:33 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
you know how priceless footage is when Andrew leveled homestead?? You peeps better need to cash in....
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681. bobbielou
9:19 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
RE gas prices: heard a gas station owner interviewed on the radio thursday morning -- they had ALREADY been told by parent company to order up on those big numeral THREEs for their signs..... before katrina. so if we lose oil rigs/refineries, will probably soar way into the $3+ range.
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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.