Eye of the Storm

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Friday, August 26, 2005

Katrina goes 'feet wet' -- 260500Z Update

At 1 AM EDT, the center of Tropical Storm Katrina was at 25.4 North 81.1 West, 40 miles southwest of Marco Island, 60 miles northeast of Key West and moving to the southwest at 8 mph. Maximum sustained winds are 70 mph and minimum central pressure is 990 millibars (29.23 ").

Katrina Intermediate Advisory Number 10A

Key West radar indicates that the eye has started to go over water. This event is about 7 hours ahead of the forecast that the NHC put out at 5 PM and it is also further south than anticipated.

Recon plane is scheduled to launch in about half an hour. I don't think it will get to the storm in time for the 3 AM update, but will definitely be there such that the 5 AM intensity will be based off the plane's observations. Because of this, I expect the 3 AM update to carry the Tropical Storm designation for Katrina. I would not be surprised if the 5 AM advisory package has Katrina as a hurricane once again, though land may have taken a bit more of a bite out of Katrina than radar shows, so I'm not confident enough to call that a certainty.

Output from the global forecast models are starting to roll in. GFS is showing a landfall in vicinity of Destin. Some may remember that its forecasts had been significantly further east than most other models. The Canadian model has a similar landfall location, but with slightly quicker timing. 5 AM advisory package will probably feature some sort of west-ward shift in track as a result of Katrina's continued southwesterly movement as well as the shift in these two models, which for most of Katrina's life have been on the eastern edge of the guidance envelope.

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