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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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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280. bobbielou
6:23 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
that causeway webcam is great - thanks - just called my nola relatives and told em to go for it now! can't believe it isn't bumper to bumper yet.
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279. Valence
6:30 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Wombats-

NO was out of the Cone of Terror 2 days ago. Even when the models were in consensus.

So Im not discounting LA/TX out of the question yet, but we're not really going to know until she makes her turn. If ever

JV
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278. paulfrmpasschristian
1:20 PM EST on August 27, 2005
NO station using Vyper radar model still says a slight hook to the right bringing Katrina in the Biloxi/Gulfport area, saving NO from the brunt..Vyper did predict Ivans hook into Florabama area with Ivan away from Biloxi..This will be very interesting to see what happens, specially since I'm between those to points.
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277. HillsboroughBay
2:25 PM EDT on August 27, 2005
SemiSubmersible rigs in Gulf near LA

http://rodnreel.com/gps/semisub.asp

Link
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276. Wombats
6:29 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
does anyone think this storm could land all the way over in the la/tx state line?? seems a little far out of the cone.
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275. steelmagnolia44
6:25 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
I know you all get annoyed with STORMTOP, but I will tell you this. His all cap posts are easy to pick out in the entire list when you haven't been reading the replies for a while. I wanted to read his post particularly this morning. At this point , this is not about ego, it's about accurate info! STORMTOP seems to have done his part to contribute. You have to give him that at least.
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274. pseabury
6:27 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Other New Orleans... I-10 ... traffic cams. Westward is already a parking lot, no Contraflow yet.

Traffic Cams.
Member Since: May 28, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3
273. Valence
6:27 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Icebar - he sounded pretty subdued while he was explaining it too. Even he knows this is a bad sign.

JV
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272. boiredfish
6:27 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Even though I believe the lake proper belongs to La.
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271. icebear7
6:25 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
guy is explaining the eyewall cycle doublething on TWC
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270. boiredfish
6:20 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
All the way to Sabine? Guess that isn't much further than Cameron. That's where I was figuring they'd extend it to.

Wish I was over at Sabine (the lake) fishing right now instead of working. Lots of folks talk Port Mansfield and Baffin for big trout in Texas, but Sabine is right up there with them.

Great fishery.
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269. Valence
6:22 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Gracias, Hawkeye!

Only now I feel even worse about this storm...
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268. EZMonster
6:23 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Add about a foot to the usual storm surge for this one. THe low tides will be +0.2-0.3 ft and the highs at 2.0-2.1 ft over the next 72 hr for the gulf coast
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267. icebear7
6:22 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
as annoying as StormTop's ALL CAPS POSTS are, i do hope he's gonna be ok as well as everyone else in the path...

ST, check in so we know you're still ok, right dude?
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266. StormJunkie
6:23 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Did anyone every find a map showing the oil rig locations?
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265. Hawkeyewx
1:19 PM CDT on August 27, 2005
Valence, here is the link to the site where Steve Gregory gets that TCHP information.

Link
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 1924
264. HurricaneParty
1:19 PM CDT on August 27, 2005
Here's a webcam of I-10 in Baton Rouge, expect traffic to increase over the next few hours. Not much extra traffic right now, though.

Baton Rouge Traffic Cam
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263. bigpoppapascagoula
1:19 PM CDT on August 27, 2005
262. steelmagnolia44
6:16 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
STORMTOP was here. His post is probably on Dr. Jeff's other blog. He said he would be back at 5 p.m. He probably has to get ready or leave!!

Thanks to everyone for all the good info. I use these posts to measure what the locals are telling us.
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261. GPTGUY
6:15 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
boiredfish it might be extended westward only to Intracoastal
City, LA maybe the Sabine River (TX/LA) border but its probably gonna be extended eastward to Destin, FL.
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260. Valence
6:17 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Webcasts are nice, but they cost you sleep.

And im not sure anyone is going to have power (or a roof) long enough to give proper coverage of this storm.
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259. bigpoppapascagoula
1:16 PM CDT on August 27, 2005
From wdsu.com:

13 parishes are now under advisories, watches, or severe weather warnings.
Lower Jefferson Parish
Upper Jefferson Parish
Lower Lafourche Parish
Upper Lafourche Parish
Livingston Parish
Orleans Parish
Lower Plaquemines Parish
Upper Plaquemines Parish
Lower St. Bernard Parish
Upper St. Bernard Parish
St. Charles Parish
St. James Parish
St. John The Baptist Parish
St. Tammany Parish
Tangipahoa Parish
Lower Terrebonne Parish
Upper Terrebonne Parish
Washington
258. leftyy420
6:16 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
both esst an west thru the cone of uncertanty. we should see those go up real soon
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
257. paulfrmpasschristian
1:15 PM EST on August 27, 2005
256. leftyy420
6:13 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
yeah i think they will have a live webcast when the hurricane gets real close from what i understand
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
255. boiredfish
6:12 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
So......will the hurricane watch be extended westward @ the 4 pm CDT update?
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254. bornms
6:10 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Guys this storm scares me like none before. I think alot of people are not taking it nearly serious enough. These things even somewhat predictable can really fool you. I am reminded of Elana and how all over the gulf she was. My prayers are with the people in LA. I am in Pascagoula Mississippi and I would rather it come closer this way than drown the city of New Orleans. I am a layman when it comes to weather but I certainly appreciate the lessons I am learning.
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253. Valence
6:12 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Im noticing that STORMTOP hasn't been in here yet today. I wonder if he's stuck in line at Home Depot.

JV
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252. Valence
6:10 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
And if everyone is wonder why I keep referring to the pocket of HOT water south of NO, its from Steve Gregory's blog.

