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Hurricane Katrina death toll raised to 1823

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 10:09 PM GMT on May 23, 2006

Louisiana raised its official death toll from Hurricane Katrina by 281 to 1,577, according to an Associated Press article from May 19. The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals decided decided that deaths caused by the stress and trauma associated with relocating or an accidental injury during travel should be counted as a Katrina-related death. This would bring the death toll from Katrina to 1823, when including the 228 deaths in Mississippi, 14 in Florida, 2 in Georgia, and 2 in Alabama. It is unlikely that the National Hurricane Center will consider these deaths part of the official death toll, but regardless, Katrina is the third deadliest hurricane ever to hit the U.S.

Low pressure in the Gulf of Mexico
Extensive cloudiness and thunderstorm activity continue in the Gulf of Mexico, where an upper-level area of low pressure sits. Wind shear is too high in the Gulf to allow tropical development of this system, and wind shear is expected to stay high for at least the next week over the Gulf. Tropical storm formation is not likely in the Atlantic for at least the next week, and probably longer. The GFS model is indicating that a stong subtropical jet stream will blow across the Gulf for the next two weeks, which should create too much shear for a tropical storm to develop.

I'll be back tomorrow with my article on the new global warming ads being aired by the fossil fuel industry.

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.