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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781. bobaloo04
10:08 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Yeah Cat alot of computer amateurs on here. They believe everything they read..oh well...
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780. Joshfsu123
10:05 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Link


The Link for the NAM model is above. The GFS shifted slightly eastward, from being west of New Orleans to just east of New Orleans.
Member Since: July 6, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 579
779. MSY68
10:07 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
there are im usre many very helpful people on this site that have helped me put a decent plan together...tis too bad that a few "jerks" have to be the way they are
777. KShurricane
10:04 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
If its going to hit New Orleans, how would the angle affect the amount of damage? Would it be better to hit head on, to the east or to the west? The models seem to be taking her in slightly to the west.

Link
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776. bobaloo04
10:08 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Yeah he might be with Stormtop in Maine somewhere..lol...
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775. SouthernLady
10:02 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Yes Lefty, thanks...I am always prepared with extra water , bateries, food, ect.. I belive in always be prepared for the unexpected...Too hot to bation down the outside today, but I will tommorrow morning when it starts cooling off. I am far enough north for that.
I also used to have an insurence agency in the same building as the Ms.Allstate Claims Dept. They make 'big' bucks when they are called into the field...That's why CAT's drooling...
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773. MSY68
10:06 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
I will..thanks Lefty...i wish i was far away eating a Big Mac...im getting more scared by the minute wathcing this monster grow
772. EZMonster
10:06 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Filet o Fish
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771. bobaloo04
10:05 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
i have to agree with cosmic, If a CAT5 storm was headed my way i wouldnt be wasting my time on a weather blog talking to you guys..no offense..lol..
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770. leftyy420
10:05 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
just ignore them msy. they enjoy it. it took me a couple of days to learn to ignore the idiots
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
769. pcolajen
10:04 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
I am enjoying reading your comments. And find this weather interesting and scary. Do you all think Pensacola is out of the woods since the tracks are moving it to New Orleans?
Thanks
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768. AySz88
6:02 PM EDT on August 27, 2005
Catchaser: Getting advice from hurricane enthusiasts and other people in the same situation online is a completely valid way to help prepare for the hurricane, especially if she has very few options, as she seems to have.
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766. MSY68
10:03 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
OK..Cosmic,,,would u pay 25K to get me out...because i dont know anybody that would nor do i think its realistic to think so...so again are u willing to pay 25K to get me out? Id be happy to go if you would
765. IKE
10:01 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
The 18Z gfs has the storm just off of the east coast of Florida after 6 hours. Then has it going to SE LA. Clearly some error involved.

I'm more inclined to believe the 18Z NAM which has NO spared with the storm turning northeast before striking LA.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
764. CosmicEvents
9:59 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
MSY: I would think that if you went to the local message boards on the local newspaper or TV sites you would have no problem finding someone to write a 25k check to get out of town quickly, easily, and now. Something is not adding up here. My Columbo nose is twitching.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5516
763. leftyy420
10:00 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
wow she has gotten so big in 24 hrs. itried to tell that guy last nigth she will be a huge storm
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
762. MSY68
10:00 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
LEFTY...is Cosmic and CatChaser for real???
761. weatherguy03
9:59 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
new 18Z gfs...Link..Same ole path, nothing has changed...
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760. MSY68
10:00 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
I cant believe i need to talk to people like you when i am trying to figure out how im going to survive...`
758. MSY68
9:59 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Cosmic ..did u read my post???

Posted By: MSY68 at 9:57 PM GMT on August 27, 2005.
helicopters are not available right now..there are alot of rigs being evcuated..and yes if i had 25K i could get one now..
757. leftyy420
9:58 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
southern lady have u taken any precasutions aginst this storm. while u may not see the worse u need to be prepared for no pwer for maybe a week. u need to get gas for your car. u need to get some cash to keep incase u can't use ur atm card. and secure ur property
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
756. CosmicEvents
9:57 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
MSY.......why not get the helicopter in now, tonight, or tomorrow.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5516
755. stormdude
9:53 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Hello everyone new to this blog. Love all the hurricane talk and info. I have been watching these storms for all my life as I have lived in florida all my life. I am a surfer and offshore fisherman so this has been important in my life. My thoughts on Katrina are it will move nw and n before no. Even though the computer models all agree they have been known to be wrong like 2 days ago. Also this trough coming down though its weak this time of year might have some influence since Katrina has bee moving so slow. I dont think anyone in the gulf coast is out of the woods yet with a storm so powerful and that has a mind of her own.
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754. SouthernLady
9:52 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Sorry to all the meteorology 'experts' and 'amatures'...Please keep us updated...I'm only about 100 miles north of Gulfport, Ms. so I know this could very well affect me. (I remember Camille in Jackson) You need to get the info out to the people because the networks aren't doing a very good job. The rest of us can fill in with road conditions, motels, and first aid,(I'm retired medical field). Just ignore the 'adjusters' maybe they will go away...
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753. pcolaFL
4:55 PM CDT on August 27, 2005
JoshFSU,

