Category 3 Katrina pounding Gulf coast

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:17 PM GMT on August 29, 2005

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Katrina has spared New Orleans a direct hit. Although the damage will be incredible, it could have been much, much worse. At 10am CDT the eyewall of Hurricane Katrina moved ashore along the Louisiana-Mississippi border between New Orleans and Gulfport, almost the exact spot Hurricane Camille devastated in 1969. The worst of Katrina is now being experienced everywhere along the coast. The National Weather Service is reporting that the levees in Orleans and St Bernard parishes have been overtopped by the storm surge, and there are reports of life-threatening flooding, roof damage, and building collapses in the city. However, the storm's passage to the east of the city means that New Orleans has escaped the catastrophic blow a direct hit would have delivered, and heavy loss of life is not expected in New Orleans.

Bay Saint Louis, 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 west and central Mississippi coast. Katrina will continue to weaken as she interacts with land, but will maintain hurricane intensity until about midnight tonight, when she will be nearly 200 miles inland. Tornado warnings have been issued for Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida in the past hour, and tornadoes will continue to be a serious threat throughout the day. Heavy rains will also be a major problem, and rainfall amounts of 8 inches have already occurred near the Louisiana-Mississippi border.

As of 11am EDT, communications with four National Weather Service offices have failed. No radar information is available from the NWS offices in New Orleans and Lake Charles in Louisiana, and Jackson in Mississippi. The NWS offices are still able to send out warnings and forecasts.

Now that Katrina is moving ashore, the Hurricane Hunters have flown their final flight into the storm. A special thanks need to be given to the Air Force Hurricane Hunters based at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi, who have flown Katrina around the clock while their families remained on the ground in Biloxi. Biloxi will suffer Katrina's harshest blow, and many of the Hurricane Hunters will see their homes destroyed or heavily damaged.

Dr. Jeff Masters


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404. bdenyer
2:12 AM GMT on August 30, 2005
I also wanted to say that I, too, am relieved that NO was spared the full fury of the eyewall, and that my thoughts are with those in the southeast tonight.
403. SaymoBEEL
2:11 AM GMT on August 30, 2005
Daphne new shopping center has power.
Bayway is opened (unconfirmed)
402. bdenyer
2:10 AM GMT on August 30, 2005
Reading through this blog, people have really been criticizing one another in ways that are not quite constructive. Maybe we should all remember (as most users are) that this is a weather blog--not livejournal. Take your infantile banter there.
401. SaymoBEEL
2:09 AM GMT on August 30, 2005
Power on at Timber Creek - Daphne,AL
400. SaymoBEEL
2:04 AM GMT on August 30, 2005
Link

Great pictures from Al.
Some pics from eastern shore
Fl. Ms. La. pics
Downtown Mobile
User submitted pics of part of house floating in Mobile Bay running into I-10 "bayway" bridge
399. DoubleG
1:40 AM GMT on August 30, 2005
Wombat - I'm talking to Fairhope now. Sounds like lots of downed trees etc. Power is back on in Rock Creek. Pt Clear got totally flooded though - GG
398. x10
1:26 AM GMT on August 30, 2005
I believe this may overtake Andrew as the costliest natural disaster ever. Although Andrew was powerful (though small), just the storm surge, areas affected (including Florida, sheer size, flooding, winds, and population could very well make this much more costly than Andrew. I believe the estimates for damage are too low at the moment, since the areas most heavily affected are wiped off the map with 10 ft+ of water and 140 mph winds. Many of the top insurers have even said that it is far too early to calaculate the damage estimates. Andrew was a wind maker w/ 165 mph winds at landfall (originally it was thought to be a CAT 4, but this is a surge and flood maker, and because of that the damage could be much worse (covers an enormous area). Plus around 25 people (I believe died from Andrew), while the direct number of deaths from Katrina at this point is estimated at 19 (including Florida), many more deaths may come as the full scope of this storm is realized. In Louisiana there were reports of bodies floating in the streets. Finally, if this had made landfall as a CAT 5 and had directly hit NO, then there would not be much of a city left, they were extremely lucky. The Superdome would have had its roof torn off if a direct hit from a CAT 5 hit the city, despite the two holes from the outer edge of a CAT 3- CAT 4. Who knows, if that had happened, the Superdome could have been a mass grave of 10,000 people. NO is VERRRRY lucky, right now there are reports of hundred of homes flooded there and a storm surge likely higher than the worst hurricane to hit the United States, Camille (from what I have heard, though the Labor Day Hurricane could have been worse). What are your comments on this monster storm.
397. EvilKarkyBR
10:47 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Where in Baton Rouge at you Hurricane Party?? I live close to Coursey and am out of power :( Had to go into to work to get on the internet.

