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NOLA and Hurricane Ida- Are you a gambling man?


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When hurricane Katrina was forming in the Gulf of Mexico back in 2005 I wrote a story about the possible consequences of the storm for the New Orleans, Mobile Bay area. As the storm closed in and the situation grew more tenuous. Hurricane Katrina landed just west of NOLA on the morning of August 29th as a waning category 3 storm. Katrina's surge had tragic consequences for many of the city's poorest wards. 

This morning at 5AM I texted a dear friend to get his Dad moving out of the area. Like many elderly people in the area he has no personal transportation. For any of you with friends or family along the Louisiana coastline, please get them out of the flood/storm surge areas.  If the storm comes in to the West of NOLA and then slows down the storm surge will meet the backflow river drainage in the 36 hours following landfall. Translation:  This is likely to be a severe event. 

As of 11:45PDT Friday, the system is rapidly improving its satellite signature and I expect this to become a major hurricane by Saturday evening at the latest. The deep, warm water of the GOM loop current is right along the projected trajectory of the storm and the shear is also forecast to ease in the vicinity of the storm track. 

More later as things develop. 

57ee2536-3371-452d-833f-57a11cb32ffa.jpg

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I was at a Federal agency when Katrina was coming in.  The watchfloor were monitoring and knew it was going to be bad and had the usual emergency authorizations in place as it was coming in.  Then it hit and moved past NO.  

 

Then it came back past NO.  Then it stalled, turned inland and hit NO again.  Well, not really just NO.  Louisiana and Mississippi too.  It was a very big storm like this one but the path was unusual. Those two states weren't as photogenic as the suffering in NO and it made for better political theater and media coverage but the scale of destruction was incomprehensible.  NO would have been okay with a single strike.  They took the equivalent of three hits due to the goofy path, size and slow progress of the storm.  We stood by watching in horror asking our weather guys what was going on as they kept reading data and shaking their heads.  Sucked to be watching it and seeing it go down but being powerless to stop it.  Mother Nature is indifferent to human suffering. 

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7 minutes ago, Lex Teredo said:

I was at a Federal agency when Katrina was coming in.  The watchfloor were monitoring and knew it was going to be bad and had the usual emergency authorizations in place as it was coming in.  Then it hit and moved past NO.  

 

Then it came back past NO.  Then it stalled, turned inland and hit NO again.  Well, not really just NO.  Louisiana and Mississippi too.  It was a very big storm like this one but the path was unusual. Those two states weren't as photogenic as the suffering in NO and it made for better political theater and media coverage but the scale of destruction was incomprehensible.  NO would have been okay with a single strike.  They took the equivalent of three hits due to the goofy path, size and slow progress of the storm.  We stood by watching in horror asking our weather guys what was going on as they kept reading data and shaking their heads.  Sucked to be watching it and seeing it go down but being powerless to stop it.  Mother Nature is indifferent to human suffering. 

I don't want to be an ass, but get better forecasters. They are out there. Levi Cowan would be a good resource. When Mayor Ray Nagin was asking the local TV weather people two hours before landfall what to expect, there is a disconnect of professional services and the government responsible for people's safety. Disgusting. 

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5 minutes ago, DryArmour said:

I don't want to be an ass, but get better forecasters. They are out there. Levi Cowan would be a good resource. When Mayor Ray Nagin was asking the local TV weather people two hours before landfall what to expect, there is a disconnect of professional services and the government responsible for people's safety. Disgusting. 

We weren't really in a position to fire the NOAA guys who service most of the FedGov.  

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Mark, I was talking with a recently retired NOAA NHC boffin yesterday, and he thought the environmental conditions between Cuba and NOLA (high SSTs, no shear etc.) could produce a violently rapid intensity increase just before landfall.  What's your opinion?  Fingers x-ed that he's wrong.

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5 hours ago, P_Wop said:

Mark, I was talking with a recently retired NOAA NHC boffin yesterday, and he thought the environmental conditions between Cuba and NOLA (high SSTs, no shear etc.) could produce a violently rapid intensity increase just before landfall.  What's your opinion?  Fingers x-ed that he's wrong.

