ISAAC V. KATRINA: Hurricane Researchers Compare The Storms

Univ. of Miami Scientists use high tech tools to compare tracks, organization and anticipated surge

Isaac vs. Katrina Hurricane Katrina (top) vs. Hurricane Isaac (bottom) as storms prepared to make landfall. Source: Brian McNoldy.

MIAMI — August 28, 2012 — As the Gulf coast prepares for the arrival of Hurricane Isaac, researchers at the University of Miami are comparing the oncoming storm to Hurricane Katrina, the deadliest and costliest of hurricanes in the nation’s history. Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science Senior Research Assistant Brian McNoldy and Meteorology and Physical Oceanography Professor Sharan Majumdar are tracking the storms side by side, both from the sky and in computational models.

“Hurricane Isaac appears to be less organized, reaching wind speeds of 75mph as of 11:20 a.m. this morning. This is the first time that it has reached hurricane intensity during its entire 12-day journey across the Atlantic Ocean. It is just hours from landfall, and just hours from the exact landfall time of Hurricane Katrina. Rainfall totals along the northern Gulf coast are expected to be in the 12-18” range, and the storm surge could be significant between the center of the storm and places for hundreds of miles east of the center as its circulation pushes the ocean out ahead of it and onto the coastline,” says McNoldy.

His blog can be found at Tropical Atlantic Update. Earlier this month, McNoldy was approached by the Washington Post's “Capital Weather Gang” to join their team of bloggers as a tropical weather expert.

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