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Katrina modestly intensifying

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:28 PM GMT on August 25, 2005

Katrina continues to intensify at a modest pace, and if present trends continue will hit Florida near Fort Lauderdale tonight as a minimal Category 1 hurricane with 75 - 80 mph winds. The northwest side of the storm continues to suffer from dry air intrusions, and the primary intense thunderstorms and strongest winds are on the south side. Thus, the usual rule about the right front quadrant (north side) of the storm being the most dangerous is not neccesarily the case with Katrina. The highest storm surge will still be to the north of where the center comes ashore, but wind damage may be equally distributed on both sides of the storm.

The Miami radar loop continues to show an increase in low-level banding, and an eye-like feature trying to form. Upper level outflow is improving and slowing expanding.

As I discussed in the previous blog entry, the major threat to South Florida from Katrina is freshwater flooding from her rains. Rainfall amounts of 6 - 10 inches are expected from this slow-moving storm. For comparison, Hurricane Irene of 1999, which hit South Florida as a Category 1 hurricane, dumped 10 - 20 inches of rain. Damage from Irene was over $800 million in Florida. Damage from Katrina will probably be much lower, in the $30 - $100 million range, since Katrina's rainfall will be half of what Irene's was.

Katrina's path once she makes landfall and crosses over the Florida Peninsula is highly uncertain, and the various computer models project a landfall anywhere between Pensacola (GFDL model) and Tampa (UKMET model). If her path in the Gulf allows her to remain over water for at least a day, Katrina could easily strengthen to a Category 1 or 2 hurricane before making her second landfall in the Florida Panhandle. If Katrina tracks right up the west coast of Florida, she would likely remain a tropical storm due to the interference of land.

What's that behind Katrina?
A large area of disturbed weather even bigger than Katrina lies to her east, just north of Hispanolia. This disturbance lies in an area of high wind shear of 25 - 35 knots, and is not a threat to develop into a tropical depression in the next few days.

Katrina blogs
For observations of what's happening now in South Florida, we have several bloggers writing today:

turtlehurricane (Weston, Broward County)

sngalla (Fort Lauderdale)

MrJ76 (Okeechobee)

Zeenster (Cape Coral, SW Florida)

evolution (Charlotte Harbor, SW Florida)

Dr. Jeff Masters


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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209. KeyLargo
8:17 AM GMT on August 26, 2005
Wow, we are getting hammered in key largo, no power, siding coming off etc... anyone tell me how much longer?, we diddn't put shutters up and got caught bad.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
208. Valence
7:44 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
Im starting to think Pensacola is going to get hit again. Maybe they should just move the NHC there . . . they'd get some pretty good data about landfalling hurricanes.

Sorry guys, i've got to ready for work. Looks like I'm going to be driving home through some pretty nasty weather. At leats I can give a first hand account of some wind speeds.

Adios for now!

JV
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
207. Valence
7:37 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
You know, since i've been watching these storms, i've noticed that the NHC tends to be pretty conservative. They're reluctant to change motion, track, intensity, etc. (At least they dont have people like STORMTOP working for them!)

Im just wondering if they're going to be a little too conservative one of these times and put some people in danger. Charlie was a good example, although that was a difficult storm to project with the angle it was moving towards the coastline.

They keep saying that Katrina is going to make a sharp turn to the North after exiting FL, but if she stats more NW, there are going to be some unprepared peole in AL, MS, and LA.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
206. cajunkid
7:37 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
Go To www.esl.lsu.edu Hit tropical storm katrina and look at thier models
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
205. oriondarkwood
7:35 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
Is it just me or does Jim Cantore look like he should be a announcer in the WWF?
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204. FLCrackerGirl
7:34 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
DR Jeff's new update is out
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203. cajunkid
7:33 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
check this outLink
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202. Valence
7:33 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
Oh, dont start with Cantore! A couple of friends of mine (Female, of course) actually went out to the beach where he was doing his report just to get a better look at him! And obviously he was here because of an approaching storm...women!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
201. pirateotobx
7:31 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
he's also the biggest alarmist on that channel....mr. serious..pretty funny sometimes..
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200. whitewabit
7:31 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
cajunkid

I don't believe the nhc has been very good forcasting the movement of Katrina. instead of the Katrina moving to the models the models have moved to her
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
199. MandyFSU
7:30 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
Storm- I totally agree. They have HBO2, and MTV2, why not TWC2? Jim Cantore could host it... Lord knows he's easy on the eyes. hehehehe ;-)

