Hurricane Isaac tracking

After battling the “dry” tropical air along its route from Haiti, Cuba, Florida, to Louisiana, Isaac has finally become a hurricane with the required 64+ knots 1-minute sustained near-surface winds.  Numerical models finally expressed some certainty on a Louisiana coastal landfall, but diverged significantly on intensity.  There is also some question about the ability of Isaac to penetrate far inland away from the frictionally convergent swamps.  A major flood event is underway.

Click image to animate it over several hours

This tracking map is in high definition (updates every 3-4 hours, click to enlarge)

Now WeatherBell’s track map via Ryan Maue: (click to enlarge)

NHC:

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/overview_atl/refresh/atl_overview+gif/1314986244.gif

Track map in HiDef – click to enlarge:

http://www.intelliweather.net/imagery/intelliweather/hurrtrack-sat_atlantic_halfdisk_1280x960.jpg

More…plus signup for free hurricane bulletins.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/tropical-cyclone/

148 thoughts on “Hurricane Isaac tracking

  1. They say three moves is as good as a fire. I submit the same can be levied (no pun intended) at a hurricane, particularly those heading to New Orleans.

  2. J. Philip Peterson,
    Even as a strong tropical storm or cat 1, the large extent with moderately strong inward winds, and long extensive heavy rain could result in huge problems. Probably not like Katrina, but the main problem with Katrina was a levy breach, not rain or wind. The long exposure and direction could produce very large storm surge, and numbers like 1 to 1.5 feet of rain could produce serious flooding in low areas.

  3. My preference is to also show the initial track as a comparison of “computer modeling” accuracy … Remember, the model projections that our “climate experts” forecast to run right up the west coast of FL. 8<)

  4. Actually, I am more interested in Typhoon Bolaven right now. My wife is Korean, and we’ve been watching the news on Korean TV (YTN). There seems to be a lot of conflicting information about the strength, and the expected effect on South Korea. I read one news item on the internet saying it’s supposed to come ashore near PyongYang (North Korea). If so, that’ll be a double whammy after the flooding North Korea had earlier this summer.

  5. So I hear that the soil along the coast is quite wet from earlier weather and they worry about the wind and more water impacting power lines and such. Can anyone reveal what the estimated landfall times will correlate with as far as tides are concerned?

  6. I would love to see a ranking of how the different models have performed on path accuracy. Is there any sites that have ranked the different models?

  7. At Hurricane (?) Isaac
    Judith Curry describes a new forecast system that

    is used operationally by my company, Climate Forecast Applications Network (CFAN), which has been making extended range hurricane forecasts since 2007, in both the North Atlantic and North Indian Ocean. . . .
    CFAN’s probabilistic forecasts of Atlantic tropical cyclone tracks show skill within 300 miles out to 7 days (even before the tropical cyclones actually form). CFAN’s unique tropical cyclogenesis model has demonstrated skill 3-10 days in advance for predicting the formation of tropical cyclone associated with African Easterly Waves, and skill 7-10 days in the North Indian Ocean.

    See CFAN’s Forecast of 08/23/2012 for Isaac, showing landfall just east of New Orleans.

    Curry compares the accuracy of CFAN vs the national hurricane forecast for Isaac.

  8. NO is in the 10-ring again. I wonder if evac has begun or if they’re going to wait a couple weeks and blame the government, again.

  9. Well at least we can be assured that this time the swimming pool walls are less likely to leak (or break), so whatever water Isaac storm dumps in New Orleans (in not on), will remain there for a while. Building cities underwater is a French / Maldivian failed idea.

    Stay safe down there.

  10. Isaac Cline, head of the Weather Office in Galveston in 1905, would be surprised to be named as a Hurricane heading towards New Orleans in 2012: he ended up in New Orleans, as an artist, painting oils, after things washed out in Galveston, so to speak.

  11. Here is a stupid question. As pointed out in a previous post about the reduced dead zone in the Gulf due to reduced Mississippi outflow resulting from the drought conditions upstream, does this mean that the Gulf is more saline making it more difficult for Isaac to draw energy in the form of water vapour thereby reducing the probability of significant growth in its trip across the Gulf?

  12. The storm isn’t the threat, this time, the sinkhole into the salt cavern full of toxic waste next to the two caverns with 3.1 million barrels of butane and propane is:

    http://enenews.com/governor-says-more-boom-being-deployed-in-sinkhole-winds-up-to-100-mph-expected-all-monitors-within-community-being-removed-texas-brine-in-hurricane-mode

    http://enenews.com/latest-forecast-isaac-tracking-toward-sinkhole-now-under-hurricane-warning-storm-to-sit-over-area-for-days-map

    3.1M bbl of liquified gas released would explode, they estimate, at 100 X Hiroshima. Oddly, the sinkhole into Texas Brine’s toxic waste dump next to them is on the SIDE of the dome, not the top.
    The huge rainstorms dumping tons of water onto the sinkhole can’t be good. Gas is already bubbling waterways across the parish.

  13. RACookPE1978 says:
    August 27, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    My preference is to also show the initial track as a comparison of “computer modeling” accuracy … Remember, the model projections that our “climate experts”
    ===========================================================================

    The model all seem to show that in the next day or so it is likely to be somewhere close to where it is now. I could have told you that without a model. After that the models show that it will likely be somewhere else. Where exactly they aren’t sure, but kind somewhere close to where it is generally heading now, I could have told you that also.

  14. According to Nightline Isaac pounded the coast of Florida, as some who lives on the coast of Florida, yes the gulf coast, I really don’t think it was that much of a pounding. Debbie, which got far less press did a lot more pounding.

  15. george e smith says:

    August 27, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Well at least we can be assured that this time the swimming pool walls are less likely to leak (or break), so whatever water Isaac storm dumps in New Orleans (in not on), will remain there for a while. Building cities underwater is a French / Maldivian failed idea.

    Stay safe down there.
    —————————————–
    I think we built a storm surge barrier since the last time ?
    Looks like it may get tested soon ?

  16. Dp, you have no idea what you are talking about, [snip -policy] In 2005, we had already evacuated once, for Hurricane David, which of course you don’t remember. It costs a lot of money to evacuate and plenty of people couldn’t afford it a second time when Katrina came. And if you don’t think the government left the people of New Orleans to rot in August 2005, then you were living on another planet. We know how to handle hurricanes here. Quit running your mouth off, [snip]

  17. Some have mentioned an upper air low over the Yucatan as the reason Isaac hasn’t yet exploded. I have been focused on the rainband left behind over Florida, which seems to have moved east and has a life of it’s own, (Name it!) Whatever the reason, the longer Isaac remains weak, the better off we are. A lot of our oil and refinery output can be screwed up if Isaac bombs out, our economy doesn’t need that sort of uppercut, New Orleans is still an important port, and Obama has made certain coal will not be a strong back-up, if oil gets hard hit.

    Lacking any better reason, I’d say the reason Isaac has remained weak is due to sub-sub-sub-atomic particals. These particals are created by several million small objects you can’t see from outer space, despite the awesome pictures we marvel over. What are these small objects? They are little people praying.

  18. The trees in the Ozark Mountains definitely need the soaking, hope like all heck they get a good drink. Looking at what happened along near the Red River at Oklahoma & Texas border from last year nearly half of the dry, totally brown trees likely will not emerge growth next spring. Could be a huge loss.

    Northeast Oklahoma is so dry, they could sure use some, but the chances don’t look good. Travelling thru recently, I felt so sorry for the cattle huddled underneath half brown trees for shade. All the other vegetation is cooked. Hay price is skyrocketing.

    Maybe some barges on the Mississippi can get unstuck and the rest can load up before we lose a lot of corn and beans that move by barge. Trains can only add so much, they are at capacity. It would take 7,000 trucks to take up the slack. We don’t have 7,000 trucks just sitting idle. They’re doing stuff. Lots of fuel and coal moves along this trade route to the heartland. With only a 9 ft deep channel which has also been narrowed the only thing to do is cut the numbers and lower the tonnage.

  19. I’m about 120 miles West of New Orleans and have been through about 50 of these.

    I still find them an exciting display of the power of nature. Like the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls, you really have to be there to understand the majesty. No photo or video can capture this.

    Right now we have a nice dry Northerly breeze and the day has been pleasant. I expect some of this dry air will get sucked in and “lean the mixture” for this particular heat engine but we are preparing in case of a jog to the West. We always prepare regardless of the predictions or our expectations.

