The day the Hurricane Katrina forecast model surprised everyone

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.

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Eric Paulsen with WWL-TV interviews founder Rosenthal about her new book

Eric Paulsen with WWL-TV’s Eyewitness Morning News Show interviewed founder Sandy Rosenthal about her new book, “Words Whispered in Water; Why the Levees Broke in Hurricane Katrina (Mango Publishing, 2020).

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Founder Rosenthal’s book now available at Octavia Books in New Orleans

Jacket cover designed by M Styborski of New Orleans

Today, founder Sandy Rosenthal’s book hits the shelves at Octavia Books (513 Octavia Street) in New Orleans. 

Words Whispered in Water: Why the Levees Broke in Hurricane Katrina (Mango Publishing) documents how the Army Corps of Engineers spent millions––in cooperation with the media––to fool the American public on why New Orleans flooded in 2005. 

Rosenthal is well-known in New Orleans for her role leading the grassroots group in search of the true culprit in the disastrous flooding during Hurricane Katrina.

On Tuesday August 11 from 10-6, obeying covid rules, Rosenthal will be available outside Octavia Books (corner of Laurel and Octavia) to sign copies of her book. 

The book is selected by Publishers Weekly in Politics and Current Events for Fall of 2020. It has also been a #1 New Release on for 26 weeks. 

The book arrives on time for the 15th anniversary of the flooding disaster which took 1,577 lives according to the National Hurricane Center.

Those wanting a signed copy shipped to them can use this link.

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