Potentially, same. But major hurricanes do what they want...not what they are forecast to do. 2AM PDT and I am waiting to see the structure after exiting Cuba.  More later this morning. 

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Dry air is getting pulled into the core of Ida which may limit its intensification to a Cat 3.  

Still, when your city is five feet below sea level and is surrounded by water and your brand new multi-million dollar sea wall is only rated for a category 3 hurricane, I think the smart plan is to be sitting (Right Now!) somewhere in a state park in Arkansas, inside your travel trailer, with the air conditioner running and burgers on the grill and beer in the fridge....watching the news.  

Right now is defined as having arrived in Arkansas on Friday Afternoon, August 27, 2021.

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1 minute ago, NaptimeAgain said:

Family evacuated today, but thinking of a former student who can't leave since she is taking care of hospitalized COVID pts in NOLA.

If she is in a steel reinforced concrete structure with at least four stories she should be okay.  

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3 minutes ago, DryArmour said:

If she is in a steel reinforced concrete structure with at least four stories she should be okay.  

She worked at Charity Hospital during Katrina, and I'm thinking she's in better infrastructure this time around.

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4 minutes ago, NaptimeAgain said:

She worked at Charity Hospital during Katrina, and I'm thinking she's in better infrastructure this time around.

I hope they have plenty of fuel for the generators, and that the generators themselves aren't on the ground floor or in a basement.  Lessons from Fukushima-Daichi.

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On 8/28/2021 at 3:00 PM, DryArmour said:

Levi Cowan would be a good resource.

Mentioned him in the other thread, and I just noticed that he is now running a complete blog on tropical weather.

https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/blog/

Includes his excellent Youtube summary, see here for the latest, and is saying he will do an update on Sunday morning as well.

 

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31 minutes ago, Fiji Bitter said:

Mentioned him in the other thread, and I just noticed that he is now running a complete blog on tropical weather.

https://www.tropicaltidbits.com/blog/

Includes his excellent Youtube summary, see here for the latest, and is saying he will do an update on Sunday morning as well.

 

This blog is great. Very technical and I learn something new every video I watch. Meanwhile in Texas we are stoked for the swell coming tomorrow. Hard to sleep...

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4 hours ago, hoektron said:

This blog is great. Very technical and I learn something new every video I watch. Meanwhile in Texas we are stoked for the swell coming tomorrow. Hard to sleep...

That fucker has teeth.  get out if you can .  Put life preservers on the kids and yourselves,

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15 hours ago, P_Wop said:

I hope they have plenty of fuel for the generators, and that the generators themselves aren't on the ground floor or in a basement.  Lessons from Fukushima-Daichi.

Actually Gen Russell Honore who resolved all the screw-ups of Scrub's FEMA secretary Michael Brown wrote a book on lessons learned from Katrina.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russel_L._Honoré

 

https://www.amazon.com/Survival-Being-Prepared-Keep-Family/dp/1416599010/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=russell+honore&qid=1630229899&s=books&sr=1-4

I highly suggest anyone read this book.  Chock full of great insight not only on how to survive, but more importantly the process to prepare for incidents.

 

He had built special comm vehicles some at the Pentagon thought were silly and was en-route as Katrina was approaching.  Like Patton, he anticipated a threat and was attacking before anyone had woke up to the risk.

He was the one who pointed out YEARS before Fukushima that putting emergency generators at ground level for important structures subject to flooding is folly and should be mounted high.

Tokyo Power & Electric ignored this information to their detriment, as have most US power companies with nukes on the coastline.

 

Now we will see how well various governments understood what Gen Honore laid out for them 11 years ago.

