Seven years ago today, I was blogging about how Hurricane Katrina's track had switched west on the models to center on New Orleans. With the models shifting soon-to-be-Hurricane Isaac's track to center over New Orleans last night, the new levees protecting NOLA were completed just in the nick of time, it would seem.
And it only took $14,500,000,000 to fix the levees. Unfortunately, the 133-mile line of defense only protects against a "100-year flood." Katrina was a "500-year" flood and there are already reports surfacing of corner-cutting to the new levee construction, which would reduce that further.
The effect of the Gulf Oil Spill is another wildcard. I blogged in 2010 about how only 2.7 miles of wetlands reduces a hurricane's storm surge by 1 foot. If there's anything "fortunate" about Isaac's expected track, it's that the wind should be off the land in the southern marshes of the state (assuming the storm comes through or east of NOLA).
The map above from ERMA shows the heaviest beach oiling from the spill. Note that the worst was on the barrier islands of southern Mississippi and Alabama, but most of that has been cleaned up now and I would assume didn't cause permanent (hurricane-relevant) damage, in non-wetland areas. There is a whole report on this topic if you're interested in reading it.
Let's hope the models are wrong.
Training thunderstorms and mesoscale convective complexes slammed West Virginia and Virginia yesterday, killing 14 people and dropping more than a foot of rain.
I've lived in central Pennsylvania for almost 20 years now. I'm not sure that I remember such a quiet severe weather season. Let's quantify that.
I created an online simulator of the 21-screen real-time U.S. webcam display that is in the lobby of the Joel N. Myers Weather Center at Penn State.
As we predicted, records have been broken across the Southwest U.S. and will continue to be today and tomorrow.
Early next week could bring the hottest weather ever recorded in the Southwest -- and that's no joke.
As part of my continuing Spring 2016 Gadget Review, I recently took a look at a number of weather-related tech products.