3:AM EDT (2AM CDT) Update Satellite shows a weakness in the western part of the storm, perhaps some dry air intrusion, this is good news as it gives the chance for the storm to weaken if this spot makes it to the core, at best keep it from regaining category 5 strength before the center makes landfall.
11:00 PM EDT (10PM CDT) Update Katrina remains a Category 5 storm, the National Hurricane center is saying that the storm may be starting to go through an eyewall replacement cycle, which may weaken the storm in the short term, but spread out the winds further. Recon recently reported that the pressure is up to 908mb, continuing the slow weakening trend from earlier today.
If it has time to finish this before landfall, it could restrengthen again. It is still a category 5 storm, the pressure is still one of the lowest ever recorded in the Atlantic Basin. So this is all relative, either way it's still making its way to New Orleans as a Category 5 hurricane.
Let us hope and pray it does not have time to finish eyewall replacement before landfall.
10:30p Update Hurricane Katrina appears to be entering an eyewall replacement cycle this evening, suggested by recon data and radar imagery and strongly implied by microwave imager data. This could result in temporary fluctuations in intensity over the course of the next few hours with some weakening possible as it makes landfall overnight and into the early morning hours near the mouth of the Mississippi River. Conditions continue to go downhill along the coast, with a strong threat for tornadoes in the outer feeder bands extending from New Orleans to Pensacola.
A full update is forthcoming from the NHC in the 11p package.
Original Update Tropical Depression Thirteen has formed in the Central Atlantic. It is most likely going out to sea.
Hurricane Katrina is the number one concern right now as it moves toward New Orleans. The center is starting to be seen on long range radar, so let the nail biting nowcasting style tracking begin.
The official track has shifted to the left slightly, giving New Orleans a bit more concern than the last few forecasts. Indeed, the GFDL model has shifted slightly west as well. At this point exact landfall is moot. It will be devestating to wherever it crosses. The exact point of landfall matters greatly for flooding. With this track, overflow into the south shore of the lake area is very likely.
The storm is down to a pressure of 902mb, making it the fourth strongest storm recorded in the Atlantic (by Pressure) with 165MPH winds, the winds have relaxed a bit, but will likely fluctuate up and down.
More to come as time passes.
Looking to help folks in the area, check here to see and offer suggestions.
Repost of Clark's Blog since it is most applicable now:
What can you expect if you are in the following locations from Hurricane Katrina?
o Southeast Louisiana, including Lake Ponchatrain and New Orleans: This is the expected landfall region as of this time. The storm is likely to reach the shore of the state as an intense category 5 hurricane with winds anywhere from 160-185mph. Coastal flooding along the coast due to storm surge is going to be a major problem anywhere to the east of where the center of the storm makes landfall and along all sides of the shore of Lake Ponchatrain. The storm will not lose much, if any, intensity between the coast and the first 50-60mi inland due to the nature of the land.
On the projected path, category 5 strength winds will be felt in the city of New Orleans itself; this is akin to an F3 tornado over a span of 25-50 miles. Widespread destruction of a catastrophic nature is quite possible as the storm passes across the city; gusts over 200mph -- in the F4 tornado range -- could result in structural failure to many of the buildings within the city. Flooding will only exacerbate the problem as the storm passes. Many roads will be impassable for weeks, if not months, and services to many parts of the city may be out for a similar length of time.
Simply put, if you are in this area, you needed to get out a long time ago. Now is too late. It is time to head to the shelter of last resort, the Louisiana Superdome, and ride out the storm the best you can.
o Central Louisiana, including Baton Rouge and Lafayette: You will likely be on the west side of the storm but still within the region of hurricane-force winds with this storm. Precautions should be taken to ensure that potentially hazardous objects (debris) are removed from outside and those in weak structures are evacuated to a shelter. Isolated tornadoes are possible with flooding in low-lying areas due to locally heavy rain a threat as well.
o Southern Mississippi & Alabama Coastlines, including Pascagoula, Biloxi, and Mobile: The storm will likely pass near or just east of the mouth of the Pearl River at landfall. This places all of the coastal cities of Mississippi near the center in the right-front quadrant of the storm. Storm surge, particularly into Mobile Bay and near Pascagoula (where there are fewer obstructions from the Louisiana coastline) is going to be a major concern. Isolated tornadoes and winds to hurricane-force are likely across this region, with flooding as the storm moves inland becoming a bigger concern due to trailing feeder bands setting up to the east of the storm.
o Inland Southern & Central Mississippi, including Hattiesburg: Similar impacts will be felt here as they will to the west, as noted in the forecast for the central Louisiana area. The threat for tornadoes and heavy rain is likely a bit higher in this area, however.
o Inland Southern & Central Alabama, including areas up to Birmingham: Locally heavy rains, isolated tornadoes, and gusty winds are the primary threats from this storm Monday into Tuesday morning as the storm continues to move inland.
o Coastal Florida to Destin/Panama City and Apalachee Bay: This storm is stronger but much further west than Dennis made landfall just one month ago. Despite this, high tides Sunday into Monday may bring localized coastal flooding to areas damaged by previous hurricanes. Rain of 3-6" may be realized in localized areas, though the threat for tornadoes is not quite as high as it is further to the north and west.
Remember, for those within the track uncertainty cone at this point in time, this storm has the potential to bring about catastrophic property losses, massive flooding, and the loss of life. New Orleans and all of Southeast Louisiana as well as parts of S. Mississippi are under mandatory evacuations. Do not hesitate and please, get out while you still can. This afternoon will be too late.
Event Related Links General Links Report Katrina conditions in your area/read other's reports at this link (registration not required).
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