Hurricane Katrina Update 260100Z
...KATRINA RELENTLESSLY POUNDING SOUTH FLORIDA...CALM OF THE LARGE
EYE EXPERIENCED AT THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER...
At 9 PM EDT, the center of Hurricane Katrina was at 25.8 North 80.4 west, just northwest of the Miami National Weather Service Office and the National Hurricane center, moving south of due west at 6 mph. Maximum sustained winds are 80 mph and minimum central pressure is 984 millibars (29.06").
Hurricane Katrina Intermediate Advisory Number 9B
Florida Cracker has a rolling Katrina update post going, with a generous offering of links to others blogging much nearer to the storm than I am.
As she links, two people are dead from Katrina already. A cold reminder that it does not take a major hurricane to cause fatalities.
I am definitely discomforted from the observations from the Miami NWS as well as with the path Katrina is taking. Re-analysis from Hurricane Andrew showed that Andrew actually continued to intensify shortly after making landfall before weakening inland. With NWS Miami recording a pressure of 985 millibars (compared to the last observation of recon of 986 millibars) Katrina may have pulled off the same trick.
The track is worrisome, because it is a 'short-cut' track. Because of how the peninsula narrows, moving south of west gives Katrina less time over land than if she had moved due west. Less time over land equals less weakening equals more strengthening once she reaches the Gulf of Mexico. It is fortunate for residents of southern Florida in points north and west of Miami, but it will cause increased pain for panhandle residents in a few days.
SLIGHTLY LATER: Definitely concur with this from the NWS Miami Special Weather Statement
CONDITIONS ARE EXTREMELY HAZARDOUS ACROSS THE AREA...AND VENTURING
OUTDOORS IS STRONGLY DISCOURAGED. TWO FATALITIES HAVE ALREADY
OCCURRED IN SOUTHEAST FLORIDA THIS EVENING...DON'T MAKE YOURSELF