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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181. Dragoon
5:38 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
The new recon report shows that if anything the outer eyewall is becoming LARGER.. and it is slowly beginning to disintegrate and take over the inner eyewall.. with a 40% coverage noted (meaning it no longer even qualifies as the "inner eyewall"
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180. leftyy420
5:37 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
u are in the cone. u will be in a watch inless than 12 hrs. are u ready to evac. please get off the blog and go get prepared to leave omg
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
179. StormJunkie
5:34 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
FSU-As much as I know that cane forcasts can change a lot in a short time, NO is just not worth the chance. Everyone else stay ready, but tell NO it is coming-evacuate, and then if it does not it was only a little time and money compared to the risk of not getting everyone out.
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178. leftyy420
5:35 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
the inner eye has started to collapse. the bigger eye will be a distinct feature in the next 3 or so hours. i wil watch this closely. i hope they second eye will close in some at that point
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
177. pseabury
5:28 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Certainly SohailG. It's an entire series with great data and discussion. The link below goes to the main page. The menu for the different sections is on the right side under "Special Report: Washing Away". Part 1 is a very good place to start. Part 1, section 2 "Going Under" is a very nice graphic description of the elevation (or lack thereof) in relation to a storm.

Main NOLA Washing away page

Also Interesting is the post Ivan aerial survey in relation to the Chandeleur Island Chain. That can be found at USGS here.
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176. mobile0504
5:33 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
You are right about the local government, but the only issue after having supporting information from the NHC. During Dennis all of Mobile was mandatory evvac. I doubt the local or state Government will do that again unless the NHC put us in the watch area. Maybe Katrina will just go all the way west to mexico!!!
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175. Carbo04
5:34 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
'Carbo -

YOURE MISSING THE POINT!

Part of the hurricanes intensification is that it contracts the diameter of the eyewall, allowing for stronger winds at the core. When the winds become too fast for the diamater of the eye (6-8nm), the inner core breaks up and and outer core is formed.

If Katrina forms a new eye with a diamater of 30-35nm, alrady with winds of 110-115mph, and then contracts this eye while moving over the HOT water south of NO, she could reach (OMG...i can't belive im saying this!) Category 6 status!'



Ok, this I can agree with/see happening.
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174. leftyy420
5:33 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
if u live in mobile u need to prepare to leave. be ready to go. u will have serius effect from this storm if she folllows the nhc track. u will be in a watch in 12 hrs or less. please do not sleep on this storm
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
173. caymanray
5:31 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
People get so upset when the evacuate for nothing that both the NHC and NO officals do not want to make a definitive call. I am very suprised that the NHC has not issued a broader watch area - perhaps at the 2:00 EDT advisory
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172. weatherboyfsu
5:32 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
I agree weatherwatcher....to me....there is no clear cut location...the only thing thats about 99% certain is that SOMEONE is going to get this monster....thats all
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171. MScane
12:30 PM EST on August 27, 2005
So according to the NHC the Miss/ALA states on the coast do not have to watch the Hurricane? Since were not under the watch with less than 48 hrs to go, I guess were all clear? If you go out in town around Mobile, you will notice noone really preparing. I hope we dont have to blame the NHC for a disater, because noone was prepared because of them not issuing any watches.

mobile--NO WAY! That just means that geographically that area from Morgan City to the Pearl will feel the effects a little sooner--they will extend this very soon--they have already said that, but unfortunately, a bunch of people are going to think what you just said--they should have just included that area now. Big dummies...
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170. Carbo04
5:31 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
"oh ur wrong. doughnut hurricanes are very strong with winds of atleast 165 mph."

Yea, that was like Isabel. But I don't think with an eye that big it can get much above that. If it has a really small, perfect circle, concentrated eye it's the difference between maybe 150-160 or 180-190.
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169. wxfan
5:32 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/DATA/RT/float-vis-loop.html
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168. bobbielou
5:19 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Selu, thanks for the useful post about evacuating. its pretty damn hard to blieve that NOLA has no emergency plan in place for this scenario??? too many poor people, no cars, no way out, no place to go, and only those old levies between them and the deep blue sea... a horrific thought to contemplate... Please keep posting info, everyone, on how to get out or where to go if you can't. this may be the nightmare that no one likes to contemplate.
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167. leftyy420
5:31 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
a nurricane watch means condition is possible in 36 hrs. i expect mobile to be under a watch in the next 12 hrs, probly at the 5pm advisory and its not the nhc duty to notify the residents. thats the responsibilty of stae and local govt. the nhc forcasts the storms.
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
166. StormJunkie
5:31 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Sorry about last link error.

PLEASE READ IF YOU LIVE IN OR AROUND NEW ORLEANS.

NO WORST CASE SCENARIO

flooding map of NO
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165. weatherguy03
5:30 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
great info hairball, thats what we need here. not talk of body bags.
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164. Valence
5:29 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Carbo -

YOURE MISSING THE POINT!

