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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331. Dragoon
7:01 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
150 miles isn't unusual. Perhaps slightly above average.
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330. Seawall
7:00 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
I hope everything turns out OK for you and your family, and your house, wombad. I'm west of you, west of Lake Charles.
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329. 147257
07:00 PM GMT op 27 Augustus, 2005
storm still moving west ... damn 150 miles out of the eye you have TS conditions is that normal or large?
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328. CosmicEvents
6:57 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Wondapomp.......you made a smart move. It's a win-win situation. If the storm goes elsewhere, your home will be fine. If the storm comes to New Orleans, you and your family will be safe. Did you get the idea that many of your neighbors were evacuating when you did. Hopefully lots of people acted before the official word.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5603
327. Joshfsu123
6:57 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
All models, at the 12Z runs, shifted a little west, from the Mississippi/Alabama border to the Eastern Louisiana coast, almost identical to the current NHC forecast path.

Moreover, there is great agreement on the models from now until landfall. Almost every model is on top of each other now.

If you live in New Orleans or 50 miles east or west of there, I would definitely be leaving.
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326. StormJunkie
6:58 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Sorry wombad. My thoughts are with everyone in the area.
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325. Carbo04
6:58 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
"I'm new here. I live in N.O. proper, less than a mile from the levee of Lake Pontchartrain. I took my toddlers and evacuated this morning. I left at 9:30 and arrived in B.R. at 10:30. Traffic was building as I left, but steady at 80 mph. I left my husband at home to finish packing up anything we ever want to see again. He is boarding up the windows, but I have no idea why. I imagine I will never see my house again."


I hope he gets out ok, and that you do see your house in a healthy state again. You're in our prayers.
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324. FLPhil
6:54 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Hi I've been a long time lurker & wanted to join in... When do you guys think we will see a more pronounced northly component in Katrina's path? To me it seems to be wobbling N of due W but this could just be from eyewall replacement cycle (causing it to appear that way).
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323. Wombats
6:57 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
when do you guys think that turn will occur by the 4 or 7 p.m. posting??
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322. IKE
6:54 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
I didn't say it was dying...I said it doesn't look as impressive on IR.

This storm will come no where near Houston. You can see the trough beginning to come off of the SE Texas coast. Texas will be spared. It will be from LA eastward.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
321. StormJunkie
6:57 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
She has been stronger to the south since she left Florida. Has been wrapping more and more convection around to the N and she will continue to do so. She is ready to blow up. Not good.
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320. caymanray
6:55 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
can anyone explain why she is developing so much convection on the SE side she must have doubled in total width today...
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319. HillsboroughBay
2:56 PM EDT on August 27, 2005
Traffic cams for NO

Link
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318. wombadomp
1:53 PM CDT on August 27, 2005
I'm new here. I live in N.O. proper, less than a mile from the levee of Lake Pontchartrain. I took my toddlers and evacuated this morning. I left at 9:30 and arrived in B.R. at 10:30. Traffic was building as I left, but steady at 80 mph. I left my husband at home to finish packing up anything we ever want to see again. He is boarding up the windows, but I have no idea why. I imagine I will never see my house again.
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317. StormJunkie
6:54 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Could that area off of the carolina coast be strong enough to pull her back to the E? Just trying to get her away from NO becuase they have waited too long for mandatory evacs.
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316. boiredfish
6:55 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
BAM medium shifted west....
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315. Dragoon
6:55 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Its an eyewall replacement Ike.

Once she's done with it we'll be dealing with a strengthening storm.
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314. isobar5
6:53 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
It may just be a wobble:) but it looks like a shove north on the sat loop on TWC.
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313. Seawall
6:54 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Will be very curious to see how long it stays west, I'm sitting ten miles north of I-10 at the LA/TEX border.
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312. StormJunkie
6:53 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
What are you talking about IKE? She looks evil for under going an eyewall replacement. Or am I missing something?
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311. tracker19
6:51 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
what is bastardi predicting?
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310. Carbo04
6:53 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Don't be fooled, IKE. It's not dieing by any means.
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309. CosmicEvents
6:48 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
I can't believe that local officials haven't called for mandatory evacuations yet. Hopefully the storm will go some other place. I don't wish a storm like this on any area, but all those people in New Orleans. What irresponsible officials.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5603
308. GPTGUY
6:51 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Did the computer models shift back west? or was that and older model run? If they did they're shift between N.O. and Biloxi like a see-saw
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307. boiredfish
6:46 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
OK......has this storm moved west south of 25 long enough that the forecast path will shift west with the 4 pm CDT update?

