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WxWatcher007

Major Hurricane Laura

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3 minutes ago, ssavon66 said:

Yeah, if a coating is all they were relying on to save those windows that is a major architectural failure.

Building codes in Florida would not have allowed. Their insurance company will be suing somebody.

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Just now, jm1220 said:

Lake Charles airport had 132mph Gust before the anemometer apparently failed. They were in the eyewall for quite some time. 

I'm sure it's going to be difficult to find accurate measurements since a lot of instruments will have failed. I guess it's going to come down to post storm damage analysis in order to pinpoint likely wind speeds like they would after a tornado. 

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Just now, NJwx85 said:

Has anyone seen a report of sustained winds greater than category 2 on land?

I saw some gusts into category 3 range and some unconfirmed into category 4 range but nothing close to that sustained. 

For that you'd probably have to measure right at the coastline in the eastern eyewall.  Or measure on top of a high building.  Friction with the land surface decreases winds significantly.  Official measurements above 100mph sustained are uncommon.

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4 minutes ago, jm1220 said:

Lake Charles airport had 132mph Gust before the anemometer apparently failed. They were in the eyewall for quite some time. 

90 mph when the equipment failed:

image.thumb.png.7796639da84c461ca4573222b966e42b.png

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10 minutes ago, ssavon66 said:

Yeah, if a coating is all they were relying on to save those windows that is a major architectural failure.

The coatings are meant to keep the windows from breaking, not from blowing out, similar to the windshield in your car. They need to sustain damage by impact, but that was not the key factor here as the windows were sucked out of the frames by a mix of wind speed and pressure differential (indoor vs outdoor). Skyscrapers are at high risk of this due to the forced air pressurization of the buildings by the HVAC systems.

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13 minutes ago, jm1220 said:

There must have been a very high surge somewhere due to this being a high end cat 4. Those numbers on the high end we see so far are Sandy-like numbers (8ft or so) which was a cat 1 (but huge size which drove more water). I think the high surge just hit the less populated wildlife areas East of Lake Charles. Might’ve been a much different story if this came ashore over Sabine Pass. In that area looks like minor surge damage due to winds blowing it away. 

Sandy had a cat 3 surge due to the size of the storm and time over the ocean

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7 minutes ago, NJwx85 said:

Has anyone seen a report of sustained winds greater than category 2 on land?

I saw some gusts into category 3 range and some unconfirmed into category 4 range but nothing close to that sustained. 

I don't recall ever seeing cat 4 sustained winds measured in the US during a hurricane.

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21 minutes ago, jm1220 said:

There must have been a very high surge somewhere due to this being a high end cat 4. Those numbers on the high end we see so far are Sandy-like numbers (8ft or so) which was a cat 1 (but huge size which drove more water). I think the high surge just hit the less populated wildlife areas East of Lake Charles. Might’ve been a much different story if this came ashore over Sabine Pass. In that area looks like minor surge damage due to winds blowing it away. 

I think one of the major things to consider with storm surge is the angle to which the storm hits the coast and speed along with the topography at the coast.  Sandy took an abrupt left hand turn and hit the coast on the central New Jersey coast at a perpindicular angle at a pretty high forward motion.  Like you said somewhere in the right quad of landfall with Laura there must of been at least a 14 foot storm surge but may have been in less populated areas and perhaps the marshes of southern Louisiana protected the coastline somewhat.  Up here along the New Jersey coast there is no protections like this all barrier islands that are very susceptible to storm surge not only from hurricanes but also the winter hurricanes Nor'Easters. 

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11 minutes ago, eduggs said:

For that you'd probably have to measure right at the coastline in the eastern eyewall.  Or measure on top of a high building.  Friction with the land surface decreases winds significantly.  Official measurements above 100mph sustained are uncommon.

This is correct. However, it does bring up a pet peeve of mine- from a purely practical point of view, the official wind speed in any hurricane once it hits land (other than a small island) is *always* an overestimate, so what  good is it? Right now Laura is supposedly a cat 2 storm well inland, but do you think that anyplace is getting any sustained winds even close to that? When the public hears that Laura hit with 150mph sustained winds shouldn't *someplace*  actually get that wind?-but it never happens.

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Just now, Dunkman said:

I don't recall ever seeing cat 4 sustained winds measured in the US during a hurricane.

