Saturday, October 7, 2017

Hurricane Nate Morning Update...

Let’s begin with what we know.  Nate is now up to 85 mph and likely to reach 90-100 mph before landfall.  Overnight models runs have changed little and NHC shifted their center line track slightly back to the west now over Biloxi.  The latest recon info shows Nate to be right side(east) loaded with much less wind on the west side.   That means if you stay to the left of the track, impacts will be far less.  My concern is the 7 AM advisory now has Nate at 88 west longitude.  Remember our 90 degrees west “rule”  If Nate were to reach 90 degrees, the turn to the NE would come too late to spare SE LA.  Even though all models still take it to the MS/AL coast, I would not be surprised to see another slight shift to the west(say near Gulfport) on the 10 AM NHC advisory.   That still keeps the strong winds away from NOLA, but it would bring the brunt of the storm to Mississippi & Alabama.   For Louisiana, only southern Plaquemines & eastern St. Bernard would have tropical storm force winds.  The main problem there will be the storm surge which could be 4-7’+.   Nate is not a Katrina.  Our strengthened levee protection (risk reduction) system will keep those inside safe from Nate’s surge.   However, the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain will see water over the sea wall probably covering Lake Shore Drive.  The new levees west of Lake P. should also prevent the flooding that happened with Isaac back in 2012.    Since the system is East side loaded, I’ve decided not to close my shutters RIGHT NOW.  If Nate reaches 90 degrees west by noon, I might decide to cover up this afternoon.  Having functional shutters, as opposed to plywood, allows me that option.  FYI…Dr. Postel on TWC (The Weather Channel) just said NOLA will not have hurricane force winds, perhaps not even tropical storm force except over the eastern parts of the city based on the “asymmetric” (one side)structure of the storm.  IF this continues, and if you live farther west of downtown NOLA, you will be fine.    Will Nate get stronger?  Possibly, but he is over the warmest waters of the Gulf right now.  From here to the coast, the oceanic heat content is not as high.  Let’s hope he won’t get beyond 90 mph in strength  and beyond 89 degrees west in longitude.   Next update around noon unless the 10 AM advisory brings the track closer.  Stay tuned!

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