Sunday, August 28, 2005

Katrina: Potentially Catastrophic Category 5 Hurricane

UPDATE 6 (Monday, 1:00am Central):

Katrina remains a CAT-5. Katrina is 80 miles South of the mouth of the Mississippi River; 140 miles South-Southeast of New Orleans.

Maximum Sustained Winds: still 160mph with higher gusts.

Minimum Central Pressure: 908 MB (a little good news -- higher than previous report; indicates slight weakening.)

Coastal Storm Surge Flooding: expected to be 18 to 22 feet above normal tide levels near and to the east of where the center makes landfall. Locally as high as 28 feet along with large and dangerous battering waves.

Storm surge is going to be a big problem East of the center -- all the way to the Florida Panhandle. Mobile Bay will probably experience 12-15 ft surge.

Hurricane force winds extend out to 105 miles.

Tropical storm force winds extend out to 230 miles.

TSF winds are really starting to blow in Baldwin County south of I-10. It'll be worse by daylight.

Time to catch some Zzzzzzzzs. Back later.


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GOOD GUY ALERT (Sunday, 11:19pm Central):

Mark Sudduth of Hurricanetrack.com

Check out his commentary and videos. He is the best tracker out there.

(and this makes up for the Idiot Alert which may have caused you to lose your supper or blow coffee on your monitor and keyboard)

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IDIOT ALERT (Sunday, 11:04pm Central):

I think I just saw an idiot who some of us know as H.M. being interviewed by a local New Orleans TV station. For those not familiar with said creature, you don't want to know. Trust me.

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UPDATE 5 (Sunday, 10:33pm Central):

"but the Tropical Storm Force winds have stopped as if someone flicked the OFF switch." Well, she turned the switch back ON. Winds are starting to pick up again.

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UPDATE 4 (Sunday, 10:00pm Central):

Katrina remains a CAT-5. Expected to make landfall at CAT-5 or CAT-4. Katrina is 105 miles South of the mouth of the Mississippi River; 170 miles South-Southeast of New Orleans.

Maximum Sustained Winds: 160mph with higher gusts

Minimum Central Pressure: 904 MB (again, not good -- an Air Force Reserve unit reconnaissance aircraft will be reaching the center of Katrina very shortly.)

Coastal Storm Surge Flooding: expected to be 18 to 22 feet above normal tide levels near and to the east of where the center makes landfall. Locally as high as 28 feet along with large and dangerous battering waves.

Hurricane force winds extend out to 105 miles.

Tropical storm force winds extend out to 230 miles.

It's gotten very quiet and calm in Baldwin County south of I-10... for what it's worth .. I'm not sure if that means Katrina is in the process of turning more Northwesterly ... but the Tropical Storm Force winds have stopped as if someone flicked the OFF switch.

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UPDATE 3 (Sunday, 9:00pm Central):

Katrina is about 110 miles South of the mouth of the Mississippi River, moving at 11mph toward the North-Northwest. A turn to the North is expected over the next 24 hours.

Maximum Sustained Winds: 160mph with higher gusts.

Minimum Central Pressure: 904 MB (not good -- the lower the pressure, the stronger the storm. Pressure has dropped since last report.)

Coastal Storm Surge Flooding: expected to be 18 to 22 feet above normal tide levels near and to the east of where the center makes landfall. Locally as high as 28 feet along with large and dangerous battering waves.

Hurricane force winds extend out to 105 miles.

Tropical storm force winds extend out to 230 miles.



Infrared at 8:15pm CDT -- This is not good for the Big Easy or the nation. Katrina is tracking to hit either head-on or to the west of New Orleans.

Tropical Storm Force winds are now arriving in Baldwin County, south of I-10.

This reminds me of the evening before Ivan hit -- which is pretty incredible considering we're about 145 miles East of New Orleans.

Not sure if we'll have power much longer -- lights flickered for the first time.


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UPDATE 2 (Sunday, 2:00pm Central):

Katrina is about 165 miles South-Southeast of New Orleans, moving at 13mph toward the Northwest. A turn toward the North-Northwest is expected over the next 24 hours.

Maximum Sustained Winds: 175mph

Minimum Central Pressure: 906 MB

Coastal Storm Surge Flooding: expected to be 18 to 22 feet above normal tide levels near and to the east of where the center makes landfall. Locally as high as 28 feet along with large and dangerous battering waves.

Hurricane force winds extend out to 105 miles.

Tropical storm force winds extend out to 205 miles.



Infrared at 12:45pm CDT

Category Five Hurricane:

Winds greater than 155 mph (135 kt or 249 km/hr). Storm surge generally greater than 18 ft above normal. Complete roof failure on many residences and industrial buildings. Some complete building failures with small utility buildings blown over or away. All shrubs, trees, and signs blown down. Complete destruction of mobile homes. Severe and extensive window and door damage. Low-lying escape routes are cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the center of the hurricane. Major damage to lower floors of all structures located less than 15 ft above sea level and within 500 yards of the shoreline. Massive evacuation of residential areas on low ground within 5-10 miles (8-16 km) of the shoreline may be required. Only 3 Category Five Hurricanes have made landfall in the United States since records began: The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, Hurricane Camille (1969), and Hurricane Andrew in August, 1992. The 1935 Labor Day Hurricane struck the Florida Keys with a minimum pressure of 892 mb--the lowest pressure ever observed in the United States. Hurricane Camille struck the Mississippi Gulf Coast causing a 25-foot storm surge, which inundated Pass Christian. Hurricane Andrew of 1992 made landfall over southern Miami-Dade County, Florida causing 26.5 billion dollars in losses--the costliest hurricane on record. In addition, Hurricane Gilbert of 1988 was a Category Five hurricane at peak intensity and is the strongest Atlantic tropical cyclone on record with a minimum pressure of 888 mb.


At approximately 1:30pm CDT, East-bound traffic on the Bay Way (I-10 over Mobile Bay) was heavy and moving at about 40mph. A lot of Mississippi tags. West of the Wallace Tunnel, East-bound traffic was backed up about 3 miles and moving at about 5mph.

Remember, wherever the center makes landfall, it's the area to the East that is in the most danger. The Beast from the East winds are incredibly destructive. And the storm surge will inundate that area as well.

And another reminder: while Katrina appears headed for New Orleans, anything can happen in the last 2-6 hours. In other words, Katrina could jog back to the Northeast and hit Gulfport head-on which would be very bad for both Gulfport and Biloxi. Katrina could even hit Biloxi head-on. In that case, Moss Point and Pascagoula sustain significant damage -- even Mobile.

And no, I have not ruled out the bitch turning back on Mobile or Baldwin County. Not likely, but a possibility that I just had to throw out to give the locals happy thoughts.

3 comments:

Tammy said...

Please stay safe. I've been watching this all night on the news and finally had to turn it off, I was getting ready to cry. I live 3 miles from where Hurricane Charley hit last year, I had several friends lose their homes, and Pt Charlotte is still a mess. I can't even imagine what is going to happen with this one.

Again, please stay safe.

The Gray Tie said...

You know I just HAVE to know who this H.M. you speak of.

MerryMadMonk said...

Tammy -- that TV news stuff would make anyone go crazy. We'll probably get storm surge here -- estimated 12-14 feet for Mobile Bay. I'm on a bluff (Living High...) so will be OK.

The Gray Tie -- I just love that site! :p