Scroll down to the picture of the Gulf with the pretty colors.

STEVE GREGORY
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251. hookedontropics
6:10 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Contraflow? I watched that press conference. I found it amazing to think anyone would be going to NO at this time, why not do it?
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250. GPTGUY
6:09 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
stormjunkie you could try wdsu.com i think there might be some local webcasting on that site
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249. pseabury
6:09 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
MSCane, yes we've touched on this a few times now. Here's one of the more relevant graphics from the NOLA.com story I pointed to earlier.

NoLa going under graphic.
Member Since: May 28, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3
248. StormJunkie
6:09 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Good for them GPT! The All lanes need to run the same way. Floyd was awful. People sat in traffic up 20 hrs just to travel 100 miles.
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247. weatherboyfsu
5:51 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Early tomorrow morning, katrina will most likely have a perfect circle orientation with a perfect circular eye...(floyd, gilbert, charley, andrew)....im still looking for that turn to the north.... got to go...be back tomorrow to see what has materialized...hope everyone leaves that needs to and study what mistakes were made in south florida from katrinas first landfall....I believe 7 people died....people need to understand that any tree can be a weapon....when the winds get up over 40 mph, you need to be in a very cautious mindset(war-like), watching your back, and take nothing for granted....ive been to many of storms...if i could, i would be heading to the central gulf...but unfortunately i cant go.....keep a look out for downed powerlines and green flashes in the skys.....green flashes(green lightning) occurs when transformers are blowing up......so especially at night, if you see this...be careful....there is some strong winds in that area, if not a tornado......tornados could be a big problem....so watch for those too..,,,,later....
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246. leftyy420
6:08 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
yeah sorry. feel like correcting me when ever you want. i am not the worlds best speller. i also tend to type to fast and that doesn't help and i have a wireless keyboard and sometimes she misses a keystroke
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
245. hookedontropics
6:07 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Worst case scenarie is a se to nw hit, it would give prolonged southerly winds and shove all water south. As crazy as it sounds with this storm, you would want to be on the east side of the storm if you were in NO. Any way you shake it we wish for the best and get the hell out.
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244. StormJunkie
6:05 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Lefty let me know when we start to get some local webcast.

Thanks
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243. Dragoon
6:07 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Just so everyone knows.. it was spelled "Isabel"

I have a pet peeve about spelling.. sorry lol
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242. Unlabled
6:07 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Gov. Blanco is an idiot... she is calling I-10 mess "justl ike rush hour traffic" trying to down-play the evac situation.... 3pm for Contra-flow is too long IMO.
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241. leftyy420
6:05 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
she appers she might just be doing that. we need to watch her very closely over the next 3-6 hours
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
240. GPTGUY
6:05 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Has anyone living in the N.O. area seen the traffic backed up on the roads there not waiting for mandatory evacuations there leaving!!!
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239. MScane
1:03 PM EST on August 27, 2005
hooked on tropics - you are correct. NO will fare much better is we are on the west side. Southerly winds will fill the lake, northerly winds will empty it

Actually nola, this depends on the angle in which the storm approaches--Bastardi explained this not that long ago...
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238. Valence
5:57 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Just so everyone understands the Doughnut:

Typically, hurricanes have a hard time reaching and sustaining a category 5 status. Only about 20 Atlantic storms have ever reached the incredible intensity, and usually they do over the open water of the Atlantic or the Carribean. Only 3 hurricanes (Labor Day, Camille, Andrew) have ever hit US soil while at category 5 status.

It is also very difficult for a hurricane to sustain that intensity. As the hurricane intensifies, the eyewall (core) contracts to adjust to the falling pressure, and the windspeed increases. A typical hurricane can only hold cat 5 status for about 12 hours.

Isabelle (which lefy keep referring to) developed a doughnut eye (30nm or wider) over the open water of the Atlantic, and subsequently had sustained winds of 160mph for 36 hours.

If Katrina takes about 3 hours to fully create her doughnut eye, and then intesifies to a cat 5 status over the waters south of NO, she could potentially hold that intesity (or even strenghten) as she makes landfall.

GET OUT OF THE GULF COAST. NOW!
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237. Unlabled
6:02 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Contra-flow probably starts @ 4 pm I-10 is Almost gridlock right now


According to officials
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236. leftyy420
6:00 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
wow what a good link and th ir loop was impressive and erie in respect to what katrina is doing now.


hwy i live off of exit 133 small world
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
235. caymanray
5:53 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
While the core is still unorganized check out the incredibly deep convection in the ne quad...
Link
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234. MScane
1:00 PM EST on August 27, 2005
Loyola and Tulane both closed classes for Mon and Tues early this am--it was on WWL
Xavier has NOT made a definate closing announcement yet
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233. SAINTHURRIFAN
5:45 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
lefty bastardi said fri morning landfall mouth of ms. river 29.5 89.5 135 knots. he said catastrophe for oil industry plus
if big refinery in pascagoula would be impacted it would be a disaster. hey ms. folks wonder if ngss will wait till storm hits to close shipyard lol. p.s. lefty official from nhc siad on wwl possibly 160mph. plus ifit hits this area 100billion dollar possible pricetag. if that happens maybe they will finally talk about a hurricane that has hit la/ms instead of florida i still cant believe cantore is in biloxi im sure he wanted to be in florida.
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232. wxfan
6:01 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
yeah, it shows it here on wunderground. unfortunately, the gfs hasn't been updated yet. apparently (from another post) is seems that it has shifted as well.
Member Since: August 23, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 18
231. Weatherwatcher007
5:54 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
In this link you can clearly see that the second eyewall is forming and is becoming predominant and a burst of extreme convection is wrapping around it.

Link
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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.