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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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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680. Halon056
5:33 PM EDT on August 27, 2005
I still say this thing is changing its movement I maybe off my rocker, but something besides eyewall replacement is happening...
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679. USAmet
9:33 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
MJH, still saying the same thing I think MS will get the brunt of this and as usual the models will overestimate the westward shift
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678. HillsboroughBay
5:32 PM EDT on August 27, 2005
More than Insenitive. Downright RUDE & CRUEL.

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677. MSY68
9:31 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
They just had on an offical from Jefferson Parish who said you should have had a plan by now..and its is not up to govt officials to evacuate everybody...he also said that they are not going to do a mandatory evacuation as they dont have the shelters to do it....can u believe that??
675. whirlwind
9:31 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
well..this IS A ONCE IN A LIFETIME opportunity to see damage like this. Man, I wouldnt give it up for the world....Im gonna record landfall with my camcorder pointed at the TV 24/7....
674. leftyy420
9:31 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
click the link, go to the top of the page. click animate selcet 100 percent and watch the loop. i swer to you that is her 40nm wide eye
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
673. MJH
9:29 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
I don't see how this hurricane will make it to MSY. That ridge to the west does not seem like it will let it. I think MSY will be spared from the brunt of it and Mississippi and Alabama will take most of the impact.
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672. JaxAdjuster
9:30 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
I make my living with Cat's too catchaser. But I find your post insensative as well.
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671. GPTGUY
9:28 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Catchaser thats not a real nice thing to hope for a landfall in New Orleans
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670. wxfan
9:28 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
hey lefty that image you showed is being read wrong. It got me at first too. That isn't the eye - it is convection. It looks like an eye forming because if you look to the east of it you see the shadow, which looks like an eyewall. That is indeed the shadow being cast by the high cloudtops on the new convection. I work in construction and constantly see images that give that allusion when there is a high wall in a mine.
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668. Dragoon
9:25 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
CatChaser to hope for a landfall in New Orleans is insensitive. Obviously you haven't been enlightened as to what a category 4/5 hurricane would do to the area if it struck directly.
667. MSY68
9:25 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
CatChaser...im glad you are taking joy / amusement in my situation...
666. leftyy420
9:25 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
cat chaser i hope u never have to look death in the face anytime soon.


yeah she only has one eye now. that means the cycle is over. she will now continue to blow up
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
665. MSY68
9:22 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Thank you ..i am...he leases the office..and is getting blueprints so we will know whioch office is best..we are bringing some supplies over tonight,,and yes hopefully we can laugh about it later...ive been intouch with firends in Jackson...one is a helicopter pilot...assuming we make it through he can get us out after..there is a helipad nearby
664. HurricaneGuru
9:22 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Why don't we all agree that no one really knows at this point where this Shitzu is going to hit. I have been hearing for over 24 hours now that it is expected to head north. Has not happened yet. At what point do we move the path further west of NO? How many hours of westerly movement will it take to start changing the prediction of landfall?
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663. LALady
9:23 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
SELU in Hammond, LA has cancelled classes on Monday...
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662. Hawkeyewx
4:23 PM CDT on August 27, 2005
I believe Lili weakened so much largely because of dry air being pumped into the storm from a big, dry upper low closing in on the storm from the west.
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660. Hawkeyewx
4:21 PM CDT on August 27, 2005
The max flight level wind is up to 119 kts, but the pressure is also up to 949 mb and the eyewall temp differential is down to 3C and the recon says the eye is ragged. The pressure will likely fluctuate some more while Katrina tries to figure out what kind of core structure it wants.
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659. FLPhil
9:19 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Don't know if this has been posted yet but in regards to oil it seems like $3.00 a gallon for gas might be low!

Check out this link (all but one facility not affected by hurricane force winds with the current track) Link
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658. MSY68
9:21 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Thks SouthernLady but im gonna hang with my friend at his office bldg..thk you so much for your generous offer but i have no way to get to you
657. dryfly
9:10 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
MSY - about the 'internal office'... a lot of these 'offices' are little more that lightweight steel 2x4s holding up sheetrock... you could knock them down with a hammer... I've seen it done on office renovations. So know where the REAL structures are... elevators, major load bearing walls and even interior bathrooms (all those pipes)... You want to know where all those places are BEFORE the storm hits so you can 'fall back' if you have to.

I would ask your friend to go over there early tomorrow to go over it all. Start bringing water & food in there, blankets & pillows (more than just comfort - protection against flying glass & small debris) so you don't have to do it all as the storm bears down.

Lastly stay near this person tomorrow & Monday... if it gets bad there could be chaos... phones may go dead well before the worst of the storm... emergency officials might not even let you out on the street and unable to get where you need to go... lastly the doors maybe locked and unable to get in.

In short - stick by this person & bagder him/her to bunker down well before landfall. If it misses NO - you can both laugh about how silly you were to be so paranoid... If it hits, you won't be sorry.

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656. leftyy420
9:22 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
URNT12 KNHC 272105
VORTEX DATA MESSAGE
A. 27/20:54:10Z
B. 24 deg 38 min N
085 deg 28 min W
C. 700 mb 2646 m
D. NA kt
E. NA deg nm
F. 171 deg 119 kt
G. 103 deg 030 nm
H. EXTRAP 949 mb
I. 12 C/ 2416 m
J. 15 C/ 3052 m
K. 15 C/ NA
L. RAGGED
M. C40
N. 12345/ 7
O. 0.02 / 2 nm
P. AF306 WX12A KATRINA01 OB 10
MAX FL WIND 119 KT E QUAD 19:13:10 Z
SLP EXTRAP FROM 700 MB


Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
655. lsugirl
9:18 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
I'm sorry if this has already been discussed, but I've always wondered, what exactly caused Lili to weaken a few years back?
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654. leftyy420
9:19 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
she only has one eye now. 40nm wile
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
653. SouthernLady
9:16 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
MSY...If there is ANY way for you to get a ride out you can stay at my house in Magee, Ms...Let me know..I'm single with an handicapped son, but have an extra bedroom...Let me know.
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652. adaplant
9:16 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Thanks, mobilegirl!

