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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881. Orleans77
10:44 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Not DR Masters...FEMA predicts 60K dead for a direct NO hit of CAT 4 or higher
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880. IKE
10:40 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Looks like the storm is now moving OR has shifted northwest. You can look at a visible loop and see where the storm has gone the last 3 to 4 hours. Appears to be moving NW or slightly north of NW. I still think NO will be on the weaker west side of the storm and think points east of NO are in line for a stronger hit.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
879. JaxAdjuster
10:43 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
LOL! Hurrycane, you want a group hug?

{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{HUG}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

OK, I enjoyed that bit of humor.

Now, it's time to check the satelite photo to see if Lefty's eye is showing up yet.
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878. stmarylalady
10:35 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Wow, is this the same place I sat and read nearly every post on last night? The mood has certainly changed.
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877. Orleans77
10:43 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Hurricane your right this is FEMA's nightmare...there was something on CNN that Southeast FEMA HQ has put in an emergency order of 30,000 body bags
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876. wxfan
10:42 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
weatherguy03 -

60k dead is NOTHING. It's very possible if a Cat 4 or 5 hit NOLA just right.

Those of us who live near the Mississippi know its power - and those who live in NOLA or have close family there (as I do) know how dangerous the gulf and the Miss are.

(My cousin is still in NOLA, unable to leave - he is fleeing with a friend to a brick house 15ft above. Hoping that the storm surge doesn't get higher. It will if it hits NOLA directly)
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875. weatherguy03
10:42 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Jeff Masters did not say 60,000 people would die. Read his post again. I hate people that hype up weather situations like that. 60,000 people, cmon lefty. Keep giving people good info, but tone it down a bit.
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874. CosmicEvents
10:34 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Unbelievable....We have an incredibly serious life threatening situation.....lots of scared people coming to this blog looking for help, advice, or just people to talk to.
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.And again......we have to deal with this sad lonely obsessed individual who has created yet another identity. Add MSU to the list. PLEASE.....listen to NHC, your local offiials, Dr. Masters. ........Don't base any decisions on what you here from Stormtop/leftyy/sainthurrifan/MSU....and probably many others.
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Those of you truly in the storm's path. Stay safe. Don't panic. My prayers are with you.
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This is the last straw Lenny.....I'm going to get Dr. Masters involved.....after this Katrina situation is done.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5523
873. HurryCane
5:42 PM CDT on August 27, 2005
Where is the love, guys?
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872. leftyy420
10:42 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
thank you jax. i am just out of my head about this storm right now to even be able to type properly. every minutes she sacres me more and more
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871. Orleans77
10:41 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Hey guys...this is a Hurricane Board...not a forum for you to take people apart...move on and lets get to the business at hand
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870. HurricaneSurvivor
10:41 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
60,000 Dead isn't lefty's prediction.. It's FEMAs... The "Bowl Effect" is the worse disaster that is predicted to strike the US. #2 is a New Madrid Earthquake with 15k estimated dead, and #3 is the "big one" in San Fransisco with a much less 4500
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868. leftyy420
10:41 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
they did a forcast on what a no direct hit would be like. even dr.masters mentioned it. they have been talking about this all day on all the national cable news channels. a direct hit to no could reshape the coast line and thousands will die
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867. JaxAdjuster
10:40 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
You do a great job Lefty. Ignore the others. Keep your compassion going. In such cases I would rather be compassionate and wrong than hard hearted and right.
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865. leftyy420
10:39 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
she will doughnut. and thats the worst thing we could have asked for. she will have a massive 40nm wide eye and it will be visible soon.
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864. AySz88
6:35 PM EDT on August 27, 2005
Okay, MSY is gone, back to Katrina now please.... I didn't come here to look at people arguing about some person.
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863. iyou
10:37 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
very succinct HS. ;-)
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862. weatherguy03
10:38 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
60,000 people dead?? Give me a break..i been silent for a few days but that is ridiculous...get a grip lefty..doom and gloom forecaster you are..
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861. EZMonster
10:36 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
IKE,

I totally agree, I have been watching the water vapor grow and grow and grow all afternoon. The feeder bands just get bigger and stronger (on infrared) and it looks like it's just sucking the whole Gulf up. This has all been happening during the eyewall replacement cycle, and it will be very interesting to see what happens when it finally decides what sort of center it is going to have during the next 1-2 hr.

Who predicts donut, and who predicts the outer wall will finally retract and we'll head for another <10 nm eye?

I'm calling small eye, but it will take 3-6 hr.
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860. leftyy420
10:38 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
and weatherguy i am sorry for your loss
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859. fortlauderdalegirl
10:34 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
I was just listening to CBS news. They were interviewing one of the best meteorologists in the FtL/Miami area, Bryan Norcross. He was helping a lot of people via radio go thru the devastating hours of Andrew. He believes this will be a very strong CAT4/CAT 5 storm. I saw sat. images during the interview -- this thing is VERY scary.
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858. northshoremom
10:35 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
We are going to Hammond to my in-law's house, not because we are worried about much storm damage, but we live in an area where two rivers that flood will cut off our exits. Pray for NO, they are really still pretty clueless.
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857. leftyy420
10:36 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
and thats not my pouint man.my point is i was raised to do all i can and i would not want to not be belived and she might be lying, that is not the point. the point is people will die. we need to act like we did on 9/11 stop fighting and arguing and take a look at our family and realise we are lucky for what we have. i am numbb thinkiong about 60,000+ peoople dead. that is numbing and this will be a sad sad day come monday for our country.
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856. weatherguy03
10:36 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
yeah lefty bringing up 9/11 that pisses me off. I had two family members die there. We dont need those memories. Stick to Katrina.
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854. HurricaneSurvivor
10:27 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
1730 UPDATE FROM THE HURRICANESURVIOR NWS....

