I've got most everything done that I'm going to do. That consisted of bringing in about 10 bikes, some toys, scooters, balls, hoses and such. I'd estimate that 75-80% of my neighborhood has evacuated. I haven't seen anything taken this seriously since Georges, so obviously in Old Metairie, the folks did what the felt they needed to. I have a theory (that I think holds) that whenever there is a recent & devastating storm, people think twice about staying. Frances (flooding) then the mass evacuation for Georges, Alex/Charley/Frances and Ivan. I'm pretty excited about Ivan. I don't know what it has in store for me, but I'm ready for the action. Today's been kind of weird. It's a mixed sky right now with a nice breeze around 12-15 gusting to 18-20 from time to time - mostly out of the E and ENE. The temperature is in the mid 80's. That really shows how big Ivan is. Often when a compact storm is 250 miles away, the weather can be hot and still (calm before the storm stuff). But that's not the feel today. My expectations are a cross between what New Orleans got from Florence (88 I think), Andrew (92) and Georges (98). Put together, that's probably a few inches of rain (more with a landfall closer to me), some sustained winds in the 30's and 40's with some gusts into the 50's and 60's, blown transformers, downed limbs and scattered power and cable outages - you know, a good beer drinking partying kind of storm. I could be wrong (and I hope I'm not, heh) but I'm looking forward to the ride. The traffic has been horrendous in the city as everyone hit the highways this morning. My kids are en route to Memphis, and my wife is sleeping and should be heading up there later this evening after she gets some sleep. I've gotten a few "Woooo" calls from old hurricane buddies who wanted to know my excitement level amidst all the freaking going on. I guess that means people to party with over the next few days
The last several frames show alternating N and NNW movements - I'd guess the storm was averaging 340ish in the short term after a westerly jog this morning. Without doing the math, Ivan seems to be stair-stepping around 320-330 (NN+W essentially) . Prayers and well wishes to everyone with property, peeps, ties or whatever from lower Plaquemines Parish, LA to Panama City. Hopefully the just west of Mobile scenario doesn't pan out. That's similar to our doomsday of a storm riding toward the WNW south of the city (as JB noted today - the one that makes N.O. the Gulf via Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Borne. We'll see that again someday, but not this time.
A JB quick note on Jeanne. In his backing pattern theory, Jeanne (if she encouters a ridge building in behind Ivan as some of the models are now alluding to) becomes a potential player for the Western Gulf by 3-6 degrees west of Ivan's landfall. That theory requires her to wait for the Ivan mess to clear and then head on W (he had it between FL and Cuba, but that was just a telestrator drawing and wasn't emphasized as much as the idea that it could mirror the Isidore-Lili 1-2 Gulf Cat 4's from 2002 based on uncannily similar water temperature profiles.
I'll check in from time to time. Good luck to all and a shout out to Frank P. My bet is by the time he's back online, he rates in the Top 3 as measured by the seawall and Beach Blvd.
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