    Hope no one gets hurt, but it’s good to be reminded occasionally of things which are greater than ourselves.

  20. Unlike climate models, I do find hurricane and weather models to be useful. They are useful for planning in the short term, and also a good lesson on why models fail long term tests.

  21. How many times are we going to rebuild a city that is in a hurricane zone and is below sea level?
    Sorry if that is a bit cold.
    Best of luck to everyone down that way. Get the hell out of dodge.

  22. Has anyone put together a mosaic of Isaac track projections over the last 3 days? It might be exceptionally eye opening to many who believe model based “science” to be infalable….

  23. Map label comment:

    Many American viewers understand wind speeds in mph. Guessing they want that shown.

    Guessing many do not know knots or would want those speeds converted to mph so they would understand them.

  24. Tom in Worc.(usa) says:
    August 27, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    How many times are we going to rebuild a city that is in a hurricane zone and is below sea level?

    My thought was that since you had an area already destroyed, might as well let whoever owns it get out what they could recover, then fill it by with dredging material from Lake Ponchatrain until it was no longer a bowl.

    On one hand, you would have one hell of a sheltered deep water port, and whoever opted to rebuild in the filled area would have less to sweat when the next big storm came along.

  25. Ben says:
    August 27, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    Many American viewers understand wind speeds in mph.

    I’m American, I understand knots just fine. It’s over water, it’s nautical, most of the reports are from vessels that operate over water (Ships, C-130, Bouys etc.) Why juxtapose units back and forth when comparing various data feeds?

  26. Ben says:

    August 27, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    Map label comment:

    Many American viewers understand wind speeds in mph. Guessing they want that shown.

    Guessing many do not know knots or would want those speeds converted to mph so they would understand them.
    ============================
    Being the bastion of freedom, has its faults :)

  27. Ben says:
    “Many American viewers understand wind speeds in mph. Guessing they want that shown.”

    Just add 15%. Like figuring a tip at a restaurant

  28. Hoping for a positive outcome, perhaps Isaac can bring some much needed rain to those of us in the drought plagued midwest. I just hop it isn’t at the expense of those in the coastal regions.

  29. D Johnson says:
    August 27, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    “… I just hop it isn’t at the expense of those in the coastal regions.”

    We’ll get over it, we always do. The insurance companies will pay for the rebuilding of the houses, and condos on the perpetually shifting sandbar known as the barrier islands and the rest of us will pay higher premiums because it cost so flipping much to keep rebuilding houses and condos on overgrown sandbars known as barrier islands and …

    You get the picture.

  30. GeoLurking says:
    August 27, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Ben says:
    August 27, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    Many American viewers understand wind speeds in mph.

    I’m American, I understand knots just fine. It’s over water, it’s nautical, most of the reports are from vessels that operate over water (Ships, C-130, Bouys etc.) Why juxtapose units back and forth when comparing various data feed

    *****************

    Not to belabor the obvious, but why not display units with slashes, so us dumb Yanks can immediately glom onto terms we can immediately relate to?

    That YOU understand knots is meaningless. The question is, do most Americans understand them?

  31. Miss Grundy says some trivial stuff intended to incite.

    Perhaps you missed the original inference that Americans are too [lacking] to be able to comprehend something such as “knots.”

    I reiterate, knots is the standard measure of many things nautical (having to do with the sea). Since so many products dealing with tropical systems are stated in knots, it would be a bit cumbersome jumping back and forth from one unit to another. In products dumbed down for the general public, such as the Weather Channel (in it’s current incarnation) or your local “news” head, sure, it make sense. But a reference product such as this, no. Pick a scale and stick with it. Consistency of presentation goes a long way in the usefulness of a product.

    Whether or disagree or not doesn’t matter. It’s not your product. If you need a different scale, convert it. Simple.

  32. Knots is the maritime unit for speed. It is how ships record their speed, it is used for currents and winds over the ocean and for aircraft. The reason the forecasts use knots is that when the storm is at sea, it is described in nautical units. Once it makes landfall, winds are described in either MPH or KPH. It isn’t a metric thing or a foreign unit, it is nautical miles per hour. Once it crosses over to land, it uses statute miles per hour (the ones you are used to driving). A nautical mile at sea is a little longer than a statute mile on land.

    They use these units so navigators of vessels at sea can calculate the storm’s course and their own course and make sure they stay out of the way. A ship moving at 20 kts in a certain direction wants to know how fast the storm is moving in knots and in which direction. It is so they don’t have to convert units and possibly put themselves in harm’s way.

  33. Isaac will barely be a hurricane at landfall, and nothing NOLA shouldn’t be able to handle. This is a big wet storm, but its nothing like Katrina. Frequency of storms of this scale is much higher than the Katrinas and should be be considered a frequent, if not common occurrence, along the gulf. If NOLA and the adjacent areas can’t handle this one, it IS time to relocate the area, finally, and let the delta be.
    NHC has been almost desparate in its advisories to get to call this one a hurricane, as if there is any real difference between 74 and 75 mph. max wind speed. I expect it to break up and dissipate quite quickly once its low pressure centre hits land and the dangerous semi-circle runs out of fuel. Isaac dried out quite quickly when the DS crossed Florida, and I’m betting it’ll do the same when it gets to Louisiana. For the amount of money they keep pouring into NOLA, they could have built a more robust seaport many times over out of the flood plain of the delta.

  34. As of 6:30 this morning the centre of rotation is 100 mi from the outer barrier sand and 178mii from downtown New Orleans. Radar is not picking up a lot of rain in the leading edge. If it behaves like it did over Fla, most of the cloud over the SW quadrant will dry out as it rotates into the gulf coast. Still just a big sloppy storm.

  35. New Orleans is older than the United States and I’m pretty confident it will survive this storm. I’ve lived in hurricane areas for two-thirds of my life, including New Orleans. The first one I remember was Hazel, I walked home from school during the eye of the storm. You get strong winds, lots of rain and some flooding. If you choose to live in these areas you prepare, evacuate as necessary and then rebuild. Katrina was a bad storm compounded by bad decisions by government at all levels, starting with the first responders (local and state). New Orleans wasn’t the only place hit by the storm, but you would hardly know that from the news.
    If you want massive flooding from a hurricane, try Floyd. My home town was a 100 miles inland and had water 10-15′ deep. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Floyd
    Hyping big storms makes great news sales and politics.

  36. Does anyone know where I can collect all of the 4 hour updates to the NOAA NHC Track Map since Issac became a Tropical Storm? Thanks…

  37. I would love to see the storm track right and weaken, ending at the edge of the predictions. The water coming from the Mississippi is very polluted and it would be good to watch it gut a major weather feature.

    JF

  38. I have been observing several models – the Weather Channel, and one at WeatherBell, since before crossing the Keys. The Weather bell model always showed Isaac headed straight for New Orleans after crossing the Keys.
    Meanwhile, Weather Channel model showed a right turn and movement paralleling the Gulf Coast
    of Florida. Over the next days and nights, Weather Channel model kept readjusting the proposed path, resulting in more closely mirroring Weatherbell’s, but still predicted a right turn before landfall. Never happened. The Weatherbell model nailed it from day one – Weather Channel was days behind.
    A very poor performance by the Weather Channel model. Hurricane Center’s predicted path was also expecting a right turn before landfall – one that never came.

  39. Paul Coppin is correct that NHC is desperately trying to squeeze a Hurrican out of Isaac. I pay very close attention to them and they always overstimate wind speed even when they have actual measurements. It’s simply the NHC culture.

  40. Oh the horrors of “Tropical Storm” Isaac, it is going to get really bad anytime now I have been hearing for two days. LMAO about the absolutely worthless computer models saying it is going to be a cat 1, 2 and even a 3 ….anytime now. Lets all keep supporting government flood and disaster insurance so people have no reason to stop living in moronic areas below sea level. Markets deal with this nonsense very easily, feel free to live there but – at your own risk.

    Why are people linking to hurricane alarmist Judith Curry? Do I really care about someone who believes, “Gore’s statement in the movie is that we can expect more storms like Katrina in a greenhouse-warmed world. I would agree with this” – Judith Curry, 2006

    or..

