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Chasing Katrina!! 175mph F3 winds and NO Flooding!

Anonymous

Lets hear some posts from those chasing this bad boy, as well as thoughts and opinions from the rest of you on the feasibility of chasing such an event. Here are some of my initial thoughts about the possible magnitude plus some issues chasing cross posted from wx-chase:

Freak out! 175 mph winds!? I don't even remember there ever being a hurricane from the Atlantic
with winds that high. Surely this is higher than Camille? That would be also an F3 tornado damage
speed.

Even trying to be somewhat conservative it seems reasonable this could be the doomsday scenario for
New Orleans they've been talking about for years. Take a look at this chart which is very good.
http://www.nola.com/hurricane/images/goingunder.pdf It's 24 mb pdf, but nice in that it shows the
path of Betsy, and details on the levy system. The leftmost levy in the diagram is 14 feet and the
one by the Mississippi is 21 feet. Cat 3 will be has high as the levy system at 14 feet but waves
can still wash over. Cat 4 surge is 19 feet and is over the levy flooding the city. Cat 5 is 24
feet and over both levees. Keep in mind this is a low tide value! What would wave heights be on top
of surge!?

Lets hope it doesn't hit the city directly or slightly west as Lon mentioned otherwise it doesn't
fair good. Current forecast estimates still put the hurricane on track for NO and winds will most
likely still be Cat 4 or higher. I'm hearing that there are tons of people in NO that have no
vehicles such as the poor, or just city dwellers. An old TWC segment just mentioned that FEMA stated
such a scenario could lead to 40,000 to 60,000 fatalities. This sounds alarmist to me, but it is
not my quote. Appears water in "the bowl" could sit for many weeks under many feet of water if this
occurs. Stagnation of water and disease would be a major problem.

I've heard that NO has plans to use the Super Dome for people to take shelter in and climb stands in
the event of flooding. Wonder what kind of winds it can survive in a direct hit. Granted NO is not
directly on the beach but a short jog inland so perhaps there will always be some weakening from
initial landfall.

Some have mentioned chasing this. Whereas it almost never ends up as bad as the hype sometimes it
does. This could be the exception. I'm not going to tell anyone not to chase this as this is what
we do. However I think the real problem assuming you can be in Slidell or where ever and avoid 20
foot plus waves and winds over 140mph is the fact that you will then probably be stuck (trapped) in
the middle of a big disaster area with disease all around. With such a large area inundated what
effects to food, water, gas, supplies and roadways will there be? Seems there is real potential to
be stuck for awhile - maybe a one, two weeks or more.

Also the thing that always bugs me about the idea of chasing these hurricanes....you leave at last
minute in order to really know where the eye will land but that puts you short on time to find
quality shelter before the big winds hit. You can be caught outside. With everyone evacuating in the
way, it seems it could be impossible to make progress through traffic jams to get anywhere such as a
shelter for storm observing. So it could be tough.

Roger, good luck in Slidell if you do it. Best of luck to the rest of you as well if you are
chasing this currently phenomenal storm!
 
Looks like both the ETA and GFS are currently showing a near direct hit on New Orleans and apparently for Monday morning. What I was hearing previously is that landfall would be Monday afternoon or early evening. I'd think this would be a bad sign as that means less time for evacuation and less time for chasers to get into position. Here are the maps:

eta24hr_sfc_mslp.gif


gfs024hr_sfc_mslp.gif
 
Like you said, getting stuck is a big concern. Otherwise, you obviously can not stand in 175mph winds, so venturing out would be impossible. I would not trust a car in that wind, let alone an SUV which would deffinatly get pushed around. I can not see putting yourself in the midst of this beat, it would litterally be like another world. I hope some video is able to be captured from this monster, though I can not really see how any could be taken...
 
Originally posted by Anonymous
Like you said, getting stuck is a big concern. Otherwise, you obviously can not stand in 175mph winds, so venturing out would be impossible. I would not trust a car in that wind, let alone an SUV which would deffinatly get pushed around. I can not see putting yourself in the midst of this beat, it would litterally be like another world. I hope some video is able to be captured from this monster, though I can not really see how any could be taken...

Pushed around?? At those wind speeds I'd expect seeing 18-wheel trucks cartwheeling through the air! An SUV would be nothing.

I'd expect to see some Hummers go airborne for good distances.

:shock:
 
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