Part of the hurricanes intensification is that it contracts the diameter of the eyewall, allowing for stronger winds at the core. When the winds become too fast for the diamater of the eye (6-8nm), the inner core breaks up and and outer core is formed.

If Katrina forms a new eye with a diamater of 30-35nm, alrady with winds of 110-115mph, and then contracts this eye while moving over the HOT water south of NO, she could reach (OMG...i can't belive im saying this!) Category 6 status!
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163. paulfrmpasschristian
12:31 PM EST on August 27, 2005
link doesn't work
162. EZMonster
5:27 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Latest naval meteorological update from Norfolk

D. HIGH SEAS WARNING FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO.
MAX SEAS 40 FT AND BUILDING.
SEAS 12 FT OR GREATER BOUNDED BY:
28.0N0 090.0W9, 25.0N7 090.0W9, 23.0N5 085.0W3, 25.0N7 082.0W0,
28.0N0 090.0W9.
5. WAVE HEIGHTS REPRESENT THE AVERAGE HIGHEST ONE-THIRD (1/3)
OF COMBINED SEA AND SWELL. INDIVIDUAL WAVES MAY BE SIGNIFICANTLY
HIGHER.
161. wxfan
5:29 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Link

Everyone take a look at that link - looks like the next forecast point will be missed on the South end if there isn't a bigger N component in the next 2-3 hours. Bad deal for NO, I think.
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160. Weatherwatcher007
5:21 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
I still don't think Florida should breath easy yet. There is still much uncertainty right now and IF Katrina makes her turn to the north any faster or sharper than currently predicted, Florida will be targeted. Not out of the relm of possibility.
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159. leftyy420
5:29 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
oh ur wrong. doughnut hurricanes are very strong with winds of atleast 165 mph. i think camile was intensifyinfg at landfall like andrew was
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
158. captg8r
5:26 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Evacuations planned but not ordered:
Link
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157. MScane
12:26 PM EST on August 27, 2005
No offense nola, but what are people thinking--waiting for "brilliant" city officials to be definitive--As if I need some half-cocked corrupt politician to tell me what to do! Yeah its a pain to evacuate "for no reason" when there is a near miss...but, those people waiting until the last minute really screw it up for others--clogging up the hwys--49 in Hattiesburg is going to be a nightmare now with all the last minute goof balls from NO trying to merge from I 59-great!
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156. weatherboyfsu
5:28 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Katrina is winking at us.....What city are you in VALENCE>>>
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155. nola
11:26 AM CST on August 27, 2005
Knew about the body bags but didn't realize they were in Jefferson Parish. The parish coroner's building is about 1/2 mile from here. Hardly comforting.
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154. StormJunkie
5:28 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
PLEASE READ IF YOU LIVE IN OR AROUND NEW ORLEANS.



flooding map of NO
href="http://www.wunderground.com/blog/StormJunkie/show.html" target="_blank">NO WORST CASE
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153. icebear7
5:28 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
the forecasts are taking into account the temps of the seawaters at LA's coast, right?
Member Since: August 20, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5
152. Hairball
5:27 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
GALVESTON, TEXAS HOTEL ROOMS AVAILABLE (AS OF NOON ON SATURDAY, 8/27)

NOTE: There are many more hotels here than what I've listed. But the following hotels are ones I called in the past 15 minutes to check on availability for tonight and Sunday night. I live here in Galveston, and I haven't listed any hotels that I wouldn't stay at myself. I hope it's okay to list this here; I'm just trying to help. The national reservation numbers will have you on hold forever right now and internet access is probably hit-and-miss right now too. The following phone numbers are all local.

HOLIDAY INN-SUNSPREE 409-762-4141
SATURDAY: Handful of rooms available ($154+)
SUNDAY: Plenty of rooms available ($134+)

HOLIDAY INN ON THE BEACH
**Sold out both nights**

SAN LUIS 409-744-1500
SATURDAY: Plenty ($189+)
SUNDAY: Plenty ($149+)

BEST VALUE INN & SUITES 409-740-9000
SATURDAY: 6 rooms left ($89+)
SUNDAY: Plenty ($49+)

HILTON 744-5000
SATURDAY: Handful left ($179+)
SUNDAY: Handful left ($159+)

THE VICTORIAN 409-740-3555
SATURDAY: **Sold Out**
SUNDAY: Plenty ($89+)

LA QUINTA (1402 SEAWALL) 409-763-1224
SATURDAY: 20 rooms left ($159+)
SUNDAY: Plenty ($89)

LA QUINTA (8710 SEAWALL) 409-740-9100
SATURDAY: Less than 20 ($129+)
SUNDAY: Plenty ($99+)

COMFORT INN 409-741-8888
SATURDAY: 15 rooms left ($129+)
SUNDAY: Plenty ($79+)

BEST WESTERN 409-740-1261
SATURDAY: Plenty ($99.95+)
SUNDAY: Plenty ($59.95+)

