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Hurricane Katrina Poised To Clobber New Orleans


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The Eye Of Katrina – Picture
Nasa Modis

Hurricane Katrina Poised To Clobber New Orleans


Report compiled by Alastair Thompson


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Super-Hurricane Katrina Makes A Beeline For Louisiana – Picture
Nasa Modis

Hurricane Katrina is poised to become the third ever Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in the mainland United States.

The Super-Hurricane is remarkably young having formed off the Florida coast just last Tuesday.

In the past few days Katrina has intensified spectacularly fast from the Category 3 intensity with which it struck South Florida to the extremely rare Category 5 intensity, the highest level of intensity on the Simpson-Saffir scale packing sustained winds of 170mph and gusts in excess of 250kmh.

The super-hurricane has also made a bee-line for the low-lying city of New Orleans in the Mississippi Delta. This is possibly the worst place it could possibly strike on the US Gulf Coast.

The city has been evacuated as a result, and if the worst occurs could be left largely underwater after Katrina makes landfall driving ahead of her a huge storm surge which may break the flood defences around the city. If this does happen, then notwithstanding the huge evacuation, major loss of life is a likely outcome.

The last Hurricane of similar intensity to hit the United States was Hurricane Andrew.

However Katrina is a far larger hurricane than Andrew in size and will bring hurricane force winds to a far wider area.

USEFUL LINKS:
Jeff Masters Blog – Weather Underground
National Hurricane Warning Center
New Orleans Long Range Weather Radar – Weather Underground
NASA Modis Satellite Image Gallery
NOAA OSEI Satellite Imagery
Gulf of Mexico - AVN Color Enhanced Infrared Loop – NASA SSD

LANDING TRACK FORECAST FOR HURRICANE KATRINA


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INTENSITY FORECAST FOR HURRICANE KATRINA


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MOST RECENT DISCUSSION ISSUED BY THE HURRICANE WARNING CENTER

000 WTNT42 KNHC 290249 TCDAT2
HURRICANE KATRINA
DISCUSSION NUMBER 25
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER
MIAMI FL 11 PM EDT SUN AUG 28 2005

THERE ARE CONFLICTING SIGNALS REGARDING THE INTENSITY OF KATRINA. THE NOAA AIRCRAFT NEAR 00Z REPORTED A PEAK FLIGHT LEVEL WIND OF 155 KT...WHICH WOULD NORMALLY CORRESPOND TO 140 KT AT THE SURFACE. THE PRESSURE REMAINS EXTREMELY LOW...904 MB AT LAST REPORT. ON THE OTHER HAND...THE STEPPED-FREQUENCY MICROWAVE RADIOMETER...OR SFMR...SUGGESTED WINDS WERE IN THE 120-130 KT RANGE...AND LIMITED DROPSONDE DATA ALSO SUGGESTED SOMETHING A LITTLE BELOW 140 KT. THERE ARE ENOUGH QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE OF THE SFMR AT THESE SPEEDS FOR ME TO STICK WITH THE STANDARD 90 PERCENT ADJUSTMENT FOR NOW.

THERE HAVE BEEN SOME MODEST CHANGES IN THE STRUCTURE OF KATRINA OVER THE LAST SEVERAL HOURS. RECENT MICROWAVE PASSES SHOW THAT AN OUTER EYEWALL IS IN THE FORMATIVE STAGES...AND THE LATEST IR IMAGES SHOW A LESS WELL-DEFINED EYEWALL WITH MORE EVIDENCE OF OUTER BANDING. THE NOAA HURRICANE HUNTERS ALSO REPORTED AN EROSION OF THE EYEWALL IN THE SOUTHWEST QUADRANT. THESE OBSERVATIONS SUGGEST THAT THERE COULD BE SOME WEAKENING OF KATRINA PRIOR TO LANDFALL. ALL THIS IS RELATIVE...HOWEVER...AND KATRINA IS STILL EXPECTED TO BE OF AT LEAST CATEGORY FOUR INTENSITY WHEN IT REACHES THE COAST. AN EYEWALL REPLACEMENT AT THIS POINT IS NOT ALL GOOD NEWS...AS THEY ARE GENERALLY ACCOMPANIED BY A BROADENING OF THE WIND FIELD...SO THAT EVEN AS KATRINA WEAKENS THERE COULD BE AN INCREASE IN THE AREA THAT EXPERIENCES MAJOR HURRICANE FORCE WINDS.

THERE HAS BEEN NO SIGNIFICANT CHANGE TO THE TRACK FORECAST. THE INITIAL MOTION IS 335/9. KATRINA IS EXPECTED TO GRADUALLY TURN NORTHWARD INTO A BREAK IN THE SUBTROPICAL RIDGE ASSOCIATED WITH A LARGE MID-LATITUDE CYCLONE NEAR THE GREAT LAKES. MODEL GUIDANCE REMAINS TIGHTLY CLUSTERED...WITH THE NOGAPS SHIFTING JUST A BIT EAST OF ITS PREVIOUS TRACK. WHILE THERE IS GREAT SIGNIFICANCE FOR THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS IN THE DETAILS OF THE TRACK...TRACK ANOMOLIES OF 30-50 MILES ARE STILL POSSIBLE EVEN 12-18 HOURS OUT.


FORECASTER FRANKLIN


FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 29/0300Z 27.6N 89.4W 140 KT
12HR VT 29/1200Z 29.2N 89.7W 135 KT
24HR VT 30/0000Z 31.8N 89.5W 85 KT...INLAND
36HR VT 30/1200Z 34.8N 88.1W 45 KT...INLAND
48HR VT 31/0000Z 37.7N 85.9W 30 KT...INLAND
72HR VT 01/0000Z 43.5N 78.5W 25 KT...INLAND
96HR VT 02/0000Z 50.0N 70.0W 25 KT...EXTRATROPICAL
120HR VT 03/0000Z...ABSORBED


$$


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