Sorry... but ladies you must admit, he is...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
198. KShurricane
7:30 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
Hey guys, Dr. Masters just updated.
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197. NaplesPatty
7:30 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
Thx FLCrackerGirl - I checked with my airline and they have cancelled all flights today but my 1:00 flight tomorrow to Nassau is still scheduled to be on time. I just might try to cross Alligator Alley tomorrow if things do not look too bad.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
196. pirateotobx
7:29 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
New Orleans is a disaster waiting to happen....The right storm at the wrong time and It'll be like Atlantis.....It's not a matter of if but when....I hope I never see it...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
195. AySz88
7:28 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
(Hi, it's Beginner again :p ) Is it me or has Katrina moved/wobbled west quite a lot in the past several radar frames?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
194. cajunkid
7:27 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
I wish everyone here in New Orleans would act a little more conserned. The last cuple storms have given everyone a feeling of complacency. I think the early predictions cause a problem here. I know those guys work really hard at the NHC, and they are right on most of the time, but if Dennis would have turne slightly, there is no way we could have all evacuated.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
193. StormJunkie
7:27 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
TWC needs to have a TWC2 which concentrates on the scientific side of weather. Lord knows that with cable this would not be hard to do.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
192. MandyFSU
7:24 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
I know there's always SOMEONE out there who freaks out and says "Hurricanes? What? Holy cow- I gotta buy supplies!" like 20 minutes before the storm hits... but still. I just wish TWC would do more like what we do here. But then again, I'm sure they have to be careful b/c if they started spouting theories like our dear StormTop, half the country would be thrown into a panic.

No offense StormTop. :-)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
191. oriondarkwood
7:23 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
IceBear,

Read my blog http://www.wunderground.com/blog/oriondarkwood/show.html

I live in Webster, NY 80 miles northeast of Buffalo, about 2 miles from the southern shores of Lake Ontario
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
190. StormJunkie
7:23 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
No JV I do not think that they would need to tell you that there are earthquakes there, but i would think you would want to learn how to react depending on where you are when one hits. This is the kind of information that the new people in the south need. Like do not try to ride a storm out in a manufactured home. Or Freeze big jugs of water to keep food cold and to drink when they melt. Things that many of us who have been through these things sometimes take for granted. Also remeber that mosts people are not as informed as the ones on this site. The yankees part was just a joke.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
189. oriondarkwood
7:21 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
Valence,

Just be forewarned, Canada has 15% sales tax (aleast in Ontario) and the first tax bracket starts at 38 - 40% I think. But again free health care (if you are willing to get what you pay for), long winters, and pot is fairly much legal (BC will not charge you for anything less than 5 grams, Quebec is the tougest basically US laws)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
188. Valence
7:20 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
You know, if Katrina moves slow enough, she may never even leave the state of FL. Take the scenic tour across Alligator Alley, then move up I-75 throught Tampa, take I-4 to Orlando and exit around Jacksonville.

Why do several of the models have her moving SOUTH out of FL? Isn't this trough supposed to pull her to the North?

JV
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
187. icebear7
7:20 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
You up in Buffalo or something orion?
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186. oriondarkwood
7:18 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
StormJunkie/MandyFSU,

I have the same issue as yankees moving south, but in reverse cause I moved to the frozen north. I never had seen as much snow as I have seen up here or could believe that it could go from 50 and sunny to below zero and blizzard in less than a few hours. I learned to drive via trial by fire, I got my first car up here 2 days before a blizzard dumped 20 inches in one day and then another 20 3 days later
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
185. icebear7
7:18 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
Yeah, the weather shows are not terrible, but i'm still used to the way they had weather forecasts all the time instead of the weather shows as well...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
184. Valence
7:17 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
Storm-

If I decided to move to CA to avoid all of these storms, do you think I would need to have someone tell me that there are earthquakes there?

Besides, on June 1, every news (local and national) do stories on hurricane prepardness. There are free "Hurricane Guides" in Home Depot and other stores. If you dont know by now, i dont think the 30 seconds you get from in the storm coverage is going to help - the stores are probably empty by now.

