Tropical Storm On Katrina's Track?
LABELLE, FL. -- The National Hurricane Center says the odds of Tropical Storm Isaac hitting the New Orleans, Louisiana and Mobile, Alabama area as a hurricane have risen to 40% as it appears to head for the New Orleans area, mimicking Hurricane Katrina's path of 2005.
In the the Gulf of Mexico this morning southeast of New Orleans, the storm is bringing some fears to residents of the Gulf states who, exactly seven years ago, suffered the effects of Hurricane Katrina.
In the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, winds have picked up a bit since leaving the coast of southwest Florida, with a chance of hitting hurricane force as the Tropical storm reaches the coast. Predictions from the National Hurricane Center, however, indicate the winds will quickly subside to tropical storm levels once it hits land,, if it even reaches hurricane force.
Meanwhile, most news media have been reporting the "worst" case scenarios for the last week, reporting much higher winds and tides than actually have occurred so far. Recommendation: Go directly to the National Hurricane Center for accurate forecasts and probabilities of wind speeds, times, and locations.
The National Hurricane Center graphics above show probabilities of sustained (1-minute average) surface wind speeds equal to or exceeding 64 kt...74 mph (hurricane force) in the Gulf of Mexico and onto land areas.
These wind speed probability graphics are based on the official National Hurricane Center (NHC) track, intensity, and wind radii forecasts, and on NHC forecast error statistics for those forecast variables during recent years.
Also see: NHC Storm Surge Chart - above normal water levels can be expected along parts of the Gulf of Mexico coastline as southerly winds pushes water into bays.
(Click on above graphic for larger image)