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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1031. EZMonster
11:48 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
I hadn't realized this about hurricanes, but it probably won't apply to our friend Katrina since she is Cat 3+

Diurnal Variations in the Landfall Times of Tropical Cyclones over the Eastern United States
Issn: 1520-0493 Journal: Monthly Weather Review Volume: 129 Issue: 10 Pages: 2627-2631
Authors: Konrad, Charles E.
Article ID:10.1175/1520-0493(2001)1292.0.CO;2

ABSTRACT

Best track tropical cyclone data are examined for the period 195096 to estimate the landfall times of all tropical storms and hurricanes over the coastal margins of the eastern United States. The analysis reveals a marked diurnal pattern with tropical cyclones making landfall more frequently during the evening and midmorning hours. Lulls in cyclone landfall are identified during the afternoon and early in the morning. Weak hurricanes display the strongest diurnal cycle of landfall. Category 3 and stronger hurricanes display little diurnal variation in landfall time. An examination of the diurnal pattern of cyclone passages within 300 km of the coast reveals that the pattern is most coherent and displays the greatest statistical significance at the coastline (i.e., points of cyclone landfall).
1030. mobal
11:48 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Gee lefty, I fill beter. East side stinks
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1028. dragonflyvortex
11:41 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
A year ago, there was a "Hurricane Pam" simulation of a Cat 3 hurricane hitting N.O. http://www.fema.gov/news/newsrelease.fema?id=13051
A related article quotes a red cross estimate at 25,000 to 100,000 deaths.
Link
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1027. BigDaddy1978
11:45 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Fortlauderdalegirl: Have they finished cleaning up A1A yet and reopened the beaches?
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1026. leftyy420
11:46 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
this storm is huge. i think it doesn'tmatter where she makes landfall. the whole coast there will be hit hard. now a direct hit to no would finish that city. my thoughts are that she will actually hit just east of the city. mobile will be hit hard as well
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
1025. icebear7
11:46 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Cantori being in Biloxi is not a great sign....
Member Since: August 20, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5
1024. SouthernLady
11:44 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
LEFTY!!! (just to get your att.) If a strong cat.4 or low 5 hits west of me (Magee, Ms) What kind of winds could I expect here??? (I know it is ballpark, but you and stormtop have knocked out homeruns so far)
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1023. mobal
11:44 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Lefty, your thoughts on Mobile?
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1022. icebear7
11:44 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
thanks, still forgetting the vocabulary
Member Since: August 20, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5
1021. leftyy420
11:43 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
diurinal cooling
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
1020. TampaSteve
7:36 PM EDT on August 27, 2005
Wherever Katrina hits, it's gonna suck. Just hope it's not N'awlins...
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1019. BiloxiMike
11:40 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Pretty sure she is starting to take that northward turn. So far I think Biloxi is where this thing is headed. Everything right now points that direction. It is start to turn north and Cantore is here. HA
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1018. icebear7
11:41 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
what was that thing called, when storms get stronger around nightfall?
Member Since: August 20, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5
1017. lowpressure
11:38 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
catchaser- your insite inspires none! your postings are a waste of electrcity! and sence you seem to have all of the awnsers why dont you go run for president and solve globel hunger or better yet go hit your head on a large bolder. if the bolder thing doent suit your fancy than just unplug your pc, we dont give 2 shi#s what you have to say! you should have been a bj
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1016. fortlauderdalegirl
11:38 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Please keep posting the links as you have been. I've been sharing them with my family and advising them accordingly. Living in FtLaud., I can't physically help my family members. I CAN call them and share info. We are all looking for the 8:00p advisory. Thanks for helping, everyone. This is a nightmare for those of us with family members in the path of Katrina.
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1015. Jagger
11:26 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
If you are in New Orleans, it is time to get out.

