Katrina's weakening--worst missing New Orleans

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 11:39 AM GMT on August 29, 2005

Katrina is due south of the Mississippi-Louisiana border, and moving northward at 15 mph. On this course, the western edge of the eyewall will pass some 20 miles to the east of New Orleans, sparing that city a catastrophic hit. As the eye passes east of the city later this morning, north winds of about 100 mph will push waters from Lake Pontchartrain up to the top of the levee protecting the city, and possibly breach the levee and flood the city. This flooding will not cause the kind of catastrophe that a direct hit by the right (east) eyewall would have, with its 140 mph winds and 15-20 foot storm surge. New Orleans will not suffer large loss of life from Katrina.

Biloxi and Gulfport Mississippi will take the full force of Katrina's right eyewall, and a storm surge of 15-20 feet is likely along the central Mississippi coast. Katrina is a strong but weakening Category 4 hurricane, and will probably come ashore about noon CDT near Gulfport as a weak Category 4 hurricane with 135 mph winds. The storm has been slowly weakening the past 12 hours, with the central pressure rising more than 1mb/hour on average. The central pressure measured by the Hurricane Hunters has been oscillating the past three hours, jumping from 918 mb to 925, then back to 920, and now 921 mb at 7:30am EDT. The winds measured at flight level on the east side of the eyewall were 134 kt, which translates to 140 mph at the surface. The cloud pattern in satellite imagery has decreased on the west side due to dry air entrainment, and the eyewall has opened up to the south and southwest in radar imagery. With the center passing over mixed swamplands and water, much of the energy that sustains the hurricane will be cut off, making any further intensification unlikely. Katrina is not hitting at maximum intensity and is sparing New Orleans a direct hit, and although the damage will be incredible, it could have been much, much worse.

Tropical Depression 13
A new tropical depression formed in the mid-Atlantic yesterday, and is headed northwest over open ocean. This is one we definitely do not need to worry about for now. The storm may even dissipate due to hostile wind shear within the next few days.

Dr. Jeff Masters

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307. TybeeIslandGA
4:38 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Thanks to Orleans77 and others!! Thanks AGAIN guys!!
306. TybeeIslandGA
4:34 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Hey Lefty...I was checking out the link above. This site has been a GREAT source of info...good to hear from ya Bra!!
305. leftyy420
4:09 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
whats up every one i am back for a min. watching most of the covereage on tv with the wife
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 35 Comments: 1987
304. Bioscopics
4:02 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
A site setup for those wishing to communicate with loved ones or just to post latest news or inquires...


No advertising, popups or requests for money. Totally free. No registration required to post because some families may not have access to their emails, etc. Strictly for HELPING OTHERS!!
303. furstie
3:46 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
OHGamer, probably heavy wave action on top of a surge causing the flooding up to +27 ft, especially that close to the pre-surge coastline. If the water level were that high prior to waves, there would be much bigger problems where he is.
302. muntainman
3:43 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Anyone reporting from Ocean Springs? Attached is the radar link from O.S.
301. davidintlh
3:43 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
remembering last week, with skill in hindcasting who here semeed closest to the mark:

stormtop seemed to be closest with his prediction of landfall grand isle/morgan city as cat 5-- i think he came closest here. whether this is due to his forecasting skill or the theory that the blind pig finds an acorn-- he was still pretty darn close.

lefty was hanging in there but he loses points because he early staked himself to the gfdl. as it shifted he shifted-- a fair position to take, but conservative enough that he doesn't get the style points stormy gets for calling it so far out when the models were calling for a big bend landfall.

a lot of people were panicked last night but no one loses points. having gone through ivan and watched it make landfall on a battery operated tv in chumuckla on the only tv station still broadcasting-- as one by one the tv stations dropped off the air and the radio stations stopped broadcasting as their towers fell or they lost power-- and running a bucket brigade all night as a branch from a falling tree pierced the roof as the east side of the eyewall came by-- i absolutely understand how that feels. and having been through some lower intensity storms doesn't equip you for the dread anticipation of an approaching cat 4 or 5 storm. so no one loses points for anything posted that this morning seems excessive or melodramatic or things we wouldn't have posted in the light of day or even in the face of a cat 3/cat 4 storm. we all saw the line out of the superdome and the clueless no mayor. only a jackass wouldn't be really quaesy about the potentially looming catastrophe, and we still don't know how bad it will actually be.

massive massive style points to steve gregory. i may become a paid subscriber because as i recall he was closest to the intensity and his blog also has all kinds of great info and graphics. for example, while a lot of others were noting that the trof to the west would not impact the storm because it was so big it was creating its own climate, he accurately predicted that it would nudge the storm eastward sparing no the worst, that dry air from would entrain into katrina, and this all before bed time! my only suggestion to him is he should update his blogs more frequently but thne if he's also doing apaid service there's probably a reason he doesn't.


those of us in tally: how about a real world beer when this is further inland? josh, mandy, et al. any takers?
300. MandyFSU
3:41 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Tally- Same here- got my degree from FSU, work downtown- I live on the west end of town. We've been so lucky. I have friends in Mobile and DeFuniak, so I'm a little concerned too... my best wishes for your brother. Keep me posted...
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 82 Comments: 2525
299. BocaBabe
3:38 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Karen Swensen says there is 3 feet of water downtown near the Hyatt. She reports several office windows coming out whole from buildings.>>

298. prttyeyez2002
3:35 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Updated blog by Dr. Masters is out.
297. weatherboyfsu
3:34 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Hope everyone is alive and well.....thats all that matters.....good to here from Orleans....you got the heck out of there....good for you.....
Member Since: July 17, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1025
296. OHGamer
3:34 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Jim Cantore's position at the Army retirement home flooded up - it was supposedly at +27 above sea level and 1/2 mile in from the beaches, and he's saying the entire first floor is flooded out.