    “We’re looking at a much worse [Hurricane] risk than people were thinking about a year ago …some places are going to become uninsurable.” – Judith Curry, 2006

    …not with socialized insurance! No disaster is too expensive to rebuild from! I take it she understands economics about as well as hurricanes. I have never seen so many people desperately wanting this to be like Katrina.

  41. Presently, Isaac has been called a hurricane for several days, but has not been a hurricane. We are seeing hype in thne media again, as with Irene. And, as with Irene, Isaac possibly could fail to be a hurricane at landfall, by the proper definition. Could a Watts Up post be set up devoted to assessing the strength of Isaac at landfall, and how long Isaac survives as a hurricane, if Isaac does become a hurricane, and also to post examples of hypoerbole?
    This was helpful with seeing how the media failed to evaluate Irene and failed to cover Irene accurately – as an example, the Susquehanna River in NY and PA has flooded a ocuple times in the recent couple of decades, from Irene’s aftermath and also from non-hurricane rains; this shows that Al Gore’s Hurripocalypse may not be as unique in creating bad weather as he might want us to think.

  42. How embarrassing, the weather channel is now apologizing for constantly calling “Tropical Storm” Isaac a “Hurricane”, what a joke. This is pathetic every time it goes up in wind speed 1 MPH they report it like it is jumping categories.

    I wonder did the residents of New Orleans pay for the 14 billion dollar levy system themselves or did my federal tax dollars get wasted so people can choose to live in moronic locations?

  43. Ooooh, hurricane expert Obama is giving a press conference on how they are ready to respond to “Tropical Storm” Isaac.

    I have a simple solution for New Orleans, make an ordnance that every resident has to pass a swimming test or must buy a life jacket, then when the levies breaks they can swim or float out of the city and we don’t waste money with helicopter rescues for people who do not understand what evacuate means. Even if you are poor you can buy an innertube for less than $5 and float our of the city as if it was a day at the water park.

  44. David L. Hagen says:
    August 27, 2012 at 8:16 pm
    Curry compares the accuracy of CFAN vs the national hurricane forecast for Isaac.
    =============
    Perhaps governments should get out of the forecasting business and contract private industry to provide the service. Pay for forecast accuracy, not hype.

    Overnight this single change would clean up much of the climate industry, which relies on doom and gloom forecasts to generate ever increasing grants, with no accountability for accuracy.

  45. Tom in Worc.(usa) says:
    August 27, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    How many times are we going to rebuild a city that is in a hurricane zone and is below sea level?
    ============
    Galveston rebuilt the city 15 feet higher when it was leveled 100+ years ago. Apparently the technology to fill in the low lying areas in New Orleans has been lost over time.

  46. Central pressure coming in at 976 mb. Don’t think I have ever seen a tropical storm with that low of a pressure. That is usually low enough for a cat 2.

    I think the hurricane center is doing a good job in waiting for the winds to pick up before calling Isaac a hurricane, even though they have been expecting it since the Florida Keys.

    Latest Vortex data message has a flight level wind of 84 kts. That may tip their hand in making Isaac hurricane with the next advisory coming out in 20 minutes.

    Regardless, the large wind field and slow movement will do the damage in creating a lot of coastal flooding and beach erosion. It won’t be the end of the world, but it will be nasty. Biggest threat to most folks will be the 10-15 inches of rain that falls over Southern Louisiana the next 3 days. That’s a lot of water!

  47. And what does Dear Leader do as Tropical Fizzle Isaac approaches? He goes on a fund raising trip!!!!

  48. This just in…

    “REPORTS FROM AIR FORCE AND NOAA HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT INDICATE
    THE CENTRAL PRESSURE HAS DECREASED TO ABOUT 976 MB SINCE THE
    PREVIOUS ADVISORY…BUT IT HAS LEVELED OFF OVER THE PAST FEW HOURS.
    THE MAXIMUM 850 MB FLIGHT-LEVEL WIND OBSERVED HAS BEEN 89 KT…
    WHICH EQUATES TO A SURFACE WIND OF ABOUT 71 KT. HOWEVER…
    BIAS-ADJUSTED SFMR SURFACE WINDS HAVE ONLY BEEN AROUND 60-62 KT…
    WHICH CORRELATES WELL WITH DROPSONDE BOUNDARY LAYER-DERIVED SURFACE
    WINDS. AS SUCH…THE INTENSITY OF ISAAC IS BEING MAINTAINED AT 60
    KT…WHICH IS JUST BELOW HURRICANE STATUS.”

    I like that they are keeping it a tropical storm for now. They could have have made it a hurricane based on the upper-level winds, reasoning that surface winds have reached hurricane strength somewhere and that they just haven’t found them yet. They have done it in the past, but not this time.

    Good for them!

  49. I hope Isaac isn’t too mean to the coast and then he decides to come up and visit the entire state of Missouri. We really could use whatever rain he has left. I know your tracks have him turning right, but I sure hope he doesn’t.

    I caught a snippet of Weather Channel this morning, and they seem perplexed as to how Isaac can have such strong winds aloft, but not have those winds spiraling down to the surface to make him a hurricane. I don’t care. Let those winds stay aloft. I think most everyone on the ground would appreciate that.

  50. Please Please head north to Arkansas and the heartland – so dry! Sorry, gulf coast if you get hammered on the way by.
    Good example of confilicting needs and problems…….

  51. ferdberple
    August 28, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Tom in Worc.(usa) says:
    August 27, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    How many times are we going to rebuild a city that is in a hurricane zone and is below sea level?
    ============
    Galveston rebuilt the city 15 feet higher when it was leveled 100+ years ago. Apparently the technology to fill in the low lying areas in New Orleans has been lost over time.
    ###

    New Orleans is sinking and has been for quit a while. Not much to be done about that but move, though it is pretty hard to move history.

  52. If it is not too late to join in the wind speed definition discussion, we in the UK have been treated by the BBC to a forecast of landfall speeds of 175 Kilometres per hour.
    For those of you in the USA having trouble with the definition in Knots, I am pleased to be able to tell you that a Kilometre is five eighths of a mile and is the preferred unit of measurement for all European warmists, and flies in the face of the UK unit of distance which despite the prolonged efforts of eurofascists remains as imperial miles.
    Thus agendas are cynically promoted by an organisation whose World Service broadcasts were once the respected voice of truth for citizens of countries where propaganda was the norm.
    What price the BBC now?

  53. Looking at the center of the storm on radar. Worst place to be and worst direction to be arriving from for New Orleans. I may have to eat my words that this is a Ho-Hum storm. It depends on how high the actual storm surge is and if it arrives at high tide.

  54. Merrick says:
    August 28, 2012 at 5:29 am

    Does anyone know where I can collect all of the 4 hour updates to the NOAA NHC Track Map since Issac became a Tropical Storm? Thanks…

    Did you miss the past forecast links at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ ?

    Look for the line that says “Hurricane ISAAC | RSS Feed icon | NESDIS Satellite | NDBC Obs | Storm Archive” Then click on “Storm Archive”. Then click on “Graphics Archive”. That will take you to http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/2012/ISAAC_graphics.shtml which has animations of their graphics. I’m not sure how you get the individual frames, but if you wanted them to create an animation, that’s been done already.

  55. That’s interesting. The initial report for 11:00 AM was 70 mph sustained winds and gusts to 85. Now the 11 AM report has been changed to 75 sustained & 85 gusts. Guess they are trying to keep people from being complacent. Or maybe they just have to call this hurricane Isaac no mater what.

  56. The wind is from the North-Northeast now, and it’s a hot wind. A bit more moisture than yesterday.
    A local weather station is showing quite a drop in the barometer. Back in the day when we saw this it meant the storm was coming our way.

    This is not my station, but it is near me. It’s in trees so the wind data is not so valuable.

    http://weather.gladstonefamily.net/qchart/D1426

  57. To roger:

    “175 Kilometres per hour…” Really? The BBC really is going a little crazy. Converting to U.S. units, that’s close to 109 mph! The National Hurricane Center (NHC) projections are at 80 mph or below.

  58. While it is certain that every American taxpayer (an endangered species) was levied for the New Orleans levees, it is also certain that levies and levees are quite different things. Words, even for scientists, do matter.

  59. Poptech Said: … I have never seen so many people desperately wanting this to be like Katrina.
    ————————
    This is very true, even in the UK they are talking about a Katrina level event.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-19403905

    I believe they are praying for another Katrina level event to ‘prove’ their warming case. So if someone’s shed roof blows off in the wind, expect the world media in your driveway.

