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.
The flooding situation in China continues to worsen and it may now be the second-worst disaster to ever hit the nation.
This week is the 20-year anniversary of Hurricane Bertha, and I met her at the coast of North Carolina.
Here's a public service announcement poster I've created to ensure that kids are being "thunderstorm safe" with Pokemon GO.
On Friday evening, a line of severe thunderstorms knocked down hundreds of trees and cut power to Wilkes County, NC.
Fifteen years ago, residents in the Southeast had no idea that Tropical Storm Allison would go on a nine-state rampage, flooding communities for over two weeks before finally moving out to sea.
We had a small heat burst last night in Bradford, Pennsylvania, when a collapsing thunderstorm sent the temperature up by 5 degrees around midnight.