L’Hurricane Ida it looks strangely a dangerous sequel of Hurricane Katrina of 2005, the most expensive storm in American history, however there are still some twists that could make Hurricane Ida in some ways meaner, but not as horrible in others.
It is expected that theHurricane Ida struck on the same calendar date, or August 29, just like Katrina did 16 years ago, striking the same general part of Louisiana with about the same wind speed, having quickly strengthened by crossing a similar zone of warm, deep water that supercharges hurricanes, and so it was.
While what is happening is almost identical to what happened with Katrina, what may be different is crucial: direction and size.
Katrina, in that circumstance, struck Louisiana from the south, while Ida arrived in the same part of the state but from the southeastFurthermore, a day and a half before landing, the winds of Hurricane Ida extended 13 miles from the center compared to the 106 miles of the much more massive Katrina in the same time period prior to landing.
“This has the potential to be more of a natural disaster, while Katrina’s big problem was mostly man-made due to the bank failures.”
said the University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy.
The bankruptcies of the levees pushed the budget of the Katrina victims to 1,833 and its overall damage about $ 176 billion in the current exchange rate, however, experts do not expect Ida to come close to those totals, both in terms of number of victims and costs.
As I said, Hurricane Ida is coming to the same place from a slightly different direction, and according to several hurricane experts they fear that the difference in angle can put New Orleans in the most dangerous quadrant of storms – the right front of a hurricane – compared to what Katrina did, when the city was more devastated by the collapse of an embankment than by the storm itself also because, the northeast quadrant of Katrina, pushed swells of 8.5 meters (28 feet) in Mississippi, but not in New Orleans.
“Ida’s angle is potentially worse because, although it’s smaller and won’t easily create a huge swell, the angle it’s coming at, I think is more conducive to pushing water into the lake (Pontchartrain).”
That northwestern path of Hurricane Ida not only puts New Orleans more in the center than Katrina did, but it also targets Baton Rouge and crucial industrial areassaid meteorologist Jeff Masters, who piloted hurricane missions for the government and founded Weather Underground.
Masters also added that it is expected that Hurricane Ida will go through “the absolute worst place for a hurricane”.
“It is planned to follow the industrial corridor between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, which is one of the key infrastructure regions of the United States, crucial to the economy, there are hundreds of major industrial sites there, I mean petrochemical sites, three of the 15 largest ports. greats of America, a nuclear power plant.
You will likely close the Mississippi River for barge traffic for several weeks. “
In support of what Masters said, the meteorologist Steve Bowen, head of the Aon consulting firm and responsible for analyzing global disasters, stating:
“It’s not just the coastal impact. It’s not just New Orleans. We are certainly looking into potential losses of up to billions ”.
The size of Hurricane Ida is also important
The difference in size is not only physically huge, but it is important for the damage, the larger storms have in fact a greater swell due to the larger thrust of the water.
“Hurricane Ida will not generate the huge storm that Katrina did, will have a more targeted storm surge, similar to that of Camille in 1969 ″
While Masters’ words should be heartening in some ways, Bowen remembers that larger storms are often weaker, there is in fact a tradeoff between intense damage in a smaller area versus less damage, but still severe, in a larger area.
The same Bowen And Gabriel Vecchi of Princeton University they claimed to not knowing which scenario would be worse in this case.
The normal cycle of hurricane formation, which initiated a rapid intensification of Hurricane Ida, is putting more meat on the fire. The latter, before arriving on the American coasts, hit a whirlwind of what is called the loop current.
The Loop Current it’s this one deep spot of incredibly warm water, with the latter being taken from the Yucatan Peninsula, then takes a ride in the Gulf of Mexico and goes up the eastern border of Florida in the Gulf Stream, with the water temperature that reaches temperatures above 25 degrees, a natural fuel for hurricanes.
Normally, when a storm escalates or stops, it absorbs all the warm water in the region and then hits the cooler water which starts to weaken the storm or at least prevents it from strengthening further, however these hot water points continue to feed. a storm.
Katrina fed herself this way and Ida should do the same, plus the vortex Ida has passed over has the necessary hot water that goes over 500 feet deep.
“Switching to these Loop Current (eddys) is a big deal. It is really dangerous. It could be explosive. “
he said it climate and hurricane scientist Kossin of The Climate Service.
Over the past 40 years, more hurricanes are rapidly intensifying And climate change appears to be at least partly responsible, as Kossin and Vecchi also stated. Hurricane Grace has already escalated rapidly this year, and last year Hanna, Laura, Sally, Teddy, Gamma and Delta all rapidly escalated.
“It has a human footprint on it”
said Kossin, who with Vecchi was part of one 2019 study on recent rapid escalations.
After a hurricane escalates rapidly, it becomes at the same time so strong, and its eye so small, that it often fails to balance the two, so it forms an outer eye and the inner eye collapses, in that phenomenon that, at known as Kossin, it is called eye replacement cycle.
When a new eye forms, a storm often gets bigger but a little weakerKossin added, so the key to limiting the damage of Hurricane Ida is understanding when and if this will happen, also because it happened for Katrina, who steadily weakened in the 12 hours before landing.
However many of the other forces present on that occasion – such as the cross winds that weakened Katrina at the last minute – are not there for Ida, and from the results that can already be seen (photo above) it would seem that the damage is already considerable.
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