  60. J. Philip Peterson says:
    “That’s interesting. The initial report for 11:00 AM was 70 mph sustained winds and gusts to 85. Now the 11 AM report has been changed to 75 sustained & 85 gusts. Guess they are trying to keep people from being complacent. Or maybe they just have to call this hurricane Isaac no mater what.”

    Yes. I think they wanted the size and expected surge to motivate people. Last update was about how dropsondes and corrected SFMR didn’t correlate to upper level measurements, etc, etc. The update had no mention about what changed, just that the intensity was updated. I suspect for the meteorologist, the wind speed estimate is within the margin of error. The category designation is more political so I suspect that the political types convinced the meteorologist types to up their windspeed within their margin. I suspect future investigations will be postponed until landfall so it can be maintained as a hurricane. They always go back and adjust ACE index anyway so this is purely to get the attention of the media and people to respect it. Flooding could be significant even if wind damage is not.

  61. Roger – from the BBC at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-19403905

    “Hurricane Isaac boasting winds of at least 75mph (120km/h), is likely to make landfall by Tuesday night”

    and

    “In an update at 13:00 CDT (18:00 GMT) the National Hurricane Center said the storm was 135 miles (220km) south-east of New Orleans, moving north-west at 10mph (17km/h).”

    No trace whatsoever of your 175 Kilometres per hour. All measurements given in miles as the primary units, kilometres as secondary. You may have some valid grounds for criticising the BBC at times but not this time.

  62. @ J. Peterson: “eat my words”

    Belly up to the bar, J.
    If you do research on most expensive storms in this nation’s history, you’ll find Tropical Storm Allison that doubled back on Houston in June 6-7, 2001, stalled and dumped 20 inches of rain in some places. Greater than $5 billion in damage, 70,000 homes flooded.

    http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/tropical/rain/allison2001.html

    Thanks to Allison, much of Houston’s underground is now equipped with water-tight doors in strategic places.

    Allison is the only Atlantic tropical storm to have its name retired without ever having reached hurricane strength.Wikipedia

  63. Watching WWLTV.com for local New Orleans coverage. Seem to be concerned with power outages and people around the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain. Don’t seem to be too concerned with potential flooding from the levies. Some entire neighborhoods are 7 ft below sea level. Noticed in the Google street views that at least 90% of the homes flooded from Katrina have been restored or rebuilt. Very few are on stilts.

  64. I’m in Mobile. It’s not even raining. The sun is out. Schools and businesses closed here yesterday, today and tomorrow. What a waste of money and efficiency. Hurricane Isaac? More like Dry Heave Isaac…..

  65. I think that this one should be renamed Hurricane Ignatius in honor of a Confederacy of Dunces. Just sayin’!

  66. There is some confusion over at NHC. The latest “Discussion” still calls Isaac a tropical storm; but the “advisory” calls it a hurricane by going up to 75 mph at the surface. This is one mph over the 74 mph threshold for hurricane catergory 1. There may be some insurance or government freebie that triggers if the NHC calls Isaac a hurricane vs a tropical storm. In any event, why doesn’t NHC give the public a clear explanation of the upgrade?

  67. Hey, Poptech. Should we not rebuild San Francisco or Memphis when they are destroyed by inevitable earthquakes? Are the people of Seatle idiots for living in the shadow of a volcano? Galveston and Pensacola are built on barrier islands. How stupid are they? Have you ever studied the levee system around Sacremento? What fool decided to build cities where tornados roam every year?

    Hurricanes hit all up and down the east and gulf coasts, and almost every city from Brownsville to Providence has been decimated by a hurricane at one time or another. . The federal government will help rebuild all these cites when they are destroyed by natural disasters. What is it with cretins like you and your obsession with wishing New Orleans would just go away? Do you live someplace that is immune to nature’s wrath? Do you think about the things you spout off about?

  68. OK, some of you folks in the mid west wish you could get some rain from Isaac. Others from the gulf wish you could get less than you are likely to get which may be on the order of a foot and a half. I am working on a model to solve both desires. It will be based on the “climate change” temperature models. It will use a slightly modified gridded data source.

    It will work like this:
    I will use a gridded averaging model technique. Rather than actual measured data it will project gridded data results 1200 kilometers to the north. Instead of flooding the mid west (data) with the same amount of rain received along the gulf coast, the modified model will average (well known technique in “climate science”) the rain at the coast (say 18″) with the mid west (say a trace) and the resulting model will give the mid west 9″ of rain and the gulf coast will only get 9″. See, everyone is happy. It’s the AVERAGE that really matters. What’s the problem with this model?

  69. Louise – I can assure you that 24 hours ago they were saying 175 Kilometres whilst showing a projected track along the Florida gulf seaboard and clipping Tampa on the way.
    I made particular note bacause although by inclination a francophile, I resent the BBC continually trying to normalise the use of a measuring system that lacks affinity with the human form and condition.
    And now I’m off for 660 centilitres of beer to wash down my 454 grams of sirloin steak……………….

  70. “””””…..u.k.(us) says:

    August 27, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    george e smith says:

    August 27, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Well at least we can be assured that this time the swimming pool walls are less likely to leak (or break), so whatever water Isaac storm dumps in New Orleans (in not on), will remain there for a while. Building cities underwater is a French / Maldivian failed idea.

    Stay safe down there.
    —————————————–
    I think we built a storm surge barrier since the last time ?
    Looks like it may get tested soon ?…..”””””

    Well that’s my point; the higher you build the walls of the swimming pool, the deeper the water can be when it fills up.
    Hurricanes typically go up higher than most swimming pools, so your storm surge barrier isn’t going to stop Isaac from going over the top and filling the pool up. At least last time the holes in the walls allowed the pool to drain. Nice touch having that big pool behind the city, in case the hurricane doesn;t bring enough water.

  71. “””””…..Jeanette Collins says:

    August 27, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Dp, you have no idea what you are talking about, [snip -policy] In 2005, we had already evacuated once, for Hurricane David, which of course you don’t remember. It costs a lot of money to evacuate and plenty of people couldn’t afford it a second time when Katrina came. And if you don’t think the government left the people of New Orleans to rot in August 2005, then you were living on another planet. We know how to handle hurricanes here. Quit running your mouth off, [snip]…..”””””

    Yeah; “Good job Brownie !” You too Jeanette. I’m hoping to pick up some more pointers from your Mayor. Make sure that young kid (five years older now), has access to the keys to the school busses; he may have to step up to the bar again. Well maybe not; I guess he isn’t drinking age yet.

    Stay safe Jeanette !

  72. A lot of earlier discussion on knots vs. mph. I don’t think too many would be able to make any sense of the significance between the numbers and its impact on them. The folks putting the knots numbers out could always advise their viewers to multiply by (pi)/(e) to covert between them.

  73. “””””……roger says:

    August 28, 2012 at 9:40 am

    If it is not too late to join in the wind speed definition discussion, we in the UK have been treated by the BBC to a forecast of landfall speeds of 175 Kilometres per hour.
    For those of you in the USA having trouble with the definition in Knots, I am pleased to be able to tell you that a Kilometre is five eighths of a mile and is the preferred unit of measurement for all European warmists, and flies in the face of the UK unit of distance which despite the prolonged efforts of eurofascists remains as imperial miles……”””””
    Well “Imperial” miles sounds a bit imperious to me. I thought it was Statute miles; you know the 8 furlong kind.

    In any case it matters knott (pun intended), because wind speeds and ocean currents are usually measured in knots, in the rod / stone / fortnight system, and knots is always NAUTICAL miles per hour.
    A nautical mile is variously, approximately one minute of arc longitudinally on the equator, or 1000 fathoms, or 6076 ft (making a fathom 6.076 ft). But today definitively, one nautical mile is 1852 metres; exactically !

  74. “””””…..DesertYote says:

    August 28, 2012 at 9:36 am

    ferdberple
    August 28, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Tom in Worc.(usa) says:
    August 27, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    How many times are we going to rebuild a city that is in a hurricane zone and is below sea level?…..”””””

    Valdez, Alaska, which was totalized in the 1964 Alaska quake ( wazzat 9.6 or something) was simply abandoned, and they moved about three miles down the road, and built an entire new town.
    No, old Valdez is still there, and brings in tourist dollars to new Valdez. (well it was when I drove through there in July 1967).. I actually drove on those buckboard pretzellized roads. Pretty place, and reminds one of the Exxon Valdez fiasco.