Here is a link to a report of what would happen to New Orleans if Katrina follows the perfect storm track:

http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/wetlands/hurricane1.html

Also warnings out today from here:

http://www.nola.com/newslogs/breakingtp/index.ssf?/mtlogs/nola_Times-Picayune/archives/2005_08.html#074533

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Hurricane Center Director Warns New Orleanians

National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield said Saturday afternoon that Hurricane Katrina will be at least a Category 4, with winds of 145 mph when it approaches the New Orleans area, and that it could be a Category 5, with winds of 155 mph or higher.
Meanwhile, computer model runs conducted by a team of Louisiana State University scientists indicate that even if Katrina had winds of only 115 mph, levees protecting Kenner, Metairie and New Orleans on the east bank will be overtopped by a 10- to 12-foot storm surge, topped by waves at least half that high, in some locations along Lake Pontchartrain.
"The guidance we get and common sense and experience suggests this storm is not done strengthening," Mayfield said in a telephone call from Miami-Dade County, which was hit by a Category 1 Katrina earlier in the week.
"This is really scary," he said. "This is not a test, as your governor said earlier today. This is the real thing."
Mayfield warned residents intent on not leaving in advance of Katrina to learn from the storm's effects in south Florida.
"We think this was a solid Category 1 when it made landfall here," he said. "But we had windows in new homes that blew in when they were designed for 145 mph winds."
Mayfield also warned people not to focus on the eye of the storm, as atmospheric conditions are perfect for Katrina's intensity to stretch far to the east and west of its eye.
"This thing is like Hurricane Opal," he said, referring to a huge 1995 hurricane that hit the Florida panhandle as a Category 3 storm. "We're seeing 12-foot seas along the Louisiana coast already."
Ivor van Heerden, a scientist at the LSU Hurricane Center, said he's also concerned that the waves atop the surge in Lake Pontchartrain could weaken levees and cause additional overtopping.
"The bottom line is this is a worst-case scenario and everybody needs to recognize it," he said. "You can always rebuild your house, but you can never regain a life. And there's no point risking your life and the lives of your children."

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1014. leftyy420
11:39 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
also the ukmet is the one model that has not been run again yet so it will most likely shift back west
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
1013. EZMonster
11:37 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
flphil, but the ukmet actually adjusted way back too the east (while the other ones stayed on nola) and the ukmet has slowly been converging back WESTWARD now towards nola. It has gotten closer and closer (further and further west) all afternoon. I think it'll be a little east of New Orleans though based on the very recent northward jag. (it's right of all the NOLA models)
1012. leftyy420
11:36 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
well the issue now is how string will she be. all major intensity models forcast 130kts or higher. yeaterday only one did that was the gfdl, so when u figure 20 kt error you could see a storm of 130-150kts though its unlikley u would see a storm much stronger than 140kts. so best intesity range would be 140-160 and that is a strong cat4-minimal cat 5 and falls inline with what the nhc is thinking and forcasting, also remebr the thing that will determine if she is a cat4 or 5 will be her next eye wall cycle
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
1011. icebear7
11:36 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
so, in summary of the 3 hours i have been gone, it isn't looking any better and is still headed in the worst possible place for LA....
Member Since: August 20, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5
1009. Orleans77
11:36 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Cat when will you ever shut up...Girl is right no more feeding the monster
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1008. FLPhil
11:34 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
If I remeber correctly the UKMET lead the charge to the west a couple of days ago. Who know's maybe it will lead the others back.
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1007. paulfrmpasschristian
6:35 PM EST on August 27, 2005

anyone that is worried about the welfare of their family and relies on a message board for guidance... is an idiot..


