29 August 2005

Katrina hits coastal LA and MS hard...

At about 11Z today, Katrina made landfall on the Mississippi River delta 
in southeast LA as a potent CAT4 hurricane.  Maximum sustained winds 
were estimated to be 120kts with a MSLP of 920mb.  Then it proceded 
north... the western eyewall hitting New Orleans, and the eastern 
eyewall hitting Gulfport and Biloxi.  There are already reports of 
significant flooding and damage all along the coast in LA, MS, and AL -- 
from New Orleans to Pensacola.  It's still too early to get a complete 
picture of what has transpired this morning, but it will be an extremely 
costly disaster.  Cities as far east as Mobile, AL had levees topped and 
flood waters racing into the city.  Buoys just offshore reported waves 
of 40+ ft ahead of the storm.

The storm has since moved inland and weakened to a CAT1 hurricane as of 
this writing.  Further weakening will occur, but now the primary threat 
is from inland flooding, and that is a risk for the next several days in 
the southeast and Ohio Valley.  Visit 
http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/wwa/ to check out the most current 
watches and warnings.  Remember that tornadoes and flash floods are big 
dangers from hurricanes that have made landfall... even quite far from 
where it made landfall.

As of 19Z, Hurricane Katrina was located at 31.4N 89.6W (near 
Hattiesburg, MS) and tracking N at 15kts.  The intensity is 80kts and 
the MSLP is 955mb.  On its forecast track, it will be passing over TN, 
KY, and OH over the next couple of days.

If you wish to help the Katrina victims, the American Red Cross has a 
donation form at https://www.redcross.org/donate/donation-form.asp

Due to excessive shear in the critical formative stage, TD13 has 
dissipated into an open wave and is no longer forecast to intensify.  It 
will be watched for signs of regeneration though.  However, a relatively 
new wave has exited the African coast and is located near 10N 32W, just 
southwest of the Cape Verde Islands.  It shows signs of development and 
conditions should be favorable for gradual organization.
Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

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