Eye of the Storm

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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Hurricane Katrina Update 260300Z

At 11 PM EDT the center of Hurricane Katrina was at 25.5 North 80.7 West, 35 miles southwest of Miami, 20 miles northwest of Homestead and moving to the southwest at 8 mph. Maximum sustained winds are 75 mph and minimum central pressure is 984 millibars ( 29.06").

Hurricane Katrina Advisory Number 10

Katrina came ashore at 6:30 EDT and has moved southwest across Dade County since then. Miami National Weather Service recorded a pressure of 984.5 millibars in the eye of Katrina. Some weakening is expected during Katrina's remaining time over land, but strengthening will resume once she finds the Gulf of Mexico. Model guidance now brings Katrina to category three strength.

The southwest motion that Katrina currently has was forecast by the GFDL model. Katrina continues to move along the edge of the upper level high pressure ridge. A weakness in that ridge is expected that will allow a northerly motion in 36-48 hours.

"All indications are that Katrina will be a dangerous hurricane in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico in about 3 days".

Hurricane Katrina Discussion Number 10

Official track forecast


Reports indicate that about one million people are without power in Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. As forecast, rain totals are going to exceed a foot in some areas with the Kendall/Cutler Ridge/southwest Miami areas bearing the heaviest of the load.


More than four hours over land and STILL a hurricane. Remarkable.

Official track forecast was shifted a bit west, mostly due to the southwesterly motion that Katrina has taken (not the result of new model guidance). The global forecast models are crunching numbers now and their results will be coming in over the next few hours, giving the NHC forecasters a little bit of time to examine them before preparing the 5 AM forecast.

I know I am sounding like a broken record, but this more southerly course is bad. Besides the shorter distance, it is also more favorable in terms of terrain. There are two dissapative effects of land with regards to hurricane strength. One is that the storm is not over water, the source of its energy. The other is friction from land, especially that of buildings. Katrina's southerly course is taking her over the Everglades. The difference between the Everglades and open water is slight.

Sea Surface Temperature analysis shows 90° waters in the Gulf of Mexico, warmer than anything Katrina has seen so far. Situation would become even more favorable for Katrina if she gets past 83° West or so, because the warm waters extend deeper, as indicated by Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential Analysis (brighter colors are better for Katrina, worse for residents of the Gulf coast).

I wish I could say that I see inhibiting factors that would limit Katrina's intensification. Unfortunately, the only ones I see are space and time, both of which are just plentiful enough for Katrina to become a dangerous threat to the Florida panhandle.

My unofficial watch area remains Mobile to St Marks, with special concern for Panama City Beach to Appalachicola. Residents in those areas should begin tomorrow preparations for a strong category three hurricane and have those completions complete by Sunday afternoon. My advice is to do all shopping tomorrow, do your at home work on Saturday, and be either gone (if you're in an evacuation zone) or done with preparations on Sunday morning.

I will be have a post at the time that the 5 AM advisory package comes out with the latest thinking on the future path of Katrina as she enters the Gulf of Mexico.


At 2:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great stuff. Thanks!


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