    No! we don’t wish ANY harm to the people of NO; but it is the poorest of those folks, who have the least alternatives, in dealing with a problem that gets no more solvable with each bandaid patch.

    Same goes for Venice. This is a family friendly meeting place, so I can’t comment on Frank and Cisco, within the vocabulary approved by Anthony

  75. Also, Christchurch Cathedral, will not be rebuilt. That sort of structure was never intended to experience earthquakes; so now they will have to come up with a suitable replacement structure, that IS quake savvy. Some times you just have to let go.

  76. It’s hard to believe that here on the World’s most read Science web site, that there are so many folks who can’t convert knots, to kph or mph. Well if you went to a public school in California, you get a B-, just to protect your self esteem. We could upgrade that to a B, if you could do the alternative two questions; first point in the direction of sunrise which is usually East, and is needed for Moslem appreciation week; and then demonstrate putting a condom on a pickle in less than a minute. That’s just for K through 8. After that, they assume you already know all that stuff.

    And there’s an ap on your Raspberry, for sorting out knots.

  77. So, if the wind speed of a hurricane over water is measured in knots, are the distances that a hurricane travels over water measured in statute miles or nautical miles? There is a 15% difference. Oh, and how many Imperial Gallons of fuel will it take to get there.

  78. I was going to leave it alone, but it keeps coming. Note that that the word Levee has no “Y” in it.

  79. Isaac looks a bit like Ike.

    http://stormadvisory.org/map/atlantic/?2008s9

    12:20 PM EDT 28 August 2012 Update
    Just an update to note that Isaac has finally become a definitive hurricane.

    Hurricane Isaac is a very large tropical cyclone, with a sphere of influence nearly 900 miles wide. In addition to Isaac’s girth, the hurricane is boasting unusually low pressures for a barely Cat 1. This is because of its very large size, combined with repeated challenges to it from shear, dry air, and competing, multiple centers.

    It is important not to let the “minimal” category fool anyone into a sense of security. Isaac is very similar to Hurricane Ike (2008), also a very large tropical cyclone that boasted exceptionally low barometric pressures for its given moniker at any given time; ie, tropical storm, cat 1, cat 2, etc.

    As with Ike, Isaac’s intensification is going to be experienced in winds that are strong to very strong over a much wider area than typical in a hurricane; as such, storm surge will potentially be much more of an issue than might be expected in “just” a Cat 1.

    http://flhurricane.com/cyclone/showflat.php?Board=tb2012&Number=93835&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&fpart=1

  80. knothead says:
    August 28, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    …… Oh, and how many Imperial Gallons of fuel will it take to get there.
    ===================================================
    Fewer than US gallons ;-)

  81. Here are some radar screencaps for KLIX , New Orleans, at approx 6PM EDT:

    Base velocity .5 deg tilt (lowest sweep) (in kph, for the Brits – for knots, divide by 2, approx):

    Storm total precipitation (mm – haven’t even had to change to the hurricane scale yet, but its early)

    One hour precipitation rate:(mm)

  82. http://flhurricane.com/cyclone/wxstatement.php?id=538027\

    #538027 (Received by flhurricane at: 4:56 PM 28.Aug.2012)
    TCDAT4

    HURRICANE ISAAC DISCUSSION NUMBER 31
    NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL092012
    400 PM CDT TUE AUG 28 2012

    SINCE THE LAST RECON FLIGHTS INTO ISAAC...WHEN A BIAS-CORRECTED SFMR
    WIND OF 64 KT WAS OBSERVED...THE RADAR AND SATELLITE APPEARANCE HAS
    CONTINUED TO BECOME BETTER DEFINED. ON THIS BASIS...THE ESTIMATED
    INTENSITY HAS BEEN INCREASED TO 70 KT.

    TRENDING THROUGH ALL OF THE WIGGLES AND WOBBLES IN THE AIRCRAFT
    FIXES YIELDS A GENERAL NORTHWESTWARD MOTION OF 310/07 KT. ISAAC
    REMAINS ON TRACK...AND THERE HAS BEEN NO SIGNIFICANT CHANGE TO THE
    EARLY PART OF THE FORECAST. ISSAC IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE
    NORTHWESTWARD TOWARD A WEAKNESS IN THE SUBTROPICAL RIDGE THAT IS
    ORIENTED EAST-WEST ALONG 30N LATITUDE. BECAUSE OF THIS WEAKNESS...
    THE STEERING FLOW IS FORECAST TO DECREASE OVER THE NEXT 36-48
    HOURS...WHICH WILL RESULT IN ISAAC SLOWING DOWN SOME MORE.
    AFTERWARDS...THE RIDGE IS FORECAST TO BUILD BACK IN BY ALL OF THE
    MODELS...ALBEIT TO VARYING DEGREES...WHICH SHOULD CAUSE THE CYCLONE
    TO TURN SLIGHTLY TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST BEFORE IT TURNS
    NORTHWARD BY DAY 4...AND THEN MOVE NORTHEASTWARD INTO THE LOWER
    GREAT LAKES AND OHIO VALLEY REGIONS BY DAY 5. IN THE LATTER PART OF
    THE FORECAST PERIOD THE FORECAST HAS BEEN NUDGED A LITTLE TO THE
    LEFT OF THE PREVIOUS TRACK...BUT REMAINS TO THE RIGHT OF THE
    CONSENSUS MODELS THAT HAVE RECENTLY HAD A LEFTWARD BIAS.

    ALTHOUGH NOT EXPLICITLY FORECAST DUE TO LAND INTERACTION AT 12
    HOURS...FAVORABLE WATER TEMPERATURES ALONG WITH AN IMPRESSIVE
    UPPER-LEVEL OUTFLOW REGIME SUGGEST THAT ISAAC COULD STRENGTHEN A
    LITTLE MORE BEFORE LANDFALL OCCURS. HOWEVER...BECAUSE OF THE
    UNUSUALLY LARGE WIND FIELD...RAPID INTENSIFICATION IS NOT EXPECTED.

    ISAAC REMAINS A LARGE TROPICAL CYCLONE. A DANGEROUS STORM
    SURGE...HEAVY RAINFALL...AND STRONG WINDS EXTEND WELL AWAY FROM THE
    CENTER AND ARE EXPECTED TO AFFECT A LARGE PORTION OF THE NORTHERN
    GULF COAST. FOR THIS REASON...IT IS IMPORTANT NOT TO FOCUS ON THE
    EXACT CENTER LOCATION. THE THREAT OF HEAVY RAINFALL AND FLOODING IS
    ALSO EXPECTED TO SPREAD INLAND OVER THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY
    REGION DURING THE NEXT FEW DAYS.

    FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

    INIT 28/2100Z 28.7N 89.2W 70 KT 80 MPH
    12H 29/0600Z 29.4N 90.0W 70 KT 80 MPH...INLAND
    24H 29/1800Z 30.3N 91.0W 55 KT 65 MPH...INLAND
    36H 30/0600Z 31.3N 91.9W 35 KT 40 MPH...INLAND
    48H 30/1800Z 33.0N 92.5W 30 KT 35 MPH...INLAND
    72H 31/1800Z 36.0N 92.5W 20 KT 25 MPH...INLAND
    96H 01/1800Z 39.0N 90.5W 15 KT 15 MPH...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
    120H 02/1800Z 41.5N 86.5W 15 KT 15 MPH...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW

    $$
    FORECASTER STEWART

    http://flhurricane.com/cyclone/wxstatement.php?id=538027

  83. george e smith says August 28, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    It’s hard to believe that here on the World’s most read Science web site, that there are so many folks who can’t convert knots, to kph or mph.

    Here’s what I use (no sales pitch here, just stating what I use):

    Uconeer 3.0 – http://www.katmarsoftware.com/uconeer.htm

    The previous version is free and will work for most purposes:

    Uconeer 2.4 – http://www.simtel.net/product/view/id/54593.

    Or versatile online velocity converter: http://www.conversion.ws/speed.htm

    .