Thank god for generators.
396. SAMITA
8:02 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Outer bands just reaching Memphis area.Light winds and rain,darkening.
395. JaxAdjuster
8:01 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Wombat, I just got off the phone with a friend in Saraland. It's not too bad there. Don't know about Fairhope. They may have gotten quite a surge since they are on the mobile bay. Semmes should be OK. Some of my friends in west mobile towards Semmes say the wind is typical cat 1 storm. Nothing special. A few trees down.
394. Raine54
7:56 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Hey Wombat.. switch over to the new blog.. you'll reach mor ppl that way
393. Wombats
7:50 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
anyone have any reports of alabama damage I have family in the towns of semmes and fairhope alabama and haven't heard from them?
392. HAARP
7:41 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
I am pretty sure that all hurricanes weaken before landfall because the feeder bands start picking up dryer air over land ...

Is there any info on what the destruction is like yet ? I pray that people are safe...

Member Since: November 1, 2004 Posts: 42 Comments: 482
391. cgableshurrycanegal
7:36 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
NHC has been pretty damned true to track.
Alot of folks here in MIA area complained that they were *caught off guard* b/c it veered south... that it was really wet, that the right side is supposed to be the *dirty* side. Excuse me for pointing out that weather is pretty hard to predict... We were under a hurricane WARNING and alot of bozos laughed it off as *oh, we went thru Andrew this is just a cat 1*... Noone told them not to button down. Next time they'll not pay attention to a skinny black line or clean/dirty sides or a particular category. We're still reeling and it *was only a cat 1*.
Member Since: July 12, 2005 Posts: 24 Comments: 212
390. oriondarkwood
7:35 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Everyone,

New blog entry up from the good Doctor
Member Since: July 5, 2004 Posts: 51 Comments: 42
387. Raine54
7:31 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Children... Children... lets grow up and be adults!! I really enjoy reading local info here.. but the bickering reminds me of MIDDLE SCHOOL!!
386. chicagowatcher
7:31 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
When some of this dies down, I'm really kinda looking forward to an opportunity to watch some of the folks here break down what happened, why it happened and what, if anything, could be learned for the next time. Some of the folks from the last few days were using alot of data to estimate tracks and strengths that were scary close to what actually materialized.
Member Since: August 28, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 153
385. cgableshurrycanegal
7:30 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
OOPS! Should have put quotes

"Squam, the reason I even mentioned the tsunami is because the day after it happened everyone "blamed" the US for not "warning" them of a disaster that was emminent... and trust me...even if we gave them a 5 min warning things could have been different ( not much granted but 1 life saved is enough for me )"

They want the equivalent of the system that rings the Hawaiian Islands and sounds the alarms for people to head for the hills. The cost would be astronomical and the Indian Ocean countries can't finance it...
Member Since: July 12, 2005 Posts: 24 Comments: 212
383. ELLSSUU
7:29 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Anyone with info. on Mandeville/Madisonville/Covington area?