omg
1006. disasterdude
11:22 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Lefty, I think you know that 99.9% of those who are lurking or participating in this blog appreciate your insight & comments. Too bad we can't seem to ignore idiots who have nothing else better to do than be an irritant.
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1004. SouthernLady
11:32 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
I don't think Cantore would be stupid enough to try NOLA in a cat 4 or 5.....Maybe Catchaser would??? Here kitty kitty...
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1002. leftyy420
11:32 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
right now allmajor models exceptone the ukmet takes her rigth over neworleasn. the ukmet has going a little east of new orleans making landfll near the ms/al border
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
1000. Hawkeyewx
6:28 PM CDT on August 27, 2005
I don't quite see the rapid intensification Steve does. It looks like it wants to do that, but is still struggling a bit to get that core reorganized into one strong, distinct eyewall of moderate diameter. One thing I immediately notice from Steve's quick blurb is his idea that Katrina could hit as a cat 4 or 5. His earlier thinking was that Katrina would encounter some shear as it approached the coast on Monday that could weaken it some.
Member Since: July 5, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 1924
999. fortlauderdalegirl
11:31 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Again, let's all try very hard to not feed the problem bloggers.

Some of you have a good grasp on the sat. images, NHC updates, and access to some really neat sites. Please keep sharing your insight. We appreciate your time.

REMEMBER -- DO NOT FEED THE PROBLEM BLOGGERS.

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998. Raysfan70
11:29 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
People if you have any doubts about leaving and you are in that yellow cone PLEASE leave. I was Lucky with Charlie last year in Tampa. Got prepared and left but the people in Port Charlotte where not prepared and did not leave. PLEASE LEAVE.
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997. icebear7
11:29 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
yeah Lefty, stick around :)
Member Since: August 20, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5
996. LAtigerchic
11:29 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Lefty,
Did the models shift back to the W on the last run, or are they all just beginning to agree on landfall?
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995. Orleans77
11:30 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
darn,,it didnt work...hes still here
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994. boiredfish
11:21 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
LSwho backed out of their home/home series with A&M 'cause they got tired of getting beat.

Seriously, y'all take care over there, and get out of the way while you can.
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993. Orleans77
11:29 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
girl i closed my eyes..and i wished and wished..is he gone?
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991. whirlwind
11:26 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
YEP..StormTop was right all along...a bunch of you people...you know who you are..owe him a big "im stupid and sorry" statement.

About that size thing...theres a graphic around here where it shows a typhoon can get as big as HALF the country. Now that is another once in a lifetime event....

"go Katrina is your birthday..go trina go trina..."
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990. Orleans77
11:28 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
thank you fort lauderdale girl...ice..dont get him started again
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989. leftyy420
11:28 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
i.m not going anywhere i said i will be here every hour i can till she is over and i will stick to my promise
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
988. lowpressure
11:20 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
lefty dont worrie about all the critism from the few, most of us enjoy your links and insite, and even if a little off on something sometime its easy for others to critise IN HINSIGHT but most are not be able to offer real time usful information like yourself, keep posten
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987. towlady
11:02 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Cantore was in Biloxi all day.
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986. fortlauderdalegirl
11:22 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Let's all close our eyes real tight, wish real hard and maybe CatChaser will go away. Lefty -- forget him. We need real discussion and info.

SERIOUSLY -- PLEASE - don't feed the problem bloggers with more attention. The newest advisory will be out soon.

I'm looking for real info. to help my family.

Again, thanks to all of you.

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984. icebear7
11:09 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Quote: CosmicEvents
Lenny is the real name of STORMTOP/leftyy/sainthurrifan/MSY....and others.


What in heck are you yipping about?
Member Since: August 20, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5
983. Randyman
11:23 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Steve's update as of 6:10P.m.:


AUG 27 - 6:10PM UPDATE

Latest satellite and RECON data suggests Katrina may have begun to intensify rapidly.

The forecast track continues to show the New Orleans to Mobile area is at greatest risk, and there is significant chance of landfall as a CAT 4 or CAT 5 hurricane.

A complete update will be issued at 7:45PM CDT

Steve
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982. leftyy420
11:24 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
there was a storm in the west pacific a few years ago that would have covered half of the us. so she can get bigger if she wants
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
981. USAmet
11:22 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
saymobeel, i would think they would close here... i know south is supposed to announce closing tomorrow at noon sometime so that usually means the pub schools will be too... and with mobile still being in the cone and on the east side we are definitely in the heat of this. Also this northern swing as of late should keep it on a path to NO or east of it.
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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.