Katrina's 2nd anniversary, and the tropical update

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:31 PM GMT on August 29, 2007

Share this Blog
3
+

A tropical wave midway between Africa and the Lesser Antilles (94L) has changed little since yesterday. QuikSCAT data from 4:47am EDT this morning shows a poorly organized system with a weak, elongated circulation. Top winds were 25 knots (29 mph). Visible satellite loops show a limited amount of disorganized thunderstorm activity. Wind shear is a favorable 5-10 knots over 94L, and should not be a problem for it until Friday or Saturday. By then, 94L will be moving through the Lesser Antilles Islands, and may encounter high wind shear if it is far enough north to feel the winds of an upper-level low pressure system that will be just north of Puerto Rico.

The presence of a large, dusty area of dry air surrounding its north side is the main thing holding back 94L. This dry air is being sucked into the circulation and is interfering with the storm's organization. When the dry air encounters a thunderstorm inside 94L, this denser dry air gets incorporated into the thunderstorm's downdraft, accelerating the downdraft, and creating arc-shaped surface cumulus clouds that mark the downdraft's position as it spreads out along the ocean surface (Figure 1). The presence of these arc-shaped surface clouds is usually a good sign that a storm is struggling with dry air and will not intensify significantly for at least the next 12 hours.

Water vapor satellite loops of the region show that 94L has not significantly moistened its environment. As the storm continues further west, it should be able to gradually do so, allowing it more of a chance to get organized. The system should track through the Lesser Antilles Islands on Friday, which is the earliest day I expect it could become a tropical depression. None of the reliable computer models make a believable forecast showing 94L developing into a tropical depression before it reaches the Lesser Antilles. The GFDL develops 94L into a tropical storm once it makes it into the central Caribbean south of the Domincan Republic, and this is a believable forecast, if 94L hangs together and makes it into the central Caribbean. The Hurricane Hunters are on call to investigate 94L on Friday.


Figure 1. Visible satellite image of 94L, show arc-shaped outflow boundaries from thunderstorm downdrafts.

South Carolina low
An area of low pressure has developed a few hundred miles off the South Carolina coast, along an old frontal boundary. This disturbance has been designated "95L" by NHC this morning. QuikSCAT showed a sharp wind shift but no closed circulation around 95L this morning at 6:34am EDT, and measured winds as high as 50 mph. Wind shear is about 15 knots over the disturbance, which is drifting south into a region where wind shear is expected to remain low enough to allow some development this week. I do think 95L will become a tropical depression, and most of the computer models also agree on this. The models disagree substantially on 95L's track, though. Steering currents will be weak in its vicinity, and 95L may spend a number of days wandering erratically. The Hurricane Hunters will investigate 95L Thursday afternoon.

Coast of Africa
The UKMET model is indicating the possible development of a tropical depression by Friday off the coast of Africa. There is a large surge of moisture with at least one strong tropical wave embedded in it coming off the coast of Africa this week, and it would be no surprise to see this wave develop into a tropical depression.

Katrina, two years later
Two years ago today, on August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina smashed into the Gulf coast with Category 3 winds and an incredible storm surge up to 27.8 feet high. Wunderblogger Mike Theiss was at ground zero in Gulfport, Mississippi during Katrina, and has posted a blog this morning on his experience, complete with some very compelling photos. His video of the storm surge washing into the hotel he was at is the most amazing storm video I've ever seen.

Margie Kieper's Katrina's Storm Surge feature on our tropical page provides an extraordinarily detailed 16-part examination of each portion of the coast devastated by Katrina. Margie is scheduled to be a guest on the Talking Tropics Internet radio show Thursday night to talk about Katrina's storm surge. Check the listings to see if there are any last minute changes.