My house and a Porsche it took me 3 years to restore are there and I'm thinking of getting on I-12 to go home and see what's left.
382. oriondarkwood
7:28 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Gatorbait, check out the link I gave for Typhoon Tip. Its tropical cyclone Tracy
Member Since: July 5, 2004 Posts: 51 Comments: 42
381. furstie
7:28 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Weather's more like baseball than life. If you hit safely a third of the time, you're doing a good job. So long as you at least put the ball in play most of the time, you can survive as an internet bloggacastor or local office wag.

Now that we have the hindsight of today's events, it's easy to congratulate yourself for not striking out while swinging for the fences. The fact is, you didn't even come to bat last night. Popular opinion was against your ideas, and you feared the backlash of stating them in a public forum. It's hardly courageous. I was not much better, as I limited my skepticism of the landfalling potency to my own blog, only posting my current observations of the structure of the system on these forums.

Just so that we're all on the same page here, Katrina was only a dud when compared to the epic predictions made on her behalf. She still cleaned house, and she's not done yet.
380. cgableshurrycanegal
7:27 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Squam, the reason I even mentioned the tsunami is because the day after it happened everyone "blamed" the US for not "warning" them of a disaster that was emminent... and trust me...even if we gave them a 5 min warning things could have been different ( not much granted but 1 life saved is enough for me )

They want the equivalent of the system that rings the Hawaiian Islands and sounds the alarms for people to head for the hills. The cost would be astronomical and the Indian Ocean countries can't finance it...
Member Since: July 12, 2005 Posts: 24 Comments: 212
378. bcb333
7:24 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
"In particular, there is ONE sad lonely obsessed individual, who posts here under many names, who is really the one that ruins this blog."

So says CosmicEvents.

Hey Cosmo,

Perhaps you should look in the mirror if you're trying to figure out who "ruins" this blog. Your attitude, and the insulting attitudes of a couple of other parties, are what "ruin" this blog. Certainly not Lefty or Orleans, who have both provided interesting, reliable information for those of us who don't have as much access to the raw data as we would like.

Get over your attitude problem. There's a way to disagree with someone without being a total prick about it, but you've yet to figure that out. I would hate to be your wife, girlfriend, child, dog, etc.

377. cgableshurrycanegal
7:24 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Mobile is s'posed to be under several feet of water.
I'm a hurricane survivor, don't pretend to have anything other than experience and knowledge gleaned over the years.
I'm here to pick up info, not speculation, see how folks are faring.
Would be glad to get some up-to-date info as cable is down, I'm on dial-up ::VBG:: and thus have limited access to what's happening outside of soaps and People's Court...
Member Since: July 12, 2005 Posts: 24 Comments: 212
375. COobserver
7:23 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Any theories as to why the sustained winds didn't match up with what you'd expect from a sub-920 mb hurricane?
374. oriondarkwood
7:22 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
AMD,

Got a point, in the larger picture they where all terrible storms. Makes you think at what people did and thought about these storms before we had all this advanced weather tracking equimpent and knowledge?
Member Since: July 5, 2004 Posts: 51 Comments: 42
372. Gatorbait05
7:21 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
What was the smallest hurricane ever (size wise)?
371. HAARP
7:20 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
It is impossible to be an alarmist when all the data was showing a potential devastating blow to NO... Even Dr. Masters was very troubled by the potential outcome... so was the NWS... SO was the NHC...everyone was thinking the worst and telling people to prepare for it...

If the worst case senario would have run its course and people were not warned of POTENTIAL dangers, even if in an alarmists way, than people would be going CRAZY right now...

