With Tropical Depression Eight swirling in the Gulf and getting better organized, I cannot stop thinking about the day the Hurricane Katrina model surprised everyone.
By mid day Friday August 26th, many New Orleanians, including me believed that Hurricane Katrina was heading toward the middle of the Florida Panhandle. Then came the big shock.
Below is an excerpt from my upcoming book, Words Whispered in Water; Why the Levees Broke in Hurricane Katrina. It’s from Chapter 1 “Goodbye New Orleans.’
During the day on Friday August 26th, some of the computer models shifted the storm’s track, now a hurricane, west. Then, late in the afternoon, all models shifted in unison, and New Orleans was moved to the center of the cone of certainty. Governor Blanco declared a state of emergency at 4:00 p.m.
By 7:00 a.m. on Saturday (August 27), the hurricane was over the center of the Gulf of Mexico. At first, the eye started to disintegrate, normally a sign of weakening, but, in this case, it was redistributing. Wind speed picked up around the central vortex, and pressure fell again. Later, the eye contracted, and masses of thunderstorms sprang to life. Within a few hours, the storm doubled in size, eclipsing most of the gulf.