Much appreciated.

Thanks also to puntagordaguy.

adaplant
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651. leftyy420
9:18 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
they just recorded amax flight level wind of 119kts
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
650. lsugirl
9:15 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Cane:

I'm a recent grad, but I work for LSU now! I agree, I think that the campus will be closed on Mon (maybe Tues, too). I've noticed that Southern University usually announces closure before LSU, so keep looking at the news for updates!
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649. MSY68
9:16 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
WOW...looks liek well paying well over $ 3.00 per gallon of gas
648. leftyy420
9:16 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
i hope he gets on and explains the doughnut effect. she will def be a doughnut. i have neevr seen a concentric eye wall cycle like this
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
647. ELLSSUU
9:15 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
MSY,

Redcross may very well shut down all shelters south of I12. If I were you I'd get their website up and find a shelter north of Covington and head that way as soon as it's open. Bring some sandwichs, pillows, change of clothes and a deck of cards.

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646. MSY68
9:15 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
thks punta
645. BigDaddy1978
9:14 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
MSY: Bastardi said basically get out now if you can. He then explained why Katrina will strengthen while Lili weakened. He was very plain in his language. He said the oil rigs and refinaries near Pascagoula will be heavily damaged and that all the stars are right for this to be a nightmare scenario.
Member Since: August 23, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 13
644. MSY68
9:14 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
thanks sooo much...btw...u can say what you want about ST and past predictions...but he called this before if even hit FL when it was still a measely TD...so he deserves some credit here
643. CaneJunkie
9:13 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
LSUGIRL: I'm thinkin' our classes will be cancelled on Mon.
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642. puntagordaguy
9:14 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
WWL TV is now live streaming their hurricane coverage online. www.wwltv.com
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641. ELLSSUU
9:12 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Puntagorda,

Try here. You'll have to hunt around but WDSU has a live site somewhere on their main page.

http://www.wdsu.com/index.html
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640. leftyy420
9:12 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
ur welcome msy. i know from all the stories i heard from people about andrew a calm voice will keep ur mind off the things going on outside. this is the most i can do
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
639. Sheraqueenofthebeach
9:11 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Muffinanne...
no ones giving ST a hard time.
Chill.
Member Since: August 2, 2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 3140
638. Weatherwatcher007
9:08 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
NHC. . .

KATRINA SHOULD STRENGTHEN AS IT COMES OUT OF THE CONCENTRIC EYEWALL
CYCLE. THE GFDL IS NOW CALLING FOR A PEAK INTENSITY OF 131 KT...
WHILE THE SHIPS MODEL IS CALLING FOR 130 KT AND THE FSU
SUPERENSEMBLE 128 KT. THE INTENSITY FORECAST WILL CALL FOR
STRENGTHENING TO 125 KT AT LANDFALL...AND THERE REMAINS A CHANCE
THAT KATRINA COULD BECOME A CATEGORY FIVE HURRICANE BEFORE
LANDFALL. THERE REMAINS THE POSSIBILITY OF ANOTHER CONCENTRIC
EYEWALL CYCLE BEFORE LANDFALL...WHICH COULD THROW OFF THE INTENSITY
FORECAST A BIT.

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637. MSY68
9:12 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Thank You Girl!
636. lsugirl
9:10 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Canejunkie,

It's funny that you mention that. I've spoken with a few people this morning who were totally clueless about Katrina. It's sad that some are so uninformed.
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635. leftyy420
9:11 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
here is a great upclose visual sat img of the storm. you can see the dimple that will soon be the 45-50nm eye. i am sure now she will likley doughnut


Link
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
634. iyou
9:11 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
puntagordaguy - www.wdsu.com
Member Since: July 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5219
633. MSY68
9:11 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Thank you so much lefty .. u are a true gentleman...
632. fortlauderdalegirl
9:08 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
MSY68 -- We'll all be following this with you. I have a Great Aunt in Metairie and an adult cousin. They are going to my cousin's home which has 3 floors. Good thing because they'll probably end up on the 3rd floor pretty quickly. They have 4 pets between them and don't want to leave the pets. (Yes, I know -- but they love their pets.) My great-aunt is not leaving NO and my grandfather lives in Ocean Springs, MS. My other grandparents live in North Biloxi. You will have a lot of thoughts coming your way, believe me. Just get to the highest ground you can --
631. muffinanne
8:35 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Give stormtop a break. So what if he is arrogant. You'de be laughing his you know what off if his prediction didn't come to pass, and so far it looks like it may. Even if it doesn't do exactly as he says, he's come pretty darn close when all the early models had it going to central FL and back in the Atlantic or Apalachicola or any place other than where it looks like it's going today. I just feel for the poor people that don't have a car, elderly, pets that can't be taken....the list goes on. And for someone that has evacuated twice in the last 11 months, if you're healthy, have a car and the means to afford a hotel/motel room OR have to stay in a car in a Wal Mart parking lot where you're safe, then you are fortunate indeed. Just read Issac's Storm about the turn of the century storm in Galveston and get the feel of what it would be like with the water rising and blowing your house apart, clinging to on a board with your child while all other forms of life (snakes, etc) are trying to inhabit the same life clinging board as you. Just get out MSY, God Bless you and everyone else, thank your lucking stars if you're fortunate to not have this monster on you. (Still hoping it doesn't come to Destin.)!
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.