Katrina: Reduction of Wind Speeds


First I would like to say my humble sympathies go out to all who suffered and died in the New Orleans disasters. May the prayers of this nation and the world help restore your faith in humanity and build a closer relationship with God.

A warning to the scientists, who were behind the systematic reduction wind speeds of Hurricane Katrina thru the media outlets as it approached the coastline, your credibility will be lost, if the same trend of behavior continues. More would have left affected areas if they knew the true wind speeds of 200–215 mph and eye pressure was below 900mb at its peak. That storm turned away from New Orleans only in the last few hours with 30+ ft storm surges and monstrous waves on top. A 30-mile move to the west would have created a far worse situation than you have now, so it was no surprise and on your words many suffered and died. I lay the responsibility on you, because your words are what every government agency depends on. I hope your conscience can live with your decision to lower fear due to panic of the true news only to have many get trapped due to no transportation available among the poor and die anyway. What about the looting and violence? There is no excuse for crime, but I do condone the taking of food and clothing in an emergency situation where none was provided thru official sources. People come first, because we can always replace material goods. What about delays and withdrawal of help from fear? Does not our brave military rescue their own under fire, does not a fireman risk all in a burning building to save a life, does not the finest, the police put themselves in harms way in a hostage situation? In America there is no room for want-a-be heroes with conditions of safety, you save the innocent at all costs. If New Orleans was Beverly Hills would the same conditions and choices made occurred? I think not. This is the first of many to come to our doorstep (Details) over the next several years and if you tend to minimize the truth, the destruction will tell another story. Now I am not happy to see these storms start, but I told you this is in the hands of mankind.

And now a few words from the Almighty, the Father who guides and protects all who believe:

“I have inspired many to convey to mankind that all are created equal thru My words in the Bible, but when challenged by a disaster where the poor and infirmed are affected, where were you? Did you not take billions from your nation to develop a rapid deployment force to take on any challenge within hours? Did I not bless your nation with bounty and excess for times of need? I see that you have abandoned the poor and only thru the cries of a nation, the prayers of mankind and your media have you responded in a minimum way. I am not happy with the nation who pledges itself as one nation under God”

Comments from those in the know and Grant's rebuttals

excerpts are from a selected website

pictures are just random selections for a personality

Circuit Breaker
User ID: 836
4:58 pm EDT

"A warning to the scientists, who were behind the systematic reduction wind speeds of Hurricane Katrina thru the media outlets as it approached the coastline, your credibility will be lost"

Okay, Grant... where´s your proof that the wind speeds were higher than reported? Just you saying it doesn´t make it so. Sorry.



So lets look at the NOAA website to get a definition of storm surge and the associated winds speeds needed.

Katrina hit the Gulf coast with storm surges in Biloxi, Mississippi over 30 feet, how is this possible for a storm that decreased in wind speeds from the reported 175 mph. to 140 mph over a 6 hour interval. Momentum can not be used if a 200+ mph storm recorded a lower surge than Katrina. History reveals the most intense Cat. 4 storms only produced surges of 11 to 15 ft. while Camille with its 200+ mph. winds and Hurricane Gilbert at 185 mp. produced surges of 24.6 ft and 20ft. respectively.  No storm of 140 mph.  can account for the destruction of the Northern Gulf Coast unless the numbers are changed.

The Proof

Storm Surge Simulations
- St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans, Louisiana

The following is an example of possible water heights for a slow moving category 4 hurricane. This image is an approximation of how high the water could rise. - Simulations courtesy of Mark Sudduth.

NO Storm Surge
New Orleans, Louisiana


Category 4 Hurricane Storm Surge Simulation
New Orleans, Louisiana

Source for above pictures: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/surge/new_orleans.shtml


Examples of category 4 Storms and their surge

source http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/history.shtml


Galveston Hurricane 1900

This killer weather system was first detected over the tropical Atlantic on August 27. A general west-northwestward motion occurred over the Gulf accompanied by rapid intensification. By the time the storm reached the Texas coast south of Galveston late on September 8, it was a Category 4 hurricane. This hurricane was the deadliest weather disaster in United States history. Storm tides of 8 to 15 ft inundated the whole of Galveston Island, as well as other portions of the nearby Texas coast.


Great Miami Hurricane 1926

The "Great Miami" Hurricane was first spotted as a tropical wave located 1,000 miles east of the Lesser Antilles on September 11th. The Category 4 hurricane's eye moved directly over Miami Beach and downtown Miami during the morning hours of the 18th. This cyclone produced the highest sustained winds ever recorded in the United States at the time, and the barometric pressure fell to 27.61 inches as the eye passed over Miami. A storm surge of nearly 15 feet was reported in Coconut Grove.


Hurricane Donna 1960

One of the all-time great hurricanes, Donna was first detected as a tropical wave moving off the African coast on August 29. A northwestward turn on the 9th brought the hurricane to the middle Florida Keys the next day at Category 4 intensity. Donna caused storm surges of up to 13 ft in the Florida Keys and 11 ft surges along the southwest coast of Florida. The landfall pressure of 27.46 inches makes Donna the fifth strongest hurricane of record to hit the United States.


