Yes, Clark is right, to have started the evacuation at 60 hrs is much better than 48 hrs.
But, as to a model showing a hit at 72 hrs out, a city can't rely on a model or two. If I evacuated everytime a model showed a hurricane coming near Orlando, I'd evacuate at least twice a year.
My point is that 72 hrs out, they knew it was a possiblity, but it was no where near enough information to evacuate over 1 million people when the NHC's official forecast wasn't even calling for tropical storm force winds in New Orleans. (Not focusing on a point, the forecast had TS force winds 100 miles from the center. NO is at approximately 90. Each degree is approximately 60 miles. 90-86.5=3.5x60=210 miles. At 72 hrs, NO was officially forecast to be 110 miles from minor tropical strom force winds and 210 miles from the center of the storm. At 72 hours out, New Orleans wasn't in the cone of error! http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/2005/KATRINA_graphics.shtml)
Either way, hindsight is wonderful. I'm sure they wish they had forced an evacuation at the hint it may go to New Orleans, but don't we always preach here to look at the models, remain aware of the possibilities, but when it comes down to it, listen to the NHC forecast?
Edited by abyrd (Wed Aug 31 2005 04:50 PM)