Katrina Is Scaring People

After working this morning, I came home and caught a few more hours of sleep. I’ll explain later, but my day is far from done. I’m driving to Uncasville later this afternoon&#185.

My first TV viewing was to scan the all news channels. The attitude concerning Hurricane Katrina is much different than yesterday. Whether the channels are feeding on each other’s energy or truly understand the gravity of the situation, is an unknown. They are in “Big Story Panic Mode.”

When TV shows back-to-back phoners with no live video, the implication is the story is huge.

This is not misplaced angst. Everything I can see about this storm says the same thing. It’s is a monster.

A few minutes ago, I sent this IM to my friend Bob at FSU:

Geoff (2:36:22 PM): My sense is, this storm has achieved meteorological perfection – and will become unstable as such. The length of time a storm can grow in strength is finite

Maybe that’s an academic point. If Katrina went from its current 175 mph sustained wind to 150 mph, no one would notice the difference.

Force is calculated by squaring the wind speed. So, at this point, it’s not how many miles per hour Katrina increases or decreases, it’s whether that number is a significant percentage of the starting point.

bob (2:47:20 PM): the tv weatherman on new orleans (wwltv.com ?) couple hours ago actually said “looks like the center my go a little further right than forecast, sparing the city the worst”

bob (2:47:23 PM): i couldn’t believe it

bob (2:47:27 PM): in the midst of mand. evac

bob (2:47:30 PM): of million people

bob (2:47:41 PM): even IF it ends up turning out true, i thought very irresponsible

He’s right. You can’t give people a reason to stay at this point. The downside is just too tragic. I’m sure this is a mixed metaphor, but the risk is much greater than our ability to accurately forecast landfall.

Doing live television for hours on end is no easy task. From time-to-time we’ll all slip. I saw WWL-TV last night and they were doing an excellent job. This guy gets a temporary pass from me – though he shouldn’t have said what he said.

My friend’s mom in New Orleans has left her home. Yesterday I could hear how little she wanted to do that. She was alone and scared. Whatever guidance was being given by officials wasn’t enough to reassure her.


My mother just called on her mobile live and direct outside from the Superdome. They’re bussing her to Alexandria, LA., which is well north of Baton Rouge. She should be there for up to five days. At least the city is smart enough to do that knowing what could be coming.

Thanks, again, for your concern.

This is a much better scenario than her original intention to stay at the Superdome itself. It would seem to me, a building like that is the wrong place to seek shelter, with its high and large roof. And, being in the city, it too is built below sea level.

It won’t be long before Hurricane Katrina is well within radar range. The best pictures come when the storm is squarely within the view of the lowest radar tilt. Right now feeder bands dominate.

If you were at the mouth of the Mississippi right now, you would see heavy rolling surf. The wind would be gusty, but not even tropical storm strength.

From time-to-time the southeastern sky would darken as squalls moved in.

These would be rain storms that start with heavy rain – not easing in from light to moderate to heavy. The drops would be huge… blobs of rain is probably a better description than drops.

And then, as suddenly as the rain began, it would end. As the day went on, these squalls would each become progressively stronger with the time between squalls decreasing.

The big stuff would be there until tomorrow.

&#185 – If you’re not in Connecticut, Uncasville is as centrally located and convenient to get to as the name Uncasville implies.

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