Examples of the 2 worst category 5 storms and their surge

Hurricane Camille 1969

A minimum pressure of 26.84 inches was reported in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, which makes Camille the second most intense hurricane of record to hit the United States. The actual maximum sustained winds will never be known, as the hurricane destroyed all the wind-recording instruments in the landfall area. The estimates at the coast are near 200 mph. Columbia, Mississippi, located 75 miles inland, reported 120 mph sustained winds. A storm tide of 24.6 ft occurred at Pass Christian, Mississippi. The heaviest rains along the Gulf Coast were about 10 inches. However, as Camille passed over the Virginias, it produced a burst of 12 to 20 inch rains with local totals of up to 31 inches. Most of this rain occurred in 3 to 5 hours and caused catastrophic flash flooding.


Hurricane Gilbert 1988

Gilbert emerged off the western coastline of Jamaica and began a period of extraordinarily rapid intensification. The ferocious hurricane strengthened to Category 4 status as its northern eyewall pounded Grand Cayman Island with 155 mph wind gusts early on September 13th. Gilbert’s remarkable intensification trend continued as the cyclone reached Category 5 status on the afternoon of the 13th and eventually reached peak winds of 185 mph. The minimum central pressure of the cyclone plummeted to 888 millibars, which represented a 70-millibar drop in only a 24-hour period. This minimum central pressure recorded by NOAA aircraft remains the lowest pressure ever recorded in the western hemisphere. Gilbert crossed the northeast coast of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula on September 14th, becoming the first Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic basin to strike land since Camille in 1969. Although no reliable measurements of storm surge exist from Gilbert’s two Mexican landfalls, estimates are that Gilbert produced between 15 and 20 feet of surge along the Yucatan and 8 to 13 feet at landfall in mainland Mexico.


Hurricane Categories & Associated Storm Surges: Details and Explanations {Reference}


Deacon Blue
User ID: 599
5:50 pm EDT

Ah! Grant returns. I had dispaired of ever having his lunatic ravings to laugh at.

A warning to the scientists, who were behind the systematic reduction wind speeds of Hurricane Katrina thru the media outlets as it approached the coastline, your credibility will be lost.

So, Grant you say that they should have lied? They should have bumped the reported speed up to the 200-215mph range to scare people into moving, rather than report the truth? As one NOAA meteorologist said, the difference between a Cat 5 and a Cat 4 is the difference between being hit by a freight train and being hit by a semi. You´re dead either way.


Deacon if you had family in New Orleans would you allow them to stay in a zone where winds reach a minimum F-3 status on the Fujita Scale tornado scale? No. Some would ride out a Category 4 hurricane,  and only a fool would stay in a situation where predicted winds of a F3 status are possible. Reduction of wind speeds to prevent panic takes away an individual's choice for survival. It is not the decision of the head scientist, because they would not leave their own there. Lets go to the polls taken in the Houston Astrodome by approximately 680 evacuees.

Poll: Fewer than half of evacuees in Houston want to return home

Friday, September 16, 2005; Posted: 11:20 a.m. EDT (15:20 GMT)

More than two-thirds said they didn't evacuate because they didn't realize how bad the storm and its aftermath would be.

Courtesy CNN


Circuit Breaker

User ID: 836
5:52 pm EDT

"Proof look at the gulf coast 30 ft storm surge 40 to 70 miles away from the center."

And this is proof that the wind speed was being under reported how? Did you have your own personal weather station set up down there and it reported higher wind speeds? Do you even HAVE a record of actual wind speeds?


I don't need a personal weather station when there are plenty of official sources. I have records of storm surges from many different sources.

Reference Winds Speeds and Their Associated Storm Surge 

News Story 1

News Story  2

News Story 3

Deacon Blue
User ID: 599
6:30 pm EDT


You mean, except for the fact that by the time the eye made landfall half of the storm was over land?

Hurricanes lose strength when they cross land.


Deacon the storm was over water when the winds speeds reported dropped, but the eye pressure also dropped. Shear was not a factor and the storm maintained it shape over warm gulf waters over 30o C. Your statement makes no sense, everyone knows a hurricane dissipates over land.

Anonymous Coward
User ID: 880
11:54 pm EDT

I went through sustained winds in excess of 130mph and I´m 140 miles from the Mississippi Gulf Coast. That is an estimation based my experience as a weather observor and the nature of the damage done to trees and structures in my area.


When the storm did move inland wind speeds of 125 mph. were confirmed on the air validating your observation.

User ID: 1343
7:07 pm EDT

Wait a second here. Prior to the storm I heard there were wind gusts of 265mph! That was on TV. All the weather peeps, National Hurricane Center, Accuweather, couldn´t stress enough how dangerous this storm was going to be. They were reporting 60´ swells out on the gulf, and warned of 35´ waves ON TOP OF a 20-30´ storm surge. Additionally, this disaster was forecasted for YEARS. The Discovery Channel had a great documentary on this a few years ago, and it was dead on. LSU did a study on on this, and it was very accurate in it´s predictions. I don´t know why you would blame the weather forecasters. They are the biggest voice out there when it comes to telling people to get out, and warning of the dangers of hurricanes - even catagory one´s.


The weather channel briefly mentioned sustained winded winds of 183 mph for 5 minutes never to be heard again. Yes weathermen-women are a great source of information but those at the top made a decision, which they though would minimize panic. They were wrong.


Deacon Blue
User ID: 589
2:55 pm EDT

Wait a second here. Prior to the storm I heard there were wind gusts of 265mph! That was on TV.

Maybe the TV reporter missread a bulletin that said "265kph" as "265mph". 265kph = 159mph, which would certainly be in the ballpark for Katrina.


Why would they mention a gust of 159 mph. when the sustained wind speed was officially 175mph.? Oh its that NASA thing feet meters what's is the difference.

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