  84. A couple other great resources – several diff models w/animations

    Tropical Gulf Region WRF, NAM and GFS Models:

    http://weathermodels.org/models/wrf_nmm/gulf/pmsl/animation.html

    http://weathermodels.org/models/nam/gulf/pmsl/animation.html

    http://weathermodels.org/models/gfs/gulf/pmsl/animation.html

    As I understand it the WRF model is higher resolution and better at predicting intensity … all models seem to have the eye tuning left before landfall and staying over the warm gulf water longer while the strong “right side” of the eye is in what seems a bad place for New Orleans …

    9.2′ now ….

  85. “””””…..Jeanette Collins says:

    August 27, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Dp, you have no idea what you are talking about, [snip -policy] In 2005, we had already evacuated once, for Hurricane David, which of course you don’t remember. …..”””
    ————————————
    I don’t recall any evacuation of NOLA for a hurricane David in 2005. They tried to evacuate for Ivan in 2004; thank god it veered away from the city cause the evacuation was a cluster$&@? The only other evacuation attempt for the city was for Gorges in the late 90’s. (which was another cluster$&@!)

  86. george e smith
    August 28, 2012 at 2:11 pm
    ###
    My stepdad was a Civil engineer specializing in rivers. He would get pretty uncivle when the topic of NO comes up. Engineers have been screamijng for 50 years that New Orleans can not last. Its sinking like a flat rock in a mud pit. Levies are not going to cut it and river modifcation is a joke. The only real option is to move.

    george e smith says:
    August 28, 2012 at 2:39 pm
    ###

    Thanks so much for your comment. I was hyperfocusing at work, needed a break, and your humor did the trick!

  87. “””””….._Jim says:

    August 28, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    george e smith says August 28, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    It’s hard to believe that here on the World’s most read Science web site, that there are so many folks who can’t convert knots, to kph or mph.

    Here’s what I use (no sales pitch here, just stating what I use):…..””””‘

    _Jim you completely missed my point; “you didn’t do those conversions; somebody else did it for you. ”

    How do you do it on a desert island (Maldisland) with just one central coconut palm, and one shark offshore ?

    Like I said, I can’t believe so many people don’t know how to calculate anything !!

  88. Speaking of wind speeds, a quick look at the weather bouys scattered all over the gulf near LA/MS is pretty revealing. The max I’ve found since landfall began is 54 knots. They must have gathered all the ones showing hurricane force winds into a central location not accessible from where I’ve been looking.

  89. george e smith says August 28, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    _Jim you completely missed my point; “you didn’t do those conversions; somebody else did it for you. ”

    How do you do it on a desert island (Maldisland) with just one central coconut palm, and one shark offshore ?

    You are setting up a scenario I am unlikely in my lifetime to experience; when I travel, I have a compact circular slide rule buried in my briefcase. As ubiquitous as the web is anymore I don’t find the need to carry a copy of the ITT Reference Data for Engineers anymore either.

    Upon further reflection, given your scenario, I can see where knowledge of basic Trig functions might come in handy, but I don’t see that knowing the conversion from Knots to km/hr would have much benefit … also, in a similar situation you probably wouldn’t have ‘assets’ at your disposal that I would have, to wit, 2-way communications via a jerry-rigged ham, Marine or aircraft radio (either HF or VHF) …

    .

  90. george e smith says:
    August 28, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    “”How do you do it on a desert island (Maldisland) with just one central coconut palm, and one shark offshore ?””
    ===================

    Ask Gilligan or the professor. Ginger would never have a clue. ;-) But then if you were on a desert island, would it matter?

  91. Greg Locke says: Hey, Poptech. Should we not rebuild San Francisco or Memphis when they are destroyed by inevitable earthquakes? Are the people of Seatle idiots for living in the shadow of a volcano? Galveston and Pensacola are built on barrier islands. How stupid are they? Have you ever studied the levee system around Sacremento? What fool decided to build cities where tornados roam every year?

    The federal government should not pay to rebuild ANY of them. The people and businesses who live there should if they want to live there. This is what insurance is for, markets self-regulate stupid behavior by making the consequences of said behavior very expensive.

    Hurricanes hit all up and down the east and gulf coasts, and almost every city from Brownsville to Providence has been decimated by a hurricane at one time or another. . The federal government will help rebuild all these cites when they are destroyed by natural disasters. What is it with cretins like you and your obsession with wishing New Orleans would just go away? Do you live someplace that is immune to nature’s wrath? Do you think about the things you spout off about?

    I live right at the Jersey shore and do not expect the government to bail me out but I know they will. So why waste money on home owners insurance when suckers like you can pay for it? You really do not see how socialized insurance encourages this behavior? I think about everything before I say it. I said nothing about wanting anything to “go away”, I simply do not want to pay for other people’s moronic decisions.

  92. _Jim says:
    August 28, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    “”Posted a 2nd time in this thread, list of storms in the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season –
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_storms_in_the_2005_Atlantic_hurricane_season“”

    ===================

    Hurricane Irene in 2005 and Hurricane Irene in 2011? That was a long lived bitch of a hurricane. It’s good that Obama tackled her in 2011 and put an end to it. All done from the office of the NHC. Saved Tampa earlier this week and will save New Orleans tonight and the drought stricken mid west later in the week.

  93. Well southeast of NO, over the Gulf, there are some gusts to 80 and maybe one to 100. Most major news outlets are reporting sustained 80 (false) and gusts to 100. In NO, there are no hurricane winds at this time.

  94. george e smith
    August 28, 2012 at 2:11 pm
    ###
    My stepdad was a Civil engineer specializing in rivers. He would get pretty uncivle when the topic of NO comes up. Engineers have been screamijng for 50 years that New Orleans can not last. Its sinking like a flat rock in a mud pit. Levies are not going to cut it and river modifcation is a joke. The only real option is to move.
    =========================================

    Even the alternative energy people are calling for the abandonment of NO…

    > Infeasibility of Rebuilding New Orleans

    > The river is moving away from the city. The city is sinking because of its
    > weight, because no upbuilding by new muck for many decades, because
    > of being cut off from the fresh water, because it is sliding off a cliff (the
    > Continental Shelf), and because the Oil and Gas Industry is extracting oil
    > out from under it. It is a city that for all intents and purposes is now Sea
    > domain. Spend the money on developing alternative energy solutions instead.

    For the gory details and the history behind it, see…

    http://pesn.com/2005/09/23/9600175_Rebuild_Energy_Systems_Not_NewOrleans/

  95. Storm is wobbling on the coast and looks like it’s getting better organized and spreading out. It’s Jogged a bit further west, in our direction. I’ve seen them loop back out before and come back in, but it seems like they usually loop clockwise. This may be just a large eye wobble. Still looks like we’ll be on the weaker west side.

  96. Whatever its classification after the fact (I too see the presidential upside to this being a hurricane rather than a mere tropical storm), Issac is delivering a way too much water to the cities and towns on the gulf coast.

    My thoughts go out to the folks who live in the flood zones.

  97. The storm has now come ashore. NHC/NOAA should be using ACTUAL surface windspeed measurements from now on. There are lots of surface based weather stations capable of these measurements. They should supplement guesstimates from fly-throughs. Actual measurements are the only way to test NHC’s surface windspeed estimates. This is something NHC normally does not do when a storm finally reaches landfall. Instead, they make after the fact adjustments much later which never make their way into the media. I hope this blog collects current surface windspeed data and posts it now.

  98. Dang, has it developed an eye just off the coast? I’ve been looking for a stable eye in this storm, and until the latest (12:00 AM EST) Altlantic Satellite Loop it’s been missing. I don’t think I’ve seen one develop so close to landfall.

  99. Ok, I’ve been watching hurricanes make landfall since 1971. One thing that never occurred to me, is now a burning question to those amateur and professional meteorologists on this blog” Why is it that weather systems in the Northern Hemisphere primarily move from North West to South East, yet hurricanes primarily move South East to North West?

    It seems contrary to prevailing patterns. Is it a result of being close to the tropical convergence zones, and their energy continues to propel them in a North Easterly direction even after they leave those zones?

  100. J Solters says:
    August 28, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    There really aren’t many stations out in the marsh. There are some buoys and oil & gas platforms in the gulf though.

    Anyway, I checked and some storms have looped to the left before. This one is moving slow and will be very difficult for anyone to predict what will happen overnight and tomorrow. It could surprise us. The official track hasn’t changed much though.

  101. Ron Dean says:
    August 28, 2012 at 9:16 pm
    Ok, I’ve been watching hurricanes make landfall since 1971. One thing that never occurred to me, is now a burning question to those amateur and professional meteorologists on this blog” Why is it that weather systems in the Northern Hemisphere primarily move from North West to South East, yet hurricanes primarily move South East to North West?