Me neither.  Not at ground level outside a tornado.  Hurricane strength is measured based on maximum sustained winds in the most intense part of the storm over the open water.  Those ideal conditions are not present over land.  And in the rare cases where extremely strong winds are present, measuring equipment is rarely located in the perfect location to measure them.

Some people assume at Cat 4 means Cat 4 winds will be widespread.  That's clearly not the case.  Even Cat 2 sustained winds are uncommon at ground level over land.

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Regardless of which side of the argument you were on, radar data from the final recon mission last night puts the great “radar data argument” to bed... Hint: it wasn’t beam blockage

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12 minutes ago, jm1220 said:

There must have been a very high surge somewhere due to this being a high end cat 4. Those numbers on the high end we see so far are Sandy-like numbers (8ft or so) which was a cat 1 (but huge size which drove more water). I think the high surge just hit the less populated wildlife areas East of Lake Charles. Might’ve been a much different story if this came ashore over Sabine Pass. In that area looks like minor surge damage due to winds blowing it away. 

Using only category of storm to determine surge magnitude is of very limited usefulness.  I made the mistake of thinking Katrina would not be so bad because it was only a 3 at landfall.  Your example of Sandy is another one.  My fear of great surge during Charley was another.  There are just so many other more important factors than maximum wind speed.

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The surge or relative lack thereof deserves serious attention, if only because the NHC warning of a 'nonsurvivable surge' was so stark, yet false.

It is the kind of miss that encourages people to disregard warnings. There may yet be a big price to pay.

Seen that the surge is the real killer in hurricanes, it would seem sensible to make it a serious focus. Getting it right would be vastly more productive than the scholastic arguments about whether a storm is Cat 4 or Cat 5.

 

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5 minutes ago, Dunkman said:

I don't recall ever seeing cat 4 sustained winds measured in the US during a hurricane.

Lack of sensor coverage and damage to sensors or other equipment needed to take the measurement during strong winds would contribute to that.

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2 minutes ago, Cheeznado said:

This is correct. However, it does bring up a pet peeve of mine- from a purely practical point of view, the official wind speed in any hurricane once it hits land (other than a small island) is *always* an overestimate, so what  good is it? Right now Laura is supposedly a cat 2 storm well inland, but do you think that anyplace is getting any sustained winds even close to that? When the public hears that Laura hit with 150mph sustained winds shouldn't *someplace*  actually get that wind?-but it never happens.

agreed.  it's one of those things that a hobbyist would know, and something that we should expect the general public to know as well.

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1 minute ago, Kevin Reilly said:

I think one of the major things to consider with storm surge is the angle to which the storm hits the coast and the topography at the coast.  Sandy took an abrupt left hand turn and hit the coast on the central New Jersey coast at a perpindicular angle.  Like you said somewhere in the right quad of landfall with Laura there must of been at least at 14 foot storm surge but may have been in less populated areas and perhaps the marshes of southern Louisiana protected the coastline.  Up here along the New Jersey coast there is no protections like this all barrier islands that are very susceptible to storm surge not only from hurricanes but also the winter hurricanes Nor'Easters. 

We also have possibly the worst surge prone topography up here due to the NY Harbor funneling effect (Tampa Bay is similar) which Sandy took full advantage of in addition to the full moon that weekend/high tide. Anyway it’s off topic but I’m not sure how generally prone to surge SW LA is-I’m sure these small lakes can flood very quickly though. Maybe the timing was just fortunate as well-wasn’t it close to low tide? 

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1 minute ago, Cheeznado said:

This is correct. However, it does bring up a pet peeve of mine- from a purely practical point of view, the official wind speed in any hurricane once it hits land (other than a small island) is *always* an overestimate, so what  good is it? Right now Laura is supposedly a cat 2 storm well inland, but do you think that anyplace is getting any sustained winds even close to that? When the public hears that Laura hit with 150mph sustained winds shouldn't *someplace*  actually get that wind, but it never happens.

The most extreme tropical cyclone wind measurements I can find are from small islands. I wonder if just interacting with a large land mass slows down the winds before the eyewall comes ashore? Makes it harder for winds to mix down to the surface? I mean of course the winds inland are lower due to friction but even right on the coast you don't see readings like you do on small islands in the middle of the ocean.