THERE HAS BEEN AN USUALLY LARGE STREAM OF UPPER AND LOWER LEVEL BS THAT HAS BEEN DETECTED BY THE EXPERTS AT THE HS NWS>>>>> READINGS OF FULLOFIT AND ROLLUPYOURPANTS THE HIGHEST LEVEL YET TO BE REACHED THIS HURRICANE SEASON BY OUR ADVANCED EARLY WARNING BS DETECTORS HAVE LED TO AN EARLIER ALERT THAN USUAL WE HAVE ALSO FOUND AT TIMES LIKE THESE ITS NOT NECESSARY TO USE LOWERCASE LETTER OR PUNCUATION OF ANY KIND IF THE WORDS ARE SPELLED CORRECTLY THATS ALL THE BETTER A WATCH IS BEING ISSUED ALL ALONG THE GULF COAST FROM SAN PADRE ISLAND, TX TO KEY WEST, FL JUST TO BE SAFE CATEGORY 7 WINDS ARE NOT OUT OF THE QUESTION AND NEITHER ARE CATEGORY 0 WINDS IF YOU EVACUATE BE ADVISED THE BLUE HAIRS IN FLORIDA ARE JUST AS DANGERIOUS AS A CAT 3 HURRICANE AND THE BS NWS CAN PREDICT THEIR MOVEMENT JUST ABOUT AS WELL AS HURRICANE KATRINA<
*************ALSO$$$$$$$$$$$$ NOTE ######## THAT !!!!!! MULTIPLE ^^^^^^^ RANDOM((((((( SYMBOLS)))))))) MAKE %%%%%% A ### FORCAST ####### MORE @###### BELIEVABLE#########
STORMTOP IS A FLOP! :) ALL IN JEST BTW......
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853. HurryCane
5:24 PM CDT on August 27, 2005
A big thanks to Leftyy and Stormtop for their forecasts.

Thanks to the heads-up from Stormtop, I prepared my coastal Mississipi home yesterday, got all my errands run and can now settle in and wait for the inevitable. I appreciate all the differing opinions in Dr. Masters' blog. Even if I don't agree with all of them, they spice things up. Some of you are so very helpful and sympathetic and some of you either are meteorologists or should be!

To any of you from the photography side, I will be making photos as I can. Pass Christian is no stranger to big storms. We hosted Camille, if you recall. I will be praying for all in the forecast area.
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852. fredbeagle
5:34 PM EST on August 27, 2005
so who is moe helpfull-someone who is faking but asking good questions that need answered or someone spending all their time picking others apart?
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850. weatherguy03
10:34 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Well iam glad you forgive me..Amen brother.
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849. whirlwind
10:33 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
LEFTY..very seriously, you are very talented about weather.

If MSY really needed hellp she would have called up local 800 or help line.!!!!! Not go chattting!! common.....dont get caught up
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848. ELLSSUU
10:33 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
northshoremom,

Are you leaving?
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847. weatherguy03
10:33 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Really northshore..wow..what some people do for attention..That is sick.
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846. leftyy420
10:31 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
u know weatherguy. i appreciate u saying i post for attention cause god forbid i try to help info 1 person it will be worth it. u my friend are one of the few who needs to realise i need to attention. i am hear cause ilove these storms and have tried to pass on the most info i can. i to forgive you
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844. weatherguy03
10:31 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
NHC not helpful??? They posted hurricane watches. I think that is there only responsibility to forecast the storm. Correct me if i am wrong.
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842. northshoremom
10:28 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
MSY was a pilot living in the Garden Dist. with two kids and a brother killed by Andrew last night and today a poor student...he is really just someone with too much time on his hands disrupting the important information about the hurricane that some of us in the NO area really want, and need to know.
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841. SouthernLady
10:24 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Local Jacson, Ms. weather on the news just said that as far North as Magee, Raleigh, Quitman,Ms. could recieve up to 9 inches of rain, nothing on the wind yet....

CAT...Go taunt a mouse!!!!
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840. actionmobile
10:23 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
how has the nhc missed this storm so bad....they have not been very helpful and still not very sure where she is going....is it like our school board th e more money u give them the worst they get
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839. weatherguy03
10:28 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
After listening to this for awhile I think most people that post on here do it for the attention...ie..Stormtop, lefty, etc...but some are informative, and as long as you are helping the people there is nothing wrong with that.
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838. leftyy420
10:28 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
catchaser maybe if u were in here earlier u would know she had a flight out but it looks like it will be cancelled now. sho has no car and no way out. she made plans to move to a higher building and was getting off in a minute to buys some food. ur posts regardless if she was lyin gor not make u subhuman. did u laugh durring 9/11, i bet u said man those tsunami victims need to learn how to swim. grow up. i will pray fro your sould and i forgive you cause thats all i can do
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837. IKE
10:27 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Looking at the water vapor...this storm takes up about the entire eastern half of the gulf. A massive storm in size is forming.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
836. weatherguy03
10:27 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
cj, prepare for tropical storm force winds at the most right now. Monitor the situation with the NHC and see if they shift the watches and warnings.
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835. cjnew
5:27 PM CDT on August 27, 2005
ok thanks for all the advice guys...much appreciated :)
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832. GPTGUY
10:15 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
cjnew Panama City looks pretty good right now a little west of New Orleans to Pascagoula looks like the bullseye right now ...also hurricane watches are from Intracoastal City, LA. to The AL/FL border
Member Since: August 26, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 391
831. IKE
10:23 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Panama City shouldn't take a direct hit...just fringe effects...pending the track doesn't change...which doesn't seem likely.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858

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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.