    Closer to the equator the prevailing winds are east to west (the Trade Winds). In mid-latitudes the prevailing winds are west to east. Hurricanes are just blown by the prevailing winds.

  102. george e smith says:
    August 28, 2012 at 2:16 pm
    Also, Christchurch Cathedral, will not be rebuilt. That sort of structure was never intended to experience earthquakes; so now they will have to come up with a suitable replacement structure, that IS quake savvy. Some times you just have to let go.

    =====================

    Precisely George. I (still) live up on Cashmere Hill. The jolts were pretty severe there.

  103. Watching the radar loop, I find it interesting that the system is moving westward right now (7:30Z) along the coastline. I’ll find it even more amusing if it doesn’t make the Northward turn and just drifts along the coast and just soaks the coastline. Of couse that’ll mean that when it eventually does make that turn it’ll give a good wetdown to more drought striken areas.

  104. Slightly off topic, but I think this needs to be said:

    I don’t think it demonstrates a full awareness of how our nation is built and functions to suggest bailing out (pun) on New Orleans. You’ll have to check the facts, but something like 30% of our imports and exports pass through that port. If the city was wiped out, we’d have to build a new one.

    An attribute of some environmentalists is that they despair very quickly, when faced with a problem. They give other environmentalists a bad name.

    Various tribes of Native Americans, generally called “Mound Builders,” built impressive raised hills on the flood plains of the Ohio, Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, and all they had for “Earth Moving Equipment” was baskets. (No wheels; No horses; No oxen.)

    Both Boston and S.F. are large ports built on fill. Old maps show a lot more water around the downtown areas.

    New Orleans does have big problems, but they are not “their” problem. They are “our” problem. United We Stand.

    One slightly disgusting problem, in the past, is that when we sent money south to address the problem the local administrators spent far too much building offices rather than levees, and too much on secretaries and not bigger pumps. (joke)

    However that is a problem that can be dealt with in a pragmatic manner, as can the engineering and environmental problems. Even if parts or all of the city were abandoned, and a “Newer Orleans” was built, it should be done by cool heads, and should benefit all America.

    The business of wailing and despairing and abandoning all hope is a sign of immaturity.

  105. Cable feeds of New Orleans local TV reporting winds around the area. Highest at the airport with 48mph sustained and 58 mph gusts. National Weather service shows the same. A “second landfall” reported at 3:10 am central time. Looking at other NWS logs showing highest winds around Thibodaux and Houma, LA with sustained winds in the 45 to 48mph range and gusts to low 60s. Nowhere near hurricane speeds. Gulfport NWS now showing 33mph with gusts to 55.
    NWS advisories refer to Isaac as “tropical storm” and not hurricane. Cable news outlet reporters seem unable to form simple English sentences and keep refering to “Hurricane Isaac”
    Jim Cantore of Weather Channel sounds like to only reliable source of info.
    From what I see on the TV feeds, the amount of wind is nowhere near 60 mph sustained.

  106. george e smith says:
    August 28, 2012 at 2:16 pm
    Also, Christchurch Cathedral, will not be rebuilt. That sort of structure was never intended to experience earthquakes; so now they will have to come up with a suitable replacement structure, that IS quake savvy. Some times you just have to let go.

    The great cathedrals were always meant to be places of sanctuary and where people can congregate and discuss. It would be fitting if the new structure offered the prospect of safe bedspace to future earthquake refugees and a place of safety in which public meetings can be held.

  107. Ron Dean says:
    August 28, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Ron, you need to start with a spinning globe and the “Coriolis Effect.” Here is a start:

    http://geography.about.com/od/physicalgeography/a/coriolis.htm

    As for the directions, consider the hands of a clock – call one a pointer. The tip of the pointer when near Noon seems to be going from left to right or from west to east. At 6 P.M. that same pointer seems to be going from right to left or east to west.

    Same pointer – same movement. Hurricanes do this. Those that come to the US East or Gulf coast mostly start off the coast of Africa at 500 miles (plus or minus) north of the Equator – called Easterly Waves – non-rotating. When conditions are just so, they may for a storm that begins to have a circular form – rotation.

    Air moving in the Northern Hemisphere around a low pressure (air going up) system has the tendency to move clockwise while being pulled inward toward the rising air column. The two forces combine to show an inward swirl (counter-clockwise in the NH) for the system because the rising air forms clouds that are visual. Meanwhile the entire system, having begun as and east-moving storm, will turn to the NW, then N, and then to the NE. As it moves north, it will enter the zonal flow of the “Westerlies”, move over land and/or cool water, and its source of energy will be removed and it will slowly cease to exist. It will have carried large amounts of water and energy from low latitudes to higher latitudes.

    If you have a glass clock it is easy to visualize that the same pointer seen from the back side will move from right to left (near Noon) while going the other way when looked at from the front. This same things happens when moving from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere with respect to air currents. The spin of “Lows” or Cyclones will rotate in the opposite direction from your standard USA view of things.

    The above link has related articles linked to at the end.

  108. “BW” has shown some surface windspeed measurements now that Isaac is over land. None are at hurricane force sustained windspeed. Let’s keep looking for windspeeds exceeding 73 mph, not gusts. NHC appears wrong again. This looks like a tropical storm; damage/floods can occur, but not hurricane force winds. If NHC wants to artificially pump up the category, that’s OK as long as it tells the public why it feels necessary to do so. Don’t hide the facts. The general public will protect themselves given the best facts available. The is no need to adopt a “protect them from themselves” syndrome. They can handle the truth.

  109. @Larry Butler – Linking to ENENews.com should get your IP banned from WUWT. That site is pure fear/hate mongering. The site appears to be dedicated to trying to resurrecting the fraudulent claims and professional lies of that snake oil salesman Arnie Gunderson.

  110. “””””…..James Allison says:

    August 28, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    george e smith says:
    August 28, 2012 at 2:16 pm
    Also, Christchurch Cathedral, will not be rebuilt. That sort of structure was never intended to experience earthquakes; so now they will have to come up with a suitable replacement structure, that IS quake savvy. Some times you just have to let go.

    =====================

    Precisely George. I (still) live up on Cashmere Hill. The jolts were pretty severe there……”””””

    James, I saw the Cathedral, Christmas / New Year 2006/7 with my family, on my first and so far only trip to the South Island, and immediately got a sense of why it was a special landmark; on a par with the famous view of Mt Cook through the restaurant window at the Hermitage. But reality sets in, when you find out it really is earthquake country. Friends who retired to CC from the SF Bay area (she’s KiwiAmerican) live in the urbs, and weren’t in town those days.

    But you lose some and you win some. The recent revelation that The Pink Terraces, were not blown up in 1886, but still exist buried under Lake Rotomahana, is amazing news. Can’t be dug up; but apparently remote sensing imagery, will be able to construct virtual tours of the buried terraces ; That I have to see. The loss of the White Terraces, which WERE blown to smitherens, still shocks me, even though I never saw either of them ( missed it by ; That much ! )

  111. Caleb says:
    > August 29, 2012 at 1:32 am

    > You’ll have to check the facts, but something like 30%
    > of our imports and exports pass through that port. If
    > the city was wiped out, we’d have to build a new one.

    […deletia…]

    > Even if parts or all of the city were abandoned, and
    > a “Newer Orleans” was built, it should be done by cool
    > heads, and should benefit all America.

    Morgan City might be a more feasible location.

    > Both Boston and S.F. are large ports built on fill. Old
    > maps show a lot more water around the downtown areas.

    Neither Boston nor S.F. have to deal with…

    * portions of the city subsiding by as much as a foot per year

    * portions of the city sliding 1 or 2 feet horizontally per year. Ask any engineer how they’re going to build levees that don’t break up under that type of stress.

    * the Mississippi is trying migrate west from its current delta towards Morgan City.

    > An attribute of some environmentalists is that they despair
    > very quickly, when faced with a problem. They give other
    > environmentalists a bad name.

    […deletia…]

    > The business of wailing and despairing and abandoning all
    > hope is a sign of immaturity.

    Actually, it’s the immature environmentalists (e.g. AGW types) who advocate throwing trillions of dollars at natural problems because they think mankind fully controls nature. A more mature approach is to cut your losses, relocate all New Orleanians, and give them a new home elsewhere, and move on.

