Thursday, August 25, 2005

Katrina to come a'knockin

Katrina 4

5:00 PM 8/24/2005: Newly minted Hurricane Katrina will make two landfalls in Florida before heading northeast through the Carolinas and into the coastal Mid-Atlantic. Concern is that the system will regenerate back to tropical storm or even hurricane status due to very warm waters in the Chesapeake Bay and off the Del-Mar-Va. Bottom line for Florida to Maryland will be prolonged heavy rains along a 200-300 mile swath on either side of the storm's track as it heads northeast. The general idea among some Accuweather forecasters is that Katrina follows a path similar to Hurricane Donna in 1960..which dropped a foot of rain in New York City. A recurving into the Atlantic is unlikely due to the influence of a high pressure ridge settling across the Northeast. This high will probably keep the storm over land or just along the coast until it reaches the New England area. Overall, it poses a difficult forecasting challenge for anyone following this storm, professional or otherwise!

Notice the differences in the projected path from Friday to Sunday as compared from the original forecast on Wednesday.

Katrina 5

At 5PM Thursday, the storm was moving west, but had begun turning SW, which will lengthen the time it has over the 88-90 F eastern Gulf waters. Category 3 is not out of the question.

Katrina 3
NHC position and path as of Wednesday morning

Katrina 2

TUE 4:00 PM 8/23/2005: FRESH OUT OF THE GATE IS OUR NEWEST TROPICAL STORM KATRINA, which you can see is projected to reach hurricane status by landfall along the south Florida coast. There is BIG concern this system could rapidly deepen once in the Gulf, and as you can see, it's projected path takes it along the dangerous northwestern track toward New Orleans. 

Similar tracks were in September 1947 (although it lost strength in the Gulf) and Betsy in August-Sept 1965 which did intensify once in the Gulf. There is ALSO the possibility Katrina intensifies, and gets redirected northeast in the Gulf BACK TOWARD FLORIDA, or even toward the area where Dennis struck, before recurving north-northeast and exiting the coast near DelMarVa. Suffice to say that with very warm Gulf / western Atlantic waters and a low shear environment, Katrina has every opportunity to make her mark on Florida and the Gulf Coast.

Previous projected paths will be posted below for comparison to where computers thought this storm would go...will be interesting to see where she finally ends up.

Katrina 1


TC Danger Zone 8-22
The National Hurricane Center foresees two regions ripe for tropical development. It will be race to see which gets the naming prize first. Below is the area of concern near the Dominican Republic/Haiti (at the bottom center of the screen). A low level circulation is forming, and convection has been firing up in this area for several days. Some computers project this becomes a tropical storm within 48 hours and takes it toward Florida, then into the Gulf Coast. The heat and humidity plaguing the east for days has been pushed to the Southeast where you can see the tropical thunderstorms exploding all across the area.

Atlantic 8-22-05

The next region of development may be in the central or eastern Atlantic, and this is the time of year where we would expect to see storms that roll off the African coast begin to light up the map. You can even see a swirl of circulation with the western-most wave, although the second one would seem to show more promise. Many forecasters find that if these kind of more northly waves develops too quickly off the coast, they recurve. A more southerly emerging wave, such as the one which spawned Isabel below 15 degrees north, did not recurve. So the waiting and watching begins to see whch of these will make it past the recurve zone and start the Atlantic march westward.

Atlantic 8-22A


E.H. Boston said...

Will the tropical wave off the Africa coast be classified as a depression any time soon?

Will it be able to develop and move westward towards the eastern U.S., or will it be broken up by shear or dry air and be pulled into the "Hurricane Graveyard?"

On the upcoming Katrina, the NWS has it as a hurricane 5 days out in the Gulf, so look out weary Gulf coast residents. It could be another big one to reckon with.

Will Lee big the big name for the east coast in the coming weeks...

time will tell...

Foot's Forecast said...

There is also concern Katrina (or Lee, which ever reaches 40 mph first) could curve up along the FL coast and bisect the Carolinas. Such a path would threaten Eastern areas of SC and NC with hurricane conditions, but would not necessarily put the Chesapeake Bay at risk unless the storm was driven in farther west as it came north. So there are two scenarios... into the Gulf, or a FL scare then up the coast.

If the African wave stays weak and comes slowly west, it has a shot at making it across and under an upper level trough that is responsible for a lot of the recurves from the East Atlantic. Once waves get under and to the west of that trough, they quickly develop as we saw with Irene and Franklin, but not so with TD 10 which got hung up by the trough and had it's energy sapped. By the 31st... we could have 3 or 4 systems on the board.

E.H. Boston said...

Good luck south Florida...

I have to call my friends the Ryders' down there. They live in Miami-Dade county.

I bet it is big news there.

Foot's Forecast said...

Computer models starting to show a NE recurve that could produce a second landfall on the FL west coast before zooming up toward Carolinas.

Here's the link:

Terpboy said...

Has anybody tried this site?

Pretty cool!