The photo above was taken from Part 8: Lakeshore to Waveland, MS of Katrina's storm surge. An excerpt from the text:
I found an astonishing photo, of the peak of the surge in Waveland, which didn't appear to be faked, but I'm pretty much of a skeptic. The photo had this caption, "Photo taken in Waveland, MS, just North of the Railroad Tracks during Katrina around 9 AM by Judith Bradford." Note that it is being taken from the second floor window of a home, and that the water is close to the roof line of the first floor. There is a man perched on what is left of a home across the street, wearing a tiny life jacket and clutching a neon green pool noodle. There are electric lines running down from a pole to a home from left to right. In the distance on the right is a home with water up to the roof line. It is likely after 9am, as the bulk of the surge came between 9 and 10 am (that is when most of the fatalities occurred along the Mississippi coast), and probably the eye is already overhead, as the water is relatively calm and there appears to be little wind or rain, even though the pine trees are bent from the recent force of the eyewall winds.

The information provided by the Bradfords regarding the surge was very specific. The power went out at around 6:30am at their Waveland home on the morning of the 29th. They were staying in the home for a couple of reasons; first, because the home had not received any water at all from Camille, and, secondly, because both work in the medical field and needed to be available after the storm. At almost exactly 8:30am, water started coming over the railroad track embankment, from the coast, and into their yard.

Their home is 18 inches off the ground, and the first floor has 8-foot ceilings. There is an 18-inch truss between the 1st and 2nd floors, and this is what saved their 2nd floor from being flooded. In a matter of only five to ten minutes the water came up six feet, and quickly filled the first floor after that. Judith said that is why they saved so little from the first floor; they had no time to get anything. She first tried to shut the living room front door, but the force of the water burst the door open. She grabbed a camera and the Bradfords and their children ran upstairs. They marked the high water mark (HWM) on the inner stairwell showing how high the water came ? a little more than six more inches into the truss, which is a total of 10 feet of surge.

They saved two other people besides the man who was floating by on the roof in the photo. He was a chef named Glen, holding a four month old dachshund named Pinky, in the surge. He had lost his other dog and three cockatiels when his mother's home collapsed. The roof wedged against their van, underwater, and stopped, so they were able to save him. Bill Bradford told me when he swam out to rescue that man, that the water was so warm it seemed almost hot. He said the current was nothing like white water, but was a gentle continuous flow.

Because their home is right by the railroad tracks, it is not as high in elevation as I had thought. It is around 17 feet elevation. That is close to the HWM observed in Pass Christian, 27 feet.

With such a good quality HWM, I wondered why their house was not surveyed. Judith Bradford told me that no one from the federal government seemed to realize their house was there. The road leading up to Jeff Davis (they own 6 acres and raise miniature horses, which were drowned in their stables when the surge came) was filled with debris. The teams doing Search and Recovery for bodies didn't even check the house because they didn't know it was there; it was a good thing the family survived!

The water started to go down sometime after 11am, and by noon was about chest high, and by 2pm about waist-deep. The water finally left the house completely by about 4 or 5 pm that evening. She believes the railroad track embankment kept the water from receding faster. "


I'll have an update Thursday morning, unless there's a major change in 94L or 95L. My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by Hurricane Katrina today. Let us not forget what happened two years ago.

Jeff Masters

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 1205 - 1155

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25Blog Index

1205. putintang3
2:35 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
excuse me, but why is everything in italics?
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 309
1204. nannadjust
2:21 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
Bonedog, I had problems with the same error message. I finally took a backdoor entry to the comments. Dr. M's blog would pop up but when I clicked more, it bogged down. I finally used another link from the home page.
Member Since: August 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 29
1203. sullivanweather
2:19 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
New blog up
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
1202. HIEXPRESS
2:18 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
I posted about Oregon Scientific Weather Radio Recalls yesterday, not realizing that the page I linked was to an outdated similar story - the same company but a different model WR122 - back in 2000. Not a good track record for them is it?
Member Since: October 13, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 2156
1200. SLU
2:16 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
NEW BLOG!
Member Since: July 13, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 5364
1199. TheStormWillSurvive
2:16 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
New Blog
1198. Bobbyweather
2:14 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
It looks as if there is an eye.
Member Since: September 7, 2006 Posts: 90 Comments: 2678
1197. BrandonC
2:13 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
That my friends is a closed LLC off of North Carolina coast. Not sure if it is classified as tropical as I haven't done much research or even looked at it for that matter but I thought that was interesting.
1196. sullivanweather
2:13 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
Posted By: sullivanweather at 1:25 PM GMT on August 29, 2007.

