Category 5?

If Katrina makes it to a Category 5, as big as she is, and then hits Louisiana and the New Orleans area, well, puts things in perspective about some guy with a bomb in a subway. I cannot believe how poorly managed the preparations for this hurricane have been.

If you read the comment thread at Dr. Master’s weblog, well, some of it just breaks your heart. Some of it makes you angry.

We need to refocus our emergency services back on the events we know we’ll be hit with, year after year after year. And we had better stop being so damn arrogant about weather. And about the science that allows us to understand weather better.

Not unless you all want to put your faith in a big hand of God coming down and scooping you all up to safety. But as one person says in Dr. Master’s comments: Oh my God…. this thing is like the hand of God.

Time to break out my five year old, primitive DHTML demonstration of how hurricanes work.

From Weather Underground’s Steve Gregory:

AUGUST 28 – 12:05 AM CDT – SPECIAL STORM UPDATE

CATASTROPHIC HURRICANE APPROACHING NEW ORLEANS REGION

CURRENT POSITION / NOTEWORTHY REPORTS PAST HOUR

KATRINA LOCATED 26.1N / 88.1W or 290 miles SSE of Gulfport, MS. – 275 miles SSE of downtown
New Orleans – and 240 miles SSE of Port Eads at the southern tip of the Mississippi Delta.
Katrina is heading just north of DUE Northwest at 9Kts (10 MPH) over the past 2 hours

RECON Reports:

Pressure 907mb ( DOWN 42MB IN 24 HRS)
MAX Flight Level wind 166KTS – SUSTAINED SURFACE WINDS 175MPH – GUSTS TO 200MPH. EYEWALL DIAMETER IS STEADY AT 22NM
CREW REPORTS ‘PERFECT STADIUM EFFECT’

Major storm, yes. Possibly the worst to hit this county? Yes. Thousands and tens of thousands dead? Unlikely. For those riding out the storm, don’t let the heavy predictions immobilize you with fear. We’re a remarkably resilient species, as long as we practice common sense.

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4 Responses to Category 5?

  1. Dave says:

    I very much agree. Living in NW PA I’m extremely fortunate. Rarely does a hurricane,, tornado, or drought affect us. Even more rarely do we feel any kind of tremor of an earthquake. (Of course, that get balanced out with averaging over 150 inches of snow a year!)

    Oh, and the Weather Channel is now calling Katrina not only a Category 5 with 160 MPH winds, but also with a very large eye. As for New Orleans, too close to call which quadrant of Katrina will hit it. My thoughts and prayers are already going out to them.

  2. Jim Dermitt says:

    You can’t fool mother nature. If you think you can, you are just fooling yourself or you are a Bush brother. God doesn’t play favorites. These guys think they are the chosen ones. Yea right guys!

  3. Peggy says:

    I was in central Florida last Aug/Sept, where ‘X’ marked the spot for both Charley and Florence (within a 3 week period). We were well inland but still the damage was substantial with resultant runs on food and gas. Both were Cat 3 or less when they made land. Charley slammed the west coast first below Tampa and headed up the I4 corridor toward Disney/Orlando. Then Florence hit the east coast around Vero Beach area and headed up the FL turnpike toward Orlando.
    I cannot imagine a direct hit of a Cat 5. The potential extreme flooding will be disatrous. My prayers go out to all in Katrina’s path.

  4. Jim Dermitt says:

    NOAA reports.
    BASED ON THE LATEST FORECAST TRACK AND SPEED…A CATEGORY FIVE
    LAND-FALLING HURRICANE WOULD BRING TIDE LEVELS AS HIGH AS 10 TO 15
    FEET ALONG COASTAL MOBILE COUNTY AND THE WESTERN PORTIONS OF MOBILE
    BAY…WITH A SURGE AROUND 20 FEET POSSIBLE IN THE NORTHERN
    PART OF MOBILE BAY…WHICH WOULD SEVERELY AFFECT DOWNTOWN
    MOBILE WITH WATER SPILLING INTO THE DOWNTOWN AREA AND
    EXTENDING AS FAR WEST AS BROAD STREET. THIS WOULD BE THE HIGHEST
    SURGE LEVEL EVER EXPERIENCED IN MOBILE. FOR COMPARISON…THE
    HIGHEST SURGE LEVELS PREVIOUSLY EXPERIENCED IN THE DOWNTOWN AREA
    WERE NEAR 9 FEET WITH HURRICANES FREDERIC AND GEORGES.
    END

    20 FEET SURGE(S). WOW!