If this track does continue another 18-24 hours I bet Houston/Galveston emergency mgmt. will be activated.

What a quagmire it could become if sw and sc La. were advised to evacuate, with IH-10 already jammed up.

I recall an evacuation from La. in the '90s where IH-10 between Beaumont and Houston was at a standstill with La. plates.

This is really disconcerting.....everyone needs to be praying now.
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306. IKE
6:51 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Storm does not look near as impressive on IR satellite. Appears to have weakened some...maybe some good news for all!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
305. HillsboroughBay
2:51 PM EDT on August 27, 2005
Clearwater & St Pete Beach get ready for a strong feeder band.

Now!

Link
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304. caymanray
6:48 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Nothing organized off of the carolinas and dose not appear like anything will- just a large area of thunderstorms...
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303. captg8r
6:49 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
LA Governor issuing warning and evacuations now on tv
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302. icebear7
6:48 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Fox news about evacs
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301. StormJunkie
6:48 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Good looking out Lefty!

Thanks
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300. StormJunkie
6:46 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
She is going to wrap that HUGE mass of convection to her south up and around her to the N and NE and we are not even close to the diernal period. SCARY!
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299. leftyy420
6:44 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
it might be wobbling north we will have to watch,

the area off the coast is probly a blow up of thuderstorms in connection with a weak disturbance. it still must be watched though at this time i do not think anything will develop

i will be getting off for a bit. might take anap. i will be back around the 5pm update or is something changes god bless the gulf coast and please if ur in the cone leave
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
298. USAmet
6:45 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
it did make a little wobble to the north, should be interesting to see if this path picks up
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297. Valence
6:44 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Ok, im really going now.

Now that i feel sick...

JV
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296. StormJunkie
6:34 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Is she making a little N headway? THe W. Atlantic/Carib loop seems to show this.

What is that area of the carolina coast?
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295. captg8r
6:43 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Well, at least one national news network has urged evacuations even if local gov't is still waiting.
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294. HurricaneSurvivor
6:41 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
If you evacuate East on I-10 prepare for UNREAL delays in Pensacola. Crossing the I-10 bridge across Escambia bay is still a nightmare thanks to IVAN and it's one lane Eastbound.

Remember this picture?

[image]

http://graphics.boston.com/bonzai-fba/AP_Photo/2004/12/23/1103835737_8421.jpg

[/image]
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 16
293. Valence
6:40 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
itsacoaster -

I was quoting his first report. In the later updates he's not said that again. That why I was shocked!

And NO...im not a religious man, but I think i'll be praying for you.

I just wonder how many people have no idea that a hurricane is even coming, or how many more dont know what it can do to the city!
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292. captg8r
6:41 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
They just showed a nice graphic of the bowl effect in NO.
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291. captg8r
6:40 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Fox NEws has good story on NO and potential devastation on now. ALso Bastardi was just on.
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290. leftyy420
6:40 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
and man is katrina getting big. i don't know if she is going to doughnut but i do know she will be a large intense hurricane period
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
289. itsacoaster
6:35 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
"Jim Cantonre is doing a live report, advising people of the Voluntary Evacuation for MS. Telling them to go to Baton Rouge! Huh?" - Valence

He then said not to go through New Orleans. Go to Tallahassee or Jacksonville.
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288. leftyy420
6:39 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
omg they need 72 hrs to get just 65-75 percent out
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
287. Carbo04
6:38 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Wow, this thing on CNN is scary. NO would just be nothing if this direct hits.
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286. leftyy420
6:36 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
thanks valence good call on cnn
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
285. Wombats
6:35 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
its funny it looks like its moving wnw but i keep seeing w movement.. I woke up this morning expecting this thing to have started to turn already and it hasn't.. guess that spells trouble for n.o.
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283. Valence
6:34 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Check out CNN for New Orleans "Nightmare Scenario"

JV
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282. Valence
6:33 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Guys, its been interesting, but I need to go to work.

Katrina always seems to do something interesting when im not home, so we'll see.

Adios for now!

JV
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281. StormJunkie
6:32 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Thanks Hills!

Next question.

There is an MRI sat type image that takes 3D images of a storm. I am not sure what they are called but does anyone have a link to this type of image?
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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.