If anyone needs any more information, just ask and I'll try to get it for you. ALL of the hotels I called said they their phones had started ringing off the hook in the past hour or so from people fleeing the hurricane, so I don't know how much longer these rooms will be available.
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151. mobile0504
5:26 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
So according to the NHC the Miss/ALA states on the coast do not have to watch the Hurricane? Since were not under the watch with less than 48 hrs to go, I guess were all clear? If you go out in town around Mobile, you will notice noone really preparing. I hope we dont have to blame the NHC for a disater, because noone was prepared because of them not issuing any watches.
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150. bigpoppapascagoula
12:17 PM CDT on August 27, 2005
sorry about the 'break' thing...I couldn't refresh and get new comments for a bit.

pascmississippi, I am about 5 blocks from the beach ... just below Ingalls Ave.
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149. Carbo04
5:24 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Isabel looked nothing like a doughnut storm before that eyewall replacement cycle. It looked like a normal, smaller eyed storm. But I don't think Katrina gets the super big eye, it has too much potential. With high heat content, and 90 degree water this has the chance to be like Camille, or Allen, or Gilbert which all had small, really concentrated eyes. With a bigger eye I don't htikn anything could get quite that strong.
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148. GetReal
5:26 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
This eye could be THE KATRINA SURPRISE!!!
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147. swmpman
5:27 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Lefty When looking at Vis what coords do you see for center?
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146. Valence
5:21 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Dragoon -

The heat content is only slightly above average, and the waters near the coastline are very shallow.

The sea surface temps are good for intestification, but leaving a powerful storm over the water for a long period of time churns up the colder water from below, and it cannon sustain its intensity. Dennis and Ivan were both cat 4s in the gulf, but could they could not hold it.

Not to mention, It looks like Katrina is going to head over the pocket of HOT water just south of NO, which has the highest heat content in the gulf (She was not forecasted to do this). She's gonna be a monster.
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145. sohailg
5:19 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
could someone please link me to 'the perfect storm' article on nola.com? pseabury, i cant find it. thanks.
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144. Unlabled
5:22 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
NO is not under an evacuation order.. if any probably voluntary but I don't even know if that has occured.... To the south of NO they are now under EVAC and will start tying up the roads here in NO in a few hours...

Many will be taking I-10 to go west however Airline Rd. is the smarter route out of here, no one ever takes it.

Found this on the 10k body bags, apparently we were both right, they are not in NO but if Jefferson parish: "Ten thousand body bags have been stockpiled by Jefferson Parish in a New Orleans suburb, just in case."

Link
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143. nola
11:19 AM CST on August 27, 2005
No evac ordered yet for metro area. Some are evacuating now - but not a lot. I think everyone is waiting for city officials to be more definitive and city officials are waiting for the northward turn. It's been 40 years since we sustained a direct hit and we have evac so many times with us missing us. It takes a lot of $ and energy to leave. Then you sit in traffic for hours and hours and hours. Panic has not set in yet but may if the track doesn't change soon.
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142. leftyy420
5:24 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
thast why i am worried she is becomming a doughnut. i have not seen anything like this befor, i had a really busy job when isabelle was a hurricane so i did not have the chance to track her like this storm. put the wife thru college now i stay home wit the kids. i will be watching this very closely
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
141. leftyy420
5:21 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
i couldn't find any ealry pics of issabele to se what her doughnut transformation looked like prior to it and after it. i found good pics of her shortly after she became a doughnut. iwill be watching this really closely and submit and links to any img i see here in the next few hours. this could go down hill quick
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
140. StellarCyclone
5:22 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
For those I know prayers and preparations are the order of the day on the northern gulf coast. Hope everyone gets through this one. Got to go.
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139. weatherboyfsu
5:22 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Where are you VALENCE? Im in orlando
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137. caymanray
5:20 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
I agree the average SST where she is right now is 86-88 plenty warm to support a cat 4 storm
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136. GetReal
5:17 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
THIS IS THE LARGEST STATIUM EFFECT EYEWALL I HAVE EVER OBSERVED!!! CHECK OUT THE LAST VISIBLE PHOTO!!!
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135. Valence
5:19 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
You're better off leaving at 2am - less traffic.

And FYI, down here in FL, we have renamed the forecast track as the Cone Of Terror.

Sound like a theme park ride...
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134. butterflymcb
5:19 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
so...I don't get it? are they not evacuating NO proper? I don't know the parish names down there?
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133. weatherboyfsu
5:18 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
I agree Valence...according to the experts..it takes 12-18 hours for a hurricane to recover from an eyewall replacement....and thats not good the NHC forecast holds up........
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132. Weatherwatcher007
5:12 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
It looks as if Katrina is beginning to form a doughnut eye from your link lefty. Katrina will be a cat 4 by tonight and a cat 5 ten hours before it reaches land wherever that may be.
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131. Dragoon
5:18 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Valence even if she had done that there is plenty of heat content in the gulf now. There wasn't when dennis came on over a month ago.. but the entire central and eastern gulf has plenty of energy available at the moment.
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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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