Would that make a storm surge of +35 feet or so? If so, good Lord.
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 6
295. muntainman
3:33 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Watching with great concern, the Wunderground.com radar site located Ocean Springs, MS. Relatives are riding out the storm between Hwy. 90 and the beach.
We are seriously concerned for their safety.

294. bkdelong
3:32 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
I've posted the locations of the major Weather Channel forecasters down to within 40-70ft. Using Google Earth you can "fly to" these locations when they're on screen.

293. chicagowatcher
3:32 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Hang in there 77, we're pulling for your friend...
Member Since: August 28, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 153
292. CosmicEvents
3:31 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
What a weird coincidence that leftyy would dissapear from the blog at the same time that the storm was passing by where STORMTOP lives. Hope he's okay.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5848
291. AySz88
3:30 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
The WDSU feed has turned into a feed from a camera from someone's car/truck.... It's pretty amazing footage, though dangerous there.
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24
290. Valence
3:29 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
You know, there has been so much focus on the use of the Superdome as a shelther, I wonder how many other shelters are suffering any damange.

During Charlie, one of the Port Charlotte shelter had its room start to peel off.
289. tally
3:29 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
I live in the SW area now. Got a couple degrees from FSU. Work in killearn area. We've been lucky every year, just wondering about my bro though.
288. BenBurch
3:25 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Orleans77 - Your friend is in my prayers.
287. icebear7
3:24 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
guy out with the 188 sign..... lot of water where he is
Member Since: August 20, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5
286. efallon28
3:23 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
It seems that WDSU in New Orleans has been knocked off the air. Internet feed just shows the logo with no sound, and happened mid-sentance.
Member Since: July 12, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 112
283. Hopnskip2gulf
3:18 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Orleans, don't fear worst. Just heard cell service has been lost.
282. MandyFSU
3:17 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Tally- what part of town are you in?
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 82 Comments: 2525
281. CosmicEvents
3:16 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Orleans....I guess in retrospect your friend would have been better off in that 4th floor of the office builing with MSY. Then the helicopter could have come and taken both of them to safety tomorrow.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5848
280. MandyFSU
3:10 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Valence- I think only 130 mph... it's a little older of a building I think...
Member Since: August 24, 2005 Posts: 82 Comments: 2525
278. tally
3:08 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Anyone know what the surge is in Perdido Bay? My brother lives on the water there, just north of 98. I havn't been able to get in touch with him this morning. He is dry as long as the surge is less than 7ft.
277. Orleans77
3:08 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
thks im out ice..plks pray for my friend and all the others in danger...
274. Orleans77
3:07 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
colect myself..get news updates..
273. Orleans77
3:06 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
if u guys dont mind im going to take a break,,,
272. Valence
3:06 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
With the Supedonme:

I thought it was rated to 200mph??? And does anyone know if the damange was caused by the wind itself, or debris hitting the roof?

BTW, the eye is becoming visible on the Short Range radar
271. Orleans77
3:06 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
cell..i lost him in the middle of the call...hes not answering ..not sure if the service went or if hes gone...
269. CosmicEvents
3:05 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Orleans....I hope your friend comes out of this okay. What kind of device are you using to comunicate with him?
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5848
268. Orleans77
3:05 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
i really ws hoping they could avoid the major floods
267. icebear7
3:04 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Still CAT3 is nothing to smirk at. This has been a serious situation.

absolutely, but i am holding to the hope that cat 3 is better than 4 or 5, so damage, and lives at stake are just that much lower
Member Since: August 20, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5
265. HillsboroughBay
3:04 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Ya know when Lefty was giving us grief on Weatherguy's blog a few days ago I was his biggest critic.

However posting thw WORST CASE SENARIO was a GOOD THING. It parbable caused many sould to evacuate & evacuate early enough to be safe. HOW can that be negative.

I wonder how many people stayed & have or will suffer as a result of the people making fun a serious disaster.

Plwease stop grandstanding just to hear yourself talk. Go & start to HELP by doing your job.

Off soapbox & outa here!
264. Orleans77
3:03 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
just talked to my friend...water is coming on to the second floor where he is..hes is panicked...rightfully so..has no roof so has nowhere to go...jesus
263. Orleans77
3:01 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
also the refinery in NO is sustaining serious damage while the refinery in Baton Rogue is sustaining light to moderate damage...these tow refineries refine 1 million barrels a day of oil into gas...

the offshore terminal where 25% of oil comes into the US is also sustaingin serious damage
3:01 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
LA governor says water rising 1 ft per hour in NO. Major breeching of levees
261. savesharks
3:00 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
3 pumping stations have failed
260. afs
3:00 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Any word on whether the refineries and chemical tank farms are holding up? That's what I was most worried about. A city can recover from being flooded by water. It cannot recover from being flooded by toxic waste.
Member Since: August 28, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24
258. Orleans77
2:59 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
jus coming across the wires.some oil rigs have remote sensor...according to these reports...they have lost comm link with 26 oil rigs - presumed lost..and 24 more are badly listing...
257. captg8r
2:59 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Orleans77, I too am sorry to hear about the damage. At least you are safe.

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Dr. Masters (r) co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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