    To summarize from http://pesn.com/2005/09/23/9600175_Rebuild_Energy_Systems_Not_NewOrleans/
    Hurricanes are ***THE LEAST*** of New Orleans’ problems…

    > The river is moving away from the city. The city is
    > sinking because of its weight, because no upbuilding
    > by new muck for many decades, because of being cut
    > off from the fresh water, because it is sliding off a cliff
    > (the Continental Shelf), and because the Oil and Gas
    > Industry is extracting oil out from under it.

  112. Caleb, I don’t think it demonstrates a full awareness of how our nation is built and functions to suggest bailing out (pun) on New Orleans. You’ll have to check the facts, but something like 30% of our imports and exports pass through that port. If the city was wiped out, we’d have to build a new one.

    The port is not a federal port, it is a local and at best state run port. Any costs to rebuild should come from the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana. Personally I believe the port should be privatized and the cost of operation and rebuilding coming from the company that would operate it and it’s customers. The “port” has nothing to do with the “city”. Rebuilding one is not an argument to rebuild another and neither should include federal tax money.

  113. With regard to all the comments about “not rebuilding New Orleans”….

    The old part of New Orleans (where the French Quarter and the port lie) is near the Mississippi River, where the natural sediment deposits hundreds of years ago created a “natural levee”. The natural levee is above sea level and did not flood for Katrina.

    The Katrina flooding occurred in areas which are away from the river, not on the natural levee, in a basin between the Mississippi and Lake Pontchartrain. This area was once basically a swamp which developed into residential areas thanks to low interest loans, and driven by the need for labor in New Orleans.

    New Orleans is a strategic port, a historic city, and talk of abandoning it is coming from ignorance IMHO. The more affluent folks who work in New Orleans have moved to the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain and they commute into the city. The folks in the lower 9th ward are mostly laborers, and they always tend to suffer simply because of their precarious economic situation. It’s just a fact of nature.

  114. “Morgan City might be a more feasible location.”

    Morgan City is a much more precarious location.

  115. I know it’s magical thinking, but I can’t help thinking this cyclone was engineered to destroy N.O.
    It had to weave a route thru the gulf, impact on the anniversary, and then stall, dumping non-stop water on the interior basin, whilst battering down older sections of the barriers. If that doesn’t meet the definition of “targeted”… GK

  116. “””””….._Jim says:

    August 28, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    george e smith says August 28, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    _Jim you completely missed my point;………………..

    You are setting up a scenario I am unlikely in my lifetime to experience; when I travel, I have a compact circular slide rule buried in my briefcase. As ubiquitous as the web is anymore I don’t find the need to carry a copy of the ITT Reference Data for Engineers anymore either.

    Upon further reflection, given your scenario, I can see where knowledge of basic Trig functions might come in handy, but I don’t see that knowing the conversion from Knots to km/hr would have much benefit ……”””””

    Well _Jim, I went to school in a strange era, where they had this quaint idea, that EVERY PERSON should actually learn something, or how to do something; if only because it might come in handy for making a living someday.

    I too have a circular slide rule, and also both a five, and ten inch K&E regular engineering slide rules. I seldom use them. I can still do +, -, *, /, sqrt, cbrt, all on paper, I can find the roots of any second order polynomial; even derive Cardan’s solution for the roots of any cubic equation, as well as do the trigonometric substitution solution for when Cardan’s doesn’t yield numerical answers. Don’t need any of that, since I am always working on one of my three computers, and have the M$ on screen calculator. Don’t even have to uncase either of my very powerful HP Scientific calculators; but they are always within arm’s reach. M$ Excel is a totally brain dead piece of trash, but I often use it to calculate and graph all kinds of wild and woolly stuff.

    But then I can do much of that in my head in total darkness, while trying to go to sleep. So can most of the folks I went to school with.

    So today you have “focus groups” to gather and talk about problems, and reach a concensus on the likely answer to the question. So if you Giggle something and get an answer that “somebody else” came up with; why are you going to believe their answer, if you can’t sanity check it yourself ?

    From the time I first entered “Primer 1″ within weeks of my 5th birthday, till I finished my post graduate stint 20 years later, not once on any occasion, did I ever work, with any other student or pupil on any project or problem; they had a word for that ; “cheating” . The other students were also busy learning something themselves.

    Today’s “students” work in groups, so one person does the work (and learns something) and the whole group gets the same grade (good for self esteem).

    Unfortunately profit making enterprises, hire people who actually know something, or can do something. If they hire somebody else, they want him/er to do something else.
    Only in the public sector do they tolerate three featherbedders holding slow/stop signs, while one person operates a jackhammer, or shovel to actually do road construction work; or have assistant undersecretaries, of this or that beaurocracy to make up regulations, so that the Government persons that the people actually elected to write the laws, no longer even have to read the laws they sign up for; and which they exempt themseves from compliance with.

    That’s roughly why I think it is useful to be able to, on a one coconut palm / one shark island, determine roughly how many litres or cubic metres one barn-parsec is, even if you never need to know.

  117. National Weather Service (NWS) web site show recorded wind speeds every few hours for the last 3 days. Based on the radar, the maximum winds were over and south of New Orleans. Here are the maximum sustained speeds for Isaac in miles per hour and time recorded

    South Lafourche Airport, Galliano, LA
    Wind speed sustained 58mph with gusts to 77 mph
    Aug28 at 23:55

    New Orleans Lakefront Airport
    55/70
    Aug29 05:53

    Houma, LA
    49/61
    Aug29 at 02:55

    New Orleans Naval Air Station
    52/74
    Aug29 at 03:55
    URL showing these numbers

    http://www.srh.noaa.gov/data/obhistory/KNEW.html

  118. george e smith says August 29, 2012 at 11:32 am

    That’s roughly why I think it is useful to be able to, on a one coconut palm / one shark island, determine roughly how many litres or cubic metres one barn-parsec is, even if you never need to know.

    No address of the ‘radio’ thing huh? Telling on a level or two (e.g. no ‘practical’ knowledge or experience in applied physics/electronics as it applies to RF/EM energy …). That’s probably where we differ; I applied myself in THAT area.

    .

  119. “””””….._Jim says:

    August 29, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    george e smith says August 29, 2012 at 11:32 am

    That’s roughly why I think it is useful to be able to, on a one coconut palm / one shark island, determine roughly how many litres or cubic metres one barn-parsec is, even if you never need to know.

    No address of the ‘radio’ thing huh? Telling on a level or two (e.g. no ‘practical’ knowledge or experience in applied physics/electronics as it applies to RF/EM energy …). That’s probably where we differ; I applied myself in THAT area……”””””

    Well you got me there _Jim; on the ‘radio’ thing that is, and the RF. I did build a radio once from parts (not a kit). Simple thing. (well I was ten at the time.) Used a 1D8GT Diode Triode Pentode valve. Pentode was the RF stage, and the diode was of course the detector, with the triode being the auidio output amplifier. Simple TRF job. Used a single AA cell for the filament, and and Eveready #467 67 1/2 Volt B battery. I didn’t build my first superheterodyne with an RF stage until I was 12. I tried the Synchrodyne thing which was all the rage at the time, but can’t say it was any better, and I couldn’t stand the out of synch whistle. But I do actual;ly have a BSc degree with five majors. Pure Mathematics, Physics, Applied Mathematics, Radio-Physics, and Mathematical Physics; did a minor in Chemistry. Nothing like a PhD though. As far as ‘practical’ knowledge or experience, since I left academia for industry, I only have 51 years as a working Physicist / Electronics Engineer / Optical designer. You might even be using a mouse with imaging and illumination optics that I designed; I know at least two billion of them have been sold worldwide, since we did the first ones; maybe three billion by now. I know many of my patents related to that have already expired.
    I did solid state Analog CMOS circuit design before that , meaning designing down to the bare metal, and creating my own device structures from Silicon Foundry standard diffusion or implant profiles; and all the way up through the device design (analog and digital) to the circuit layout (on chip). Only contact with aircraft radio, would be my restricted radio operator’s permit I need for when I am piloting a private plane; never did the ‘ham’ thing.

    But I’m no competition for those PhD Physicist types who do all those wonderful statistical regressions and straight line trend superflop computations to establish those robust projection type predictions that may be consistent with thermometer measured reality.

    I guess I need to go back to school.

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