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WxWatcher007

Major Hurricane Laura

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At the end of the day, and it’s literally about the end of the day EDT, Laura/she/her did not not hold a candle to Sandy, Queen of All Cyclonic Storm Systems and Storm Surges, because everybody knows Staten Island is the Center of the Known Universe.

 

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7 hours ago, TriPol said:

 

Not great, but not terrible. Definitely not catastrophic. 

The reason is simple. Most of these homes were rebuilt after Rita. Going back in time homes were built right on to the island or on lower stilts. So in the past, in a storm of this magnitude the destruction would be severe. The homes on the video are built on tall strong stilts which allowed the surge to pass underneath them. 

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Looks like storm surge reached 17 ft near Grand Chenieer:

 

And just over 16.5 ft before gauge failure near Eunice, LA. (I just upload the second image from source since the code doesn't like two embedded tweets):

71e578ee9225200092ab40e3e06b94ac.jpg

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35 minutes ago, LongBeachSurfFreak said:

The reason is simple. Most of these homes were rebuilt after Rita. Going back in time homes were built right on to the island or on lower stilts. So in the past, in a storm of this magnitude the destruction would be severe. The homes on the video are built on tall strong stilts which allowed the surge to pass underneath them. 

Am guessing they were built to withstand stronger winds too, which is why you saw a fair amount of roofs mostly intact.

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10 hours ago, Prospero said:

Andrew in the exact same place as Laura would have been a lot worse than Laura. Lake Charles took a direct hit and it is bad, but nowhere near an Andrew. Even Michael was nothing like Andrew even though wiping out a swath on Mexico Beach.

I saw the damage from both storms first hand. The Andrew wind damage in Homestead & FL City was amazing. Michael had wind damage in parts of PC, Lynn Haven, Callaway, Parker, Tyndall AFB, & Mexico Beach that while maybe not as great were close to Andrew. The surge damage in MB, St Joe Beach, Port St Joe, & St George Island was far worse than anything I saw from Andrew. It's tough to compare any storms but imho, saying Michael was nothing like Andrew is a bit off base.

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I'm more fascinated by Laura's intensity. There was a dissertation written in 2010 about how frequently hurricanes weakened quickly on approach to the North Gulf Coast. Between Michael and Laura, we now have two storms that have strengthened or maintained 150-160 mph intensity into the North Gulf Coast. 

We do have some hurricanes of 140+ mph that have struck the North Gulf Coast, however.

  • 1856 "Last Island" - 150 mph
  • 1886 - "Indianola" - 150 mph
  • 1900 - "Galveston" - 140 mph
  • 1932 - "Freeport" - 150 mph
  • 1961 - "Carla" - 145 mph
  • 1969 - "Camille" - 175 mph
  • 1970 - "Celia" - 140 mph
  • 2018 - "Michael" - 160 mph
  • 2020 - "Laura" - 150 mph

I averaged those years out doing mean, median, mode old school math. I got an average return period of 20.5 years. Perhaps these really intense Cat 4 landfalls, even Cat 5, happen more frequently than we think.

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I wonder if the conventional wisdom that hurricanes "always" weaken on approach to the northern Gulf Coast really took off in the wake of the 2004-'05 seasons. Despite the onslaught of U.S. MH landfalls in those years; Ivan, Dennis, Katrina and Rita all weakened into landfall. Only Charley and Wilma intensified or held steady into landfall, and they were western Florida not northern Gulf.

(Jeanne too, but it was east coast of FL. Not sure what Frances did although I know it was well weaker than its Cat. 4 peak)

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I wonder if the conventional wisdom that hurricanes "always" weaken on approach to the northern Gulf Coast really took off in the wake of the 2004-'05 seasons. Despite the onslaught of U.S. MH landfalls in those years; Ivan, Dennis, Katrina and Rita all weakened into landfall. Only Charley and Wilma intensified or held steady into landfall, and they were western Florida not northern Gulf.
(Jeanne too, but it was east coast of FL. Not sure what Frances did although I know it was well weaker than its Cat. 4 peak)

Frances was ‘steady-state’ at landfall as a high end Cat 2. Since it weakened from Cat 3 as it entered the Bahamas I suppose it could have contributed to that line of thinking.


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13 hours ago, the ghost of leroy said:

Lol

 

13 hours ago, hlcater said:

I still maintain that the amount of attenuation going on was negligible. This is especially true when in Laura's case, the southern part of the eyewall was weaker the entire day on both HGX and LCH and this is a weakness that was also evident on recon data. So while attenuation may be a convenient explanation, at least from what I can tell(and who knows maybe im wildly off the mark here) it doesn't seem to be the correct one.

7cb06b621c414d64fef89036a306ad5a.jpg

 

Then watch as the eyewall consolidated on LCH and HGX on final approach to the coast. My best guess is that frictional convergence played a role in this process but this consolidation was very much legitimate and not some radar enhanced artifact. There was almost certainly some attenuation going on from LCH (especially earlier in the day at higher beam heights) but in the hours before landfall, as @jpeters3 had explained, the amount of attenuation occurring was not enough to sufficiently explain such a weakness there on its own. 

8c867291b82e99c7356b6075a66adf6c.jpg

 

Appreciate the support ;)


Certainly an interesting feature, and again seems to have occurred in past intense TCs (Harvey, Michael).  My suspicion is that it has to do with the modest southerly shear.

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2 hours ago, NavarreDon said:

I saw the damage from both storms first hand. The Andrew wind damage in Homestead & FL City was amazing. Michael had wind damage in parts of PC, Lynn Haven, Callaway, Parker, Tyndall AFB, & Mexico Beach that while maybe not as great were close to Andrew. The surge damage in MB, St Joe Beach, Port St Joe, & St George Island was far worse than anything I saw from Andrew. It's tough to compare any storms but imho, saying Michael was nothing like Andrew is a bit off base.

You’re right, Michael was vicious and much worse than Andrew with storm surge and the damage it did to very solid structures at Tyndall cannot be overlooked.

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Aerials I have seen of Lake Charles proper seem to show scattered roof/structural damage to buildings, but certainly not as bad as Panama City after Michael. Given that PC is at the coast and Michael was stronger, that would be expected.  

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40 minutes ago, Wmsptwx said:

You’re right, Michael was vicious and much worse than Andrew with storm surge and the damage it did to very solid structures at Tyndall cannot be overlooked.

People forget about the low building standard structures in Andrew, it makes the damage look worse than a modern storm with better building codes. 

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3 hours ago, CheeselandSkies said:

I wonder if the conventional wisdom that hurricanes "always" weaken on approach to the northern Gulf Coast really took off in the wake of the 2004-'05 seasons. Despite the onslaught of U.S. MH landfalls in those years; Ivan, Dennis, Katrina and Rita all weakened into landfall. Only Charley and Wilma intensified or held steady into landfall, and they were western Florida not northern Gulf.

(Jeanne too, but it was east coast of FL. Not sure what Frances did although I know it was well weaker than its Cat. 4 peak)

Hurricane Michael 2018 was raging and intensifying quickly before it slammed into Mexico Beach as a Category 5.  The Panhandle of Florida is the northern Gulf Coast.  Also Hurricane Opal October 4th 1995 was very destructive too as a Category 4 150 mph winds 916mb however like you said this one did weaken upon approach down to a Cat 3 of 115 mph.

 

Picture of Hurricane Michael 2018

Image result for picture of hurricane michael

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Hurricane Michael 2018 was raging and intensifying quickly before it slammed into Mexico Beach as a Category 5