Do you have a link for that model that shows an approach toward FLA? I can tell you, folks in pensacola don't really believe it's going to affect us much now that all the reports have said NOLA all day... The attitude in town today is radically different from yesterday. It's like you could almost hear a collective sigh of relief. I, on the other hand, am still watching the reports very closely and have made my preps...
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752. MSY68
9:56 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
helicopters are not available right now..there are alot of rigs being evcuated..and yes if i had 25K i could get one now..
751. Halon056
5:55 PM EDT on August 27, 2005
UM HELLO!!!! did I NOT say this half an hour ago????
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750. Katrina3
9:52 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Hey this is Kat again.
Like I said before I don't know near as much about waether as most of you, but my gut feeling still stands. I think sometime this evening it is going to just start coming north.
I'm in Panama City, and as much as I don't want it to hit near here I think it will.
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749. leftyy420
9:54 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
yeah the percentages is 45 percent for a storm with winds greater than 131mph, 30 percent for winds greater than 111-131 25 percent for winds 96-110 and les than 1 percent for winds 75-95 at landfall
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
748. MSY68
9:53 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
ELLSSUU in the Dominion Tower...in the French Quarter
747. IKE
9:51 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Thanks for the WWL tv link, but their weatherman saying that tracks out to 72 hours are ONLY 50-75 miles off what they actually are. The storm might come in at Mobile for all we know. Also...the anchorman stated that Biloxi would be spared a direct hit? What in the hell is he saying that for. I thought they had more professionals working at WWL tv?
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
746. USAmet
9:53 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
joshfsu, been telling my friends around Mobile not to look past that today... hearing from a friend of mine that the model run by the professors at South Alabama has it making the NE turn towards BLX after a brief landfall in extreme SE edge of LA... btw most people in Mobile dont seem to care either, no lines at the pump and very few people at the grocery store, no windows boarded up
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745. AySz88
5:53 PM EDT on August 27, 2005
They why the hell do you want this monster to hit a population center? Don't you have a job driving out to flooding zones or the Category 1 landfall in Florida or fires in the NW or something?
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744. hurricane79
9:53 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
she is gaining latitude now, looking at the visible/nhc position overlay, Katrina is a bit North of that point
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743. salter
5:42 PM EDT on August 27, 2005
leftyy420
you are right twc just gave the eye at 40nm
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742. CosmicEvents
9:48 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Ummmm MSY.....if you have a friend with a helicopter, what are you waiting for. Why wait for the helicopter to take you out only IF you make it through the storm alive? Why not go out now. Doesn't seem like money would be an issue. I imagine that you could find quite a few people who would be willing to pay the full cost for an easy way out.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5516
741. hurricane79
9:52 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
I am holding true to my forecast for now Link but may have to shift it right if Katrina turns North more abruptly, also with the possibility of NE movement before landfall
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740. MSY68
9:52 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
thks lefty....btw..local ch 4 meteorologist is saying 40% chance of a CAT 5
739. isobar5
9:50 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
5:00 pm EDT
Pressure: 945 mb 27.91 in
Flight level: 9000 FT
Eye Info: Eye diameter 40 miles
Remarks: Max flight wind 137 mph

Just shown on TWC from Hurricane Hunter flight investigating Katrina. Sounds like she is getting together and looks like she is gaining latitude on the Sat obs.
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737. Joshfsu123
9:48 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
BTW, just a heads up: I would watch out for a NE turn before landfall. The NAM model, part of the GFS I guess since they are on the same page, now has Katrina approaching Louisiana and then turning right and making landfall around Pensacola/Mobile area.

Looking at the Water Vapor, this is not an impossible solution to this system.

The 18Z GFS is currently in the process of being made according to the site but it was taking a similar path as the NAM to Louisiana but I wonder if it will swing east as well.

Either way, as leftyy and others have been stating all day, Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle should be ready. The NHC didn't point out in the Discussion at 5pm that not every model agrees just for their health. The exact landfall point is still undetermined and any change can put you on the right front corner of the storm quite easily.
Member Since: July 6, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 579
736. leftyy420
9:48 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
pressure now down to 945. max flight level winds now 137mph
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
735. whirlwind
9:49 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
CAt--actually this may not be a good idea...one bad thing..gas prices over $3.00...hmmmm
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734. ELLSSUU
9:48 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
MSY,

what building are you staying in?

If in the CBD I may get you to look and see if my building is okay, from a window ofcourse.
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733. aardan
9:42 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
SouthernLady,

I agree. It's great to see an active blog but too many of the posts remind me of usenet. I read this article ealier this afternoon. Jeannette Gruboyianes' words made me realize how lucky I am that it's not headed towards Tampa and, if it were, how lucky I am that we have the means to get out of the way.
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732. SouthernLady
9:45 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
Catchaser...you are just drooling over the money you can overcharge people to 'just get them to the point of their insurance, not to how their homes were before' you make me sick. Catchaser is a GOOD name for you...reminds me of an ambulance chasing lawer....
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731. LAtigerchic
9:48 PM GMT on August 27, 2005
thanks lefty
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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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