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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581. itsacoaster
8:47 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Take a look at the latest water vapor loop.

Katrina's wind field appears to be continually expanding, and the central core appears as if it's a few hours away from coming out of the concentric eyewall cycle.
580. Sheraqueenofthebeach
8:49 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
L...e-mail. reply.
Member Since: August 2, 2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 3140
579. leftyy420
8:47 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
its betetr than any of your other options right now in my opinion. nut do ur best. try to find soemthing better. i am worred about the winds. i wish i could just pull thru the computer. i am sorry i can only help u so much.
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
578. HillsboroughBay
4:46 PM EDT on August 27, 2005
MSY If you are in the "Bowl". Get OUT. Or get 6 Mos of tanks of air for your SCUBA GEAR.

Hitch a ride anything.


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577. wxgssr
8:42 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Wife and 2 daughters (almost 3, and 3 weeks on Monday) arrived safe and sound in Crestview, FL at wife's Sister. Just about finished boarding up here in Hancock county, MS about 2.5 miles north of hte 10 as the crow flies. I live on jsut about the highest ground in my little area...so flooding will not be a problem... I am concerned about the pine trees in the back yard sanpping and landing on the house, as well as the front porch overhang and carport giving way and peeling back the main house roof with them if they go....especially the front porch overhang.
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576. IKE
8:45 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
From whirlwind..."Katrina will make history....cant wait to see the footage of NO underwater.....".....

WHY would you wish that on them?

And so far Katrina has NEVER made it to cat 5 with 170 mph winds...per stormtop? LMAO.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
575. Ronaydo
8:44 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
FYI, Southwest is still operating, however all flights are full. Standby at the airport only is available.
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574. EZMonster
8:43 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Latest vortex observations:

She's restrenghtening already (down from 949-950 to 945) and the eyewall replacement isn't even complete (outer is still at 50 nautical miles, please close in...)

Minimum pressure: 945mb (27.91in)
Eye Wall Was Characterized As Being: OPEN W
Eye Form Was Characterized As Being Circular (Two Eyewalls) , C08-50
573. adaplant
8:44 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Hello World!

I'm a 10ft elevation in Pass Christian, Ms, 1/2 mile from beach. I don't have a television so I'm looking for live streaming internet video feeds from TV stations doing full-time weather news. If you know of any, please post URL to the feed or to the home page of the TV station web site where the feed may be accessed.

Thanks!

Be safe.

adaplant
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572. iyou
8:46 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
I can't wait to see Katrina vere away from New Orleans...someday I'll visit-always wanted to.
Member Since: July 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5219
571. MSY68
8:46 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
besides i dont have $1200 for a walk up ticket..tomorrows ticket was $600..thats most of what i had...im a poor student here
570. itsacoaster
8:40 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Ronaydo:

Okay. You want to fly your 13 y.o. out of town, while you stay in New Orleans? That is likely a poor decision. On both accounts. I am not going to be surprised if the airport would close down in the next 24-36 hours.

If anything, you first should do what you can to protect your property. Board up windows and etc. I would NOT stay in New Orleans. Talk to the people living around you (before they leave). See where they are going. The Weather Channel suggests going west. That would be the offshore winds, and the least number of tornadoes.

With a storm surge (water rise) of 15-20 feet possible, flooding New Orleans would definitely be a possibility. If you're in New Orleans, don't stay there. Get in a car, or even someone else's car and get out. It may take hours to go 100 miles, but it will definitely make a difference.
569. leftyy420
8:43 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
they are now calling for a 125kt at landfall but that is less than all the models. the gfdl is 131kt, the shipd is 130kts, the fsu is calling for 128kts.

