Joe’s Weather Blog: 10 years ago today (SAT-8/29)

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

As August winds down, it’s a very October like day in the area with lots of low clouds and limited sunshine. every so often the sun tries but it really may struggle for the rest of the afternoon, as a result highs today may not get to 75° in may areas, especially from KC northwards…

Forecast:

Tonight: I’m beginning to think that we may stay variably cloudy for most of the night with an outside chance of some patchy fog in a few areas…temperatures tonight may hold pretty steady in the 60s

Tomorrow: We may have some cloud issues again on Sunday IF we start with clouds in the morning hours…IF so highs may only be closer to 80° or so. IF we get enough breaks in the clouds, then mid 80s are likely but it may be a mostly cloudy day.

Monday>Friday next week: At this point it looks like warmer and somewhat more humid condition are likely. Highs should be approaching 90° each day with some lower 90s possible for a few days in there. at this point no significant moisture is expected into next weekend.

Discussion:

10 years ago today in KC the high was 87° and the low was 62°.

10 years ago today we were tracking a weakening hurricane Katrina slamming onto the Gulf coast. By the time you read this today, it would’ve already come ashore and we were just learning about the devastation in New Orleans and through southern AL/MS.

It was a ferocious storm, but was steadily weakening as it came ashore…the biggest issue however was the storm surge with the system. Despite the weakening trend (from a max intensity of around 175 mph) there was so much water build up with the storm, that the storm surge didn’t decrease even as the winds started to wind down a bit. This combined with the levees breaking and/or being topped by the surge led to disaster in New Orleans.

The storm surge topped 27.8′ of water in Pass Christian, MS, which was a record for the highest storm surge in US weather history. Before the storm reached land, in the open Gulf waters wave heights reached over 55 feet at a buoy in the Gulf 64 miles south of Dauphin Island

On the 28th, the storm was it’s most intense…

So even though the storm was weakening, there was such a water build-up in the form of storm surge, that it didn’t drop as quickly as the winds were gradually spinning down…hence all the devastation

A lot of that storm surge ended up in Lake Ponchartrain, and when the levee broke there (Industrial Canal levee), water was dumped into eastern New Orleans. In the end I think there were over 50 breeches and

MS was also hard hit…

It was a devastating storm that had wide ranging impacts from a human standpoint to a physical standpoint to a material standpoint and even to a political standpoint. These types of disasters do that.

There is speculation if perhaps in today’s social media environment if things might have been different somehow, if perhaps some people would’ve been more clued in on the real-time situation with the levee breeches etc.. We’ll never really know for sure though.

One thing that I can guarantee however, somewhere somehow there are big cities that will be directly hit by another massive hurricane. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. They’ve rebuilt the levees in New Orleans but it will always be a town that’s below sea level…and that means it will always be vulnerable to storms like this…and those levees will one day be tested, perhaps even more so with stronger winds the next time.

There is other additional information here…from NOAA.

and here is a 43 page report of the storm.

and the NWS in New Orleans has a write-up as well

OK that’s it for today…

Joe

 

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