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2 minutes ago, Cheeznado said:

This is correct. However, it does bring up a pet peeve of mine- from a purely practical point of view, the official wind speed in any hurricane once it hits land (other than a small island) is *always* an overestimate, so what  good is it? Right now Laura is supposedly a cat 2 storm well inland, but do you think that anyplace is getting any sustained winds even close to that? When the public hears that Laura hit with 150mph sustained winds shouldn't *someplace*  actually get that wind?-but it never happens.

Great point.  I think this confuses a lot of people.  I guess they do it for continuity.  The way we classically categorize hurricanes seems relatively simplistic and a little bit archaic.  Maybe it's time for a more sophisticated (and more realistic/meaningful/accurate) categorizing scheme.

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Just now, jm1220 said:

We also have possibly the worst surge prone topography up here due to the NY Harbor funneling effect (Tampa Bay is similar) which Sandy took full advantage of in addition to the full moon that weekend/high tide. Anyway it’s off topic but I’m not sure how generally prone to surge SW LA is-I’m sure these small lakes can flood very quickly though. Maybe the timing was just fortunate as well-wasn’t it close to low tide? 

Hit close to high tide and SW LA is extremely surge-prone.

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9 minutes ago, Cheeznado said:

This is correct. However, it does bring up a pet peeve of mine- from a purely practical point of view, the official wind speed in any hurricane once it hits land (other than a small island) is *always* an overestimate, so what  good is it? Right now Laura is supposedly a cat 2 storm well inland, but do you think that anyplace is getting any sustained winds even close to that? When the public hears that Laura hit with 150mph sustained winds shouldn't *someplace*  actually get that wind?-but it never happens.

I would have expected to see category four wind reported on one of the oil rigs or possibly something right on the water. I wasn't expecting anything remotely further inland than the immediate shore. 

I'm just wondering if perhaps the strongest winds had already started to lift a bit off the surface in the last few hours up to landfall when we were seeing continued pressure drops but not much change in any SFMR data.

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I think some are jumping the gun on "lack of storm surge".

We're less than 12 hours after landfall and damage reports are just starting to come in. A lot of the water gauges became inundated and stopped reporting.

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1 minute ago, NJwx85 said:

I think some are jumping the gun on "lack of storm surge".

We're less than 12 hours after landfall and damage reports are just starting to come in. A lot of the water gauges became inundated and stopped reporting.

I’d be pretty stunned if Cameron and Holly Beach weren’t wiped pretty clean out. It would be miraculous in my opinion. It hit them directly and this was significantly stronger than Rita (which was devastating there too). 

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3 minutes ago, NJwx85 said:

I think some are jumping the gun on "lack of storm surge".

We're less than 12 hours after landfall and damage reports are just starting to come in. A lot of the water gauges became inundated and stopped reporting.

Helicopters should be out filming damage by now. We should start to see more devastation soon.

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Just now, NJwx85 said:

I think some are jumping the gun on "lack of storm surge".

We're less than 12 hours after landfall and damage reports are just starting to come in. A lot of the water gauges became inundated and stopped reporting.

Some surge somewhere is highly likely, but Lake Charles was advised of a possible 20 foot surge and got nothing, the storm chasers were active on the street. Similarly the 30 mile inland surge was greatly overblown. This really hurts the credibility of these NHC advisories imho.

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Just now, etudiant said:

Some surge somewhere is highly likely, but Lake Charles was advised of a possible 20 foot surge and got nothing, the storm chasers were active on the street. Similarly the 30 mile inland surge was greatly overblown. This really hurts the credibility of these NHC advisories imho.

Always better to be safe regarding storm surge. The alternative involves increased loss of life which is a gross mishandling of public safety. They made the right call, regardless. 

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Is there anyway to add Sandy to the list of banned words or put a block in on any post that contains this. Have to love people from the NE thinking they're the center of the Universe. What's next, comparing the wind field of Laura to the winds in the Superstorm of '93?

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Just now, RUNNAWAYICEBERG said:

Always better to be safe regarding storm surge. The alternative involves increased loss of life which is a gross mishandling of public safety. They made the right call, regardless. 

i agree, but then people will take as an excuse to ignore the next warning. then the next time is often the real deal. should be interesting to see why the predicted surge didnt occur and how to fix the forecast next time though.

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Just saw the window damage on the Cap. One skyscraper.   So many windows blown out.  So many skyscrapers are not window tested in the Ft Lauderdale/Miami area.   If Dorian had stalled last year just a little further west there would have been tens of thousands of windows blown out in Florida skyscrapers.

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