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.
It's been an interesting weather day here at the beach in Oak Island, N.C.
By the looks of these two maps, it's about time for my annual beach vacation week at Oak Island, N.C.
Multiple waterspouts were reported this morning on the Chesapeake Bay this morning, while a landspout prompted a Tornado Warning yesterday in Iowa.
In 1997, I blogged about Hurricane Linda, a powerful hurricane moving over Socorro Island. Last night, something very similar happened.
The NWS has confirmed three tornadoes in Pennsylvania on Wednesday.
This will be one of the most severe days of 2015 in Pennsylvania; the public needs to take this one seriously.