 

 

 

 

 

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...900 AM CDT POSITION UPDATE...
...NORTHERN EYEWALL OF IDA APPROACHING THE COAST OF SOUTHEASTERN
LOUISIANA...
An elevated NOAA C-MAN station at Southwest Pass, Louisiana, recently reported a sustained wind of 102 mph (165 km/h) and a wind gust of 116 mph (187 km/h). Another elevated NOAA C-MAN station at Pilot's Station East near Southwest Pass recently reported a sustained wind of 97 mph (156 km/h) and a gust to 121 mph (194 km/h).
A NOAA National Ocean Service observing site at Pilottown, Louisiana, recently reported a sustained wind of 52 mph (84 km/h) and a gust of 77 mph (124 km/h).
SUMMARY OF 900 AM CDT...1400 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...28.7N 89.8W
ABOUT 40 MI...65 KM SSE OF GRAND ISLE LOUISIANA
ABOUT 90 MI...145 KM SSE OF NEW ORLEANS LOUISIANA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...150 MPH...240 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 320 DEGREES AT 14 MPH...22 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...930 MB...27.46 INCHES
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A police chief reported that the anemometer blew away at 148mph. That's some serieus stuff, he also said the building was certified for 200mph.

I had been wondering how boats in the Mississippi river would fare, and apparently not so good:

Barges Knocked Loose on Mississippi River

More than 20 barges were knocked from their moorings on the Mississippi River in St. Bernard Parish, nola.com reported. The U.S. Coast Guard was notified but there was little they could do.

It wasn't immediately clear when the barges broke loose or where they were.

The incident happened in the same part of the river where a passenger ferry had earlier broken away.

That would cause a bit of havoc, wouldn't it?

 

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SEVERE STORM PRO TIP: If you are trying to reach someone in the affected storm area, send them a text. Don't call them. A text data packet is tiny compared to a voice call and the message is much more likely to get through a jammed-up communications system.

 

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11 minutes ago, DryArmour said:

SEVERE STORM PRO TIP: If you are trying to reach someone in the affected storm area, send them a text. Don't call them. A text data packet is tiny compared to a voice call and the message is much more likely to get through a jammed-up communications system.

 

An ACTUAL TEXT! Not emojis, photos, videos, or anything else like that.

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What they said - and text are data packets that can be broken up and sent as available until it is complete.  I have been there and not unusual for a text to take an hour or more to be received.  Calling when congested just further jams the system.

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Th30 ueRs ago when I was jamradioactive,vwe had this new thing called"packet" radio 

Similar thing there. Bits would get througj untilcomplete. Amtor/Sitor also do that i  error correction mode.

Voice--EsprciallybDIGotal, is all or nothong. Analog coild go througj some noise.

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3 minutes ago, fastyacht said:

TBits would get througj untilcomplete.

 

If I'm deciphering this correctly I'd say you are using it now? ;)

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The weather forecast models have been struggling to get things right outside 96 hours. That being said, this forecast for September 16th will be highly distressing if it comes to fruition. $HIT. Pray for NOLA.

gfs_mslp_pcpn_frzn_us_64.png

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7 hours ago, DryArmour said:

The weather forecast models have been struggling to get things right outside 96 hours. That being said, this forecast for September 16th will be highly distressing if it comes to fruition. $HIT. Pray for NOLA.

gfs_mslp_pcpn_frzn_us_64.png

Now you see it. Now you don't. :)

gfs_mslp_wind_watl_fh366_trend.thumb.gif.1f0f85c634a15c542b574424833d1f1f.gif

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, Ida didn't do all that much damage in the city, levees held and it was not a flood event. A few shingles off, some aluminum siding too, and one busted window at my little house uptown.  We stayed, and rode her out in a very big mansion on St Charles Avenue, very nice friends who were going on vacation just before the storm, and invited many of their friends to make themselves at home there, with built in generator.  Very eclectic group of fourteen people of all generations, it was the most fun I've had riding out a storm.

Eventually had to go back home, no electricity, hot, dark, and some work stuff got postpotoned, so we took off to the east, long drive with dog and cat, to Palm City Florida, a friend of ours from years of scuba diving as buddies.  We made a vacation of it, and enjoyed it, a couple dives off Jupiter, swimming, very bad golf.   

New Orleans was pretty lucky on this one.  Not so for the river parishes (counties) just upriver, and the coastal areas around Port Fourchon.  They're the ones needing help.

 

 

\

 

 

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