must be noted they said she could reach cat 5 by landfall and there is a 20kt error in the intensity forcast
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
568. MSY68
8:46 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
I called UA..they said that the airport is already jammed...most flight todat way oversold...
567. MSY68
8:44 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
they jus had on the news wire that FEMA is ordering 50,000 body bags...yikes...National Guard being called up in 8 states...and all Millitary Leaves will be cancelled for anyone east of the Mississipi starting at 9am tomorrw
566. FLPhil
8:44 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Anybody take a look at the recent visible loop; Katrina looks really impresive compared to 6 hrs ago.
565. CosmicEvents
8:39 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
MSY....How about heading out to the airport right now....maybe you can manage to get on a flight standby sometime between now and tomorrow morning. Maybe the airlines will even add extra flights tonight. Doesn't sound like you have much other option between now and your hopeful flight tomorrow anyway...unless you can catch a ride in a friend's car.
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564. whirlwind
8:42 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Katrina will make history....cant wait to see the footage of NO underwater..... but you guys dont come to florida, its already crowded as it is here.
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563. SouthernLady
8:40 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Hi! I'm new here. As of 3:15 cst Hyw.49 in Magee, Ms. the traffic was normal, but just got a call and as of 4:00 cst they are going to make all 4 lanes of 49 North bound to Jackson, Ms.
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562. MSY68
8:41 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
im on UA..so far half their flights are cacelled..im sure mine willc cancel..im resigned on having to ride this out...lefty a buddy of mine has a n office on the 5th floor of a 24 story building...hes gonna try and ride it out there...good idea?>?
561. iyou
8:40 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
From that short Nova clip someone posted last night, leaving is best.
Member Since: July 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5219
560. MSY68
8:40 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Did anyone see the Mator of NO..he looks very very pale...liek he knew he would not have a city to govern after this is over
559. leftyy420
8:40 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
yeash i would go to a tall building but do not go to the topp floor. secodn floor should be allright. try a good hotel that might work. rigth now u want to avoid the flooding. the winds are ur least problem right now
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
558. whirlwind
8:39 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
IKE--well he did say Katrina will be a cat 5 with 170mph winds b4 even hitting us in FL. he was right bout that
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557. EZMonster
8:35 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
MSY68, I already posted this but am not sure if you saw it because you thanked lefty for his thought that 5 pm might be cutting it close. If you are Delta, you need to find alternate plans:

Delta has cancelled ALL flights out of New Orleans for Sunday and others may soon follow. If you are planning to fly still, I would call ASAP, because it might not be a viable out route.
556. MSY68
8:39 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
It may be shocking but its the way it is...they built this city and have mantained with the hope theyd never get a direct Cat 3 or higher,....their luck is about to run out...
555. weatherguy03
8:37 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Funny, i told some of my old college friends from the NWS to check old Stormtop out. They thought it was the funniest thing they ever saw..Especially the Stormtop NWS..lol..They thought he was a young kid...sad, sad....
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554. MSY68
8:39 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
There other shelters but they are at sea level or below sea level...what about skyscrapers??
553. Ronaydo
8:37 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Itsacoaster, I live on near S. Claiborne, near Baptist Hospital. The worst flood zone in New Orleans, I believe.
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552. MSY68
8:38 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
there is no way out of town unless i walk...
551. leftyy420
8:37 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
is that going to be the only shelter, find out where there will be other shelters and dtermine which one will be the best but i suugesstt you go to the supperdome well befor they open her
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
550. whirlwind
8:37 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
If anyone wants to know


The superdome can withstand pressure of about 160psf. That equals to about 220-240mph. If higher gusts are present,delamination or other damage to the foam can occur.
So 50000 people may be dead on Monday, especially if tornadoes are spawned.
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549. BigDaddy1978
8:36 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
MSY: Probably not. Most of the rest of the city won't survive. Just head out now if you can. Otherwise, camp out near the Superdome.
Member Since: August 23, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 13
548. iyou
8:34 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
MSY68 - that is shocking!! No help...'there but for the grace of God go I' is brought to mind.
Member Since: July 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5219
547. IKE
8:34 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
whirlwind....HIS hurricane warnings? I don't think so.He's gonna go out and personally experience 180 mph winds...NOT. He said the winds would be at 125 at the 10 am advisory...NOT. He's full of it. I'm LMAO at him.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
546. leftyy420
8:35 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Joanne Anderson
PO Box 998
Pascagoula, MS 39568 Phone: (228) 769-3260
Fax: (228) 769-3475

thast the number for public information in the county ur dad lives in. tell him he is now under a hurricane watch

please do not stop urging hime to leave. raise ur voice and say if u loved me u would leave. that might work
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
545. itsacoaster
8:34 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Ronaydo:

Where do you live?
544. hmfynn
8:35 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
the latest track is in, still says W but I definitely see a north wobble, also, it's down to 6 mph instead of 7. Is this the turn we're hoping for? I'm hoping the speed decrease, not so much the wobble, is the indicator...
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543. MSY68
8:33 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
If I cant get into the Superdome..any other suggestions where in NO I can ride out the storm???
542. Sheraqueenofthebeach
8:31 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Anyone, share with me if you've seen the "viper" model track?
Member Since: August 2, 2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 3140
541. EZMonster
8:23 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
This buoy is 100 nautical miles from the center and it's seeing steady 25 ft seas.....

http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=42003
540. whirlwind
8:32 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
BTW, why not believe StormTop IKE? Hes been right so far even b4 Katrina became a tropical storm...think about that..
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539. Ronaydo
8:31 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
I'm a single mom with a thirteen year old. Thoughts on flying him to Texas and me staying behind?

Uh, and we're not originally from here but from CA. We do earthquakes not hurricanes.
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538. MSY68
8:31 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Thanks Lefty .. I jus checked ..no buses...called local emergency management...they plan to open the superdome...btu can hold no more than 40,000 to 45,000 ..if its full they will NOT let you in and YOU are on YOUR OWN
537. PcolaGal
7:55 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Almost a year ago I found this site and your blogs when I was looking for info about Hurricane Ivan. I'm a Pensacola native, so I have experienced hurricanes since I was a child.

I had never run from a hurricane before, but Ivan was scaring me. Through "listening" to your conversations I was able to hear information that I had never found before on TV or radio. It was the Saturday or Sunday before Ivan hit in the wee hours of Thursday, Sept. 16. I even signed up so that I could ask y'all what you would do if you were in Pcola. Y'all encouraged me and my family and 4 dogs and 3 cats to leave.

So, we ran from Ivan. We're so glad we did! As you know, the devastation was horrible, even for all of us who live inland (the majority of folks here). Our neighborhood experienced serious damage. Out of about the 300 homes in our neighborhood, there were at the most about 10 that did not have to have new roofs. Many homes needed heavy-duty repairs; some, just the number you could count on one hand.

If my home had sufferred the same damage in any previous hurricanes as it did in Ivan, I would be thinking I had a lot of damage. When you spoke with anyone around here afterwards, you didn't ask them IF their home was damaged, but WHAT was the damage! Those of us who consider that we got by easy would say, "Not much! I only had to have a new roof, the garage ceiling replaced, walls painted, and a new fence," or whatever their few damages were!

Those who stayed behind for Ivan have all said, "Never again!" It was a most horrifying experience for them since it hit in the nighttime and they had to listen to that shreiking and howling wind and many things that went BUMP in the night. Trees were snapping and uprooting all around them and many trees came right on in their roofs. I had no idea how much it would cost to deal with these downed trees, many of which were aged Live Oaks, and of course, lots & lots of TALL
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535. fortlauderdalegirl
8:29 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
MIKENLIDIA -- It IS the Villa Maria -- the girlfriend's mom lives there! The bldg. is ancient -- I'm 37 and I remember it when I was little, growing up there! Do you honestly think this bldg. can stand a storm of this magnitude??
534. bobaloo04
8:31 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
hey IKE he is getting his wish..Plus i still dont think he really lives there...lol..
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533. iyou
8:28 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Yes - strange oppressive day here - but...our weather is a moot issue compared to what you have going on. A lot of people here think 'weather' is pretty blue skies, rain and snow.
Member Since: July 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5219
532. SoMissFan
8:31 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Contraflow on I-55 and I-59 begins at 4 PM.
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531. whirlwind
8:26 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
The superdome can withstand pressure of about 160psf. That equals to about 220-240mph. If higher gusts are present,delamination or other damage to the foam can occur.
So 50000 people may be dead on Monday, especially if tornadoes are spawned.
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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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