JV
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
183. StormJunkie
7:16 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
Mandy-that is the catch to the models. You have to watch them for shifts and see if the converge on a spot. I would not be suprised to see several more shifts in the next 12 to 24.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
182. oriondarkwood
7:15 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
IceBear,

I agree, I like the other than weather shows the weather channel has but aleast put the weather in thier once or maybe twice a hour (like one of the commericals). Or a scrolling text down at the bottom.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
181. StormJunkie
7:14 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
Mandy, the yankees do not all now this. People are flocking to the SE coast in hords. They need that kind of info.
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180. MandyFSU
7:14 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
I wish the models just KNEW where it was going. no ifs ands or buts. It's going HERE. Anywhere else, you're cool, in this area, bend over and kiss your butt goodbye. At least you'd KNOW. ;-)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
179. icebear7
7:13 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
yeah. last year during one of the blizzards, the local weather said "clear"


sure, the snow was blowing so hard you couldn't see 6 inches away

LOL
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
178. Valence
7:13 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
I didn't go out and buy anything this year... i get bottled water delieved (speaking of which, they're supposed to be here on Friday), and i have so many batteries, lights, ect left from last year.

Wasn't Florida supposed to be spared this year? First Dennis, now Katrina possibly making a double landfall? Im moving to Canada!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
177. FLCrackerGirl
7:12 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
naplespatty, if you're still around you were asking about the airports.

Scripps Broadcasting is reporting the airport in FT Lauderdale will be closing at 7pm this evening.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
176. cajunkid
7:12 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
I like this blog someone always has insiteful info. Its kinda like the old weatherman that would show you on the evning news how and why the storms were moving in thier particular direction. Its hard to find that.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
175. Valence
7:11 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
I love watching the local weather when a hurricane / tropical sporm is approaching. It just says

FRIDAY
Rain and Wind
89deg / 76deg

About the same thing last year when Charlie came through here.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
174. MandyFSU
7:10 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
Here! Here! Valance. I totally agree- that's why I love talking with everyone here. We actually throw around ideas and watch the models. We don't care who's got water and batteries. If you live in Florida you KNOW better than to not have water and batteries by June 1- we wanna know where this thing's goin! :-)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
173. leftyy420
7:08 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
oh one more thing, a band just came thru ft.lauderdal and had winds of 40 mph with it
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172. icebear7
7:08 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
i do hate when i want to get my local weather and "Storm Stories" is on AGAIN...gah!
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171. leftyy420
7:07 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
i think its break time, be back in like 15 20 mins, i been on here since i woke up and i need food lol
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170. leftyy420
7:06 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
lol exactly
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169. Valence
7:05 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
Thats the one thing that makes me turn off the covereage of these landfalling systmes. No one, not just the TWC, lets the experts give expert opinion. They just keep repeating the same info. Who's buying water, how much wind/rain to expect, what a Tropical storm is?

Please - can we have a real weather station? I guess thats why we're all on here!

JV
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
168. IKE
7:04 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
Some of the latest computer models have shifted back to the west of the big bend area of Florida. I bet on the 5 pm EDT NHC update they have it going inland further west...western Florida panhandle.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
167. leftyy420
7:03 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
yeah it has been i doubt that will happen and with the stregthening what it is, 5 mph and hour pretty much so a hurricane is still in the forcast
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166. StormJunkie
7:02 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
Lefty, am I correct when I say that the GFS has been predicting a stall for quite some time?
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165. cajunkid
7:02 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
Dr, Lyons used to go more in depth, but they always cut him short. It seems like they think no one would understand and you should just listen to what they say if you live in the "Zone" if not, you need to watch those other boneheads have thier LIVE REPORT
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164. wpb05
7:01 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
70 mph winds...moving w at 6
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163. WunderYakuza (Admin)
7:01 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
Please read my new entry on banning and flagging in the featured blogs. We want everyone to be able to enjoy these blogs, but to do that we're going to have to enforce some social graces.

Read here.
162. icebear7
7:01 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
70 mph winds now huh
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161. leftyy420
7:00 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
doubt that will keep her from jumping up the 10 mph needed, plus the nhc has her forcast and with the pressure what it is the winds can pick up quickly cause the winds are light compared to the low pressure
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159. txweather
6:59 PM GMT on August 25, 2005
The window for significant intensification is now really quickly closing. The reon gave a 5/6mph movement with no change. As I said earlier a cat1 is possible with this press, but now we've almost run out of time. 3/4 hurs before land interaction begin and if the w eyewall isn't present by then, it won't be.

BTW I am very disturbed by some of the latest model runs. Rememeber there is a real maximum of energy south of the NO area. If by some means this systme gets there with good atmospheric conditions, real bad things can happen.
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Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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