Squam, the reason I even mentioned the tsunami is because the day after it happened everyone "blamed" the US for not "warning" them of a disaster that was emminent... and trust me...even if we gave them a 5 min warning things could have been different ( not much granted but 1 life saved is enough for me )
Member Since: November 1, 2004 Posts: 42 Comments: 482
369. oriondarkwood
7:19 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Some more triva (darn its a boring day at work)

Fastest Hurricane ever 58mph (http://tinyurl.com/e4cfd)

Most hurricane strikes in a year 6 ( http://tinyurl.com/92wye )

Also check how many systems made landfall that year ( http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/at1916.asp )
Member Since: July 5, 2004 Posts: 51 Comments: 42
367. stormydee
7:17 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
don't give up on td13 (as the last advisory states it may...), getting some storms around the low...check out the i.r. on it.....am I seeing that this one may not be dead? Either way, I guess its not gonna bother us though...we'll see.
Member Since: August 25, 2005 Posts: 39 Comments: 517
366. amd
7:15 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
orion,

i think tip, camille, and allen all peaked at 190 mph sustained winds. I think the differences in pressure is just due to different atmospheric conditions at the time.
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1024
364. LaFleur
7:13 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
I saw it said New Orleans East is flooded. What do you mean by New Orleans East?
362. JaxAdjuster
7:12 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Sorry cgable. Didn't see the question. Started reading the accusations and just let. Came back for one more shot.

I came looking for some technical information about the storm. Some quesses as to what the armchair quarterbacks thought the storm might do. Unfornutately, a lot of board people came on board and started making accusations right and left. They decided to break up our little party. The newbies really changed the tone of the discussion.

Not sure yet where I am heading out to. Look to be going to Mobile initially, and then deployed from there. Damage is pretty wide spread from what I have heard. There will be a lot of work.
361. oriondarkwood
7:11 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Got some triva for you, Every points to the Labor Day hurricane (892 millbars) as the most intense hurricane. But in fact its not the most instense for the Alantic ocean is Gilbert (1988 - 888 millbars). The most intense hurricane on earth was Typhoon Tip (1979 - 870 millbars). Tip also holds the record for largest tropical system ever (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typhoon_tip )

Now a question cause I can't seem to find the answer. Has any tropical system in the world had above 200mph SUSTAINED winds (I know a few have had gusts over 200)
Member Since: July 5, 2004 Posts: 51 Comments: 42
360. Gaffer
7:10 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
But let's make it analogous to the actual situation. Let's say the theater is highly flammable and a fire breaks out on a windy, dry day in the building next door. Is is appropriate to inform the people in the theater that they might be in danger? The fire might not spread, but it's certainly a good possibility.

For Cat's analogy to be accurate, there would have have been no fire, and the movie theater would have to be fire proof.

The best way to avoid doomsday scenarios is to first imagine them.
359. Gatorbait05
7:10 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Any NO damage reports? I just read from an AP report that the French Quarter faired very well in the storm and that much of the area suffered from light flooding.

The Cathedral lost Two 200 Year old tree and the statue of Jesus lost 2 fingers.

Info is from the AP.
http://www.normantranscript.com/feeds/apcontent/apstories/apstorysection/D8C9LCF80.xml.txt/resources_apstoryview
357. jxnkrock
7:09 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
Jax...that's total BS. So if i come up to you and said i'm a cop and need to inspect your car and don't show you any ID then you'll believe me because you have no proof that i'm not?
356. amd
7:08 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
some random thoughts while reading the posts here in the last 2 days:

i've been reading the posts whenever i can because blogs like this do provide a service. However it does seem to me that there were quite a few people on here being alarmists just to be alarmists, and draw attention to their own posts.

However, there does seem to be quite a bit of damage, some cases severe, in East New Orleans, and it seems that there is a good possibility that the Mississippi Coast and Mobile will never be the same due to the incredible surges. In all likelihood, this storm will still be the costliest weather event in US history, or the 2nd costliest.

Being alarmist is counterproductive, but just bragging that the storm was "NOT AS BAD" as others predicted doesn't add anything to the blog either, especially since the damage to other areas besides New Orleans will be approaching catastrophic levels.



Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1024
354. cgableshurrycanegal
7:06 PM GMT on August 29, 2005
jax, what is it you want here, that has degenerated? Supply the thread and we go from there. I DID ask when and where you'd be heading when this winds down. You DIDN'T answer...
Member Since: July 12, 2005 Posts: 24 Comments: 212

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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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