95L is going to have to lose some of the shear that it's under right now.

I would also caution that 95L isn't the only low pressure along this old front. There's another non-tropical area of low pressure about 350 miles to it's northeast which could be more of a threat.

The front that extends from the upper Great Lakes down into the Texas panhandle isn't supossed to move off the coast completely until Friday evening, so these systems have about 60 hours or so to get their act together.



Looks like 96L has become the dominate feature in this frontal trough off the coast.

I think we'll have our next cyclone here, whether it be tropical or subtropical. Especially since it's close enough to the coast to be a threat.
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
1195. BrandonC
2:12 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
Ummm Just taking a peak at the latest Qscat and about pulled a bonedog incident with the coffee on the computer when I saw this . . .

Latest Qscat
1194. C2News
2:11 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
I updated my blog
Member Since: July 17, 2006 Posts: 73 Comments: 622
1193. Bobbyweather
2:09 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
I bet there will be (Sub)tropical Depression 6 by 11AM.
Member Since: September 7, 2006 Posts: 90 Comments: 2678
1192. StormJunkie
2:09 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
Alright y'all, I'm out for awhile

See ya soon, got to get back to work on some projects :~)
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
1191. ClearH2OFla
2:07 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
where is 97L
1190. TerraNova
2:07 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
where's 97L?

Bay of Campeche; the same wave that seemed to have developed before moving over Belize.
Member Since: July 30, 2007 Posts: 76 Comments: 4063
1188. Bobbyweather
2:06 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
where's 97L?
Member Since: September 7, 2006 Posts: 90 Comments: 2678
1187. BrandonC
2:04 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
Holy crap I get up and turn on the computer and we have 4 invests!! Sorry if this has been said this morning but wow. Good Morning by the way to all of the regulars and even to the not regulars. Please stay a while and become a regular. :P
1186. Bonedog
2:02 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
your welcome to all the folks that said thanks about the weather radio recall. Hopefully the Doc will put it up top later when he does a new blog that way all can see it and it doesnt get buried.
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
1185. guygee
2:00 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
Posted By: StormJunkie at 1:57 PM GMT on August 30, 2007.
"guygee, that is why I am wondering if 96 could brush by Cape Cod on it's exit to the NE eventually..."

Agreed SJ, folks up there need to be on the alert and keep themselves updated regularly.
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3188
1184. TerraNova
1:58 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
is 96L the same has 95L?

No; but they came from the same frontal boundary.
Member Since: July 30, 2007 Posts: 76 Comments: 4063
1183. Bonedog
1:58 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
this server error message is really anyoing me.
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
1182. TheStormWillSurvive
1:58 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
all 6 Floaters are in use guess they have to get some more before the end of the year
1181. Melagoo
1:57 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
Atlantic

97L.INVEST
96L.INVEST
95L.INVEST
94L.INVEST

Looks like things have been turned up a notch LOL!
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 19 Comments: 1607
1180. StormJunkie
1:57 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
guygee, that is why I am wondering if 96 could brush by Cape Cod on it's exit to the NE eventually...
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
1179. Tazmanian
1:57 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
is 96L the same has 95L?
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115437
1178. TerraNova
1:56 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
SJ ive always used my friends link for tropical cyclone models.You might want to give it a try. TROPICAL CYCLONE MODELS

You can get ensembles,late models and current.


They also give some nice WRF runs. They havn't updated the models with 96L and 97L but they should do so shortly (~14 UTC; 10 AM EDT)
Member Since: July 30, 2007 Posts: 76 Comments: 4063
1177. TheStormWillSurvive
1:56 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
by the way all 4 invests are now on floaters
1176. guygee
1:55 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
Posted By: VaSurfer at 1:33 PM GMT on August 30, 2007.
"I live 1 block off the beach up here in VB, please tell me 96L will stay out to sea? Our local weathermen are showing signs of concern this morning".

VaSurfer - Please keep close track of NHC forecasts and especially forecasts from your local NWS office in Wakefield VA, here.

It is a tricky forecast because a trough currently over the Ohio valley is approaching, which may draw 96L NW for a short while before sweeping it out to sea. It looks like you will be safe, but keep a close eye out until it is well north of you.
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3188
1175. fireflymom
1:55 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
thanks for the weather radio info Bonedog!
Member Since: June 5, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 595
1174. mississippiwx23
1:55 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
They probably do colaborate...but I believe it is still the NHC's call to place an invest on the system.
Member Since: August 20, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 683
1173. Bonedog
1:55 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
I always thought it was the Navy only because they show up on their website befor ethe NHC.

Either way when all 4 popped up the met on duty spit his coffee all over the computer :)

Thats why nothing has been issued like it normally would be.
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
1172. hurricane23
1:53 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13841
1171. hurricanehamster
1:52 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
Posted By: Bonedog at 1:45 PM GMT on August 30, 2007.

I think the reason we dont have the 8am TWo or any updates from the NHC for recons or anything is because when the Navy hit up 2 invests to add up to 4 the met on duty spit his coffee all over the computer!
---------------
thts a classic
1170. StormJunkie
1:49 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
Good call BD!

Mwx23, that may be true, but often times the Navy has it up first, and honestly I think either can declare it an invest. I don't think the GFDL/HWRF starts running unless the NHC says so though...
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
1169. DaytonaBeachWatcher
1:50 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
Posted By: Bonedog at 9:45 AM EDT on August 30, 2007.

I think the reason we dont have the 8am TWo or any updates from the NHC for recons or anything is because when the Navy hit up 2 invests to add up to 4 the met on duty spit his coffee all over the computer!


lmao

Posted By: mississippiwx23 at 9:49 AM EDT on August 30, 2007.

The NHC starts the invests, not the Navy, I believe.


Yes that is correct
Member Since: June 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1136
1168. mississippiwx23
1:49 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
The NHC starts the invests, not the Navy, I believe.
Member Since: August 20, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 683
1167. donedeal
1:48 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
Good one Bonedog!
1166. Bonedog
1:48 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
Weather Radios Recalled by Oregon Scientific Due to Failure to Receive National Weather Service Alerts

Link
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
1165. StormJunkie
1:47 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
TN, I also updated the SFWMD model page on the Quick Links page. Not sure what the deal was with the other link. Can find some early cycle guidance there as well.

Well Adrian, I am not quite as confident as you are about 96. If I were in the NE, namely the Cape Cod area, I would keep a pretty close eye on it and the front. Going to be a close call and if the front slows just a little then it could easily make the CC area imho.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
1164. MIsland321
1:47 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
leftovers,
I agree with you. Saw that wide angle atl view and looks like bands on north ans south sides are forming.
Member Since: May 22, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3
1163. TheStormWillSurvive
1:45 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
man the TWD must be a mile long at this point
1162. hurricane23
1:44 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
Posted By: Bobbyweather at 9:44 AM EDT on August 30, 2007.

I cannot believe we have 94L 95L 96L and 97L and Gil and 95E and 92C and Fitow! It may be the most active day of the hurricane season!

Could very we'll be and be happy there is not a major hurricane baring down on the U.S.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13841
1161. TerraNova
1:43 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
what time is it in florida

9:44 AM eastern time at the time of this post.
Member Since: July 30, 2007 Posts: 76 Comments: 4063
1160. Bonedog
1:45 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
I think the reason we dont have the 8am TWo or any updates from the NHC for recons or anything is because when the Navy hit up 2 invests to add up to 4 the met on duty spit his coffee all over the computer!
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
1159. Bobbyweather
1:44 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
I cannot believe we have 94L 95L 96L and 97L and Gil and 95E and 92C and Fitow! It may be the most active day of the hurricane season!
Member Since: September 7, 2006 Posts: 90 Comments: 2678
1158. hurricanehamster
1:43 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
what time is it in florida
1157. VaSurfer
1:41 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
Ok thanks for the response, I'll just go it alone
1156. OkieChick
1:38 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
Thanks SJ

Hope you don't mind questions now and again! I appreciate all the help.
1155. Bonedog
1:37 PM GMT on August 30, 2007
eagles I have been getting that as well. I made a post about it a few up from yours
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418

Viewing: 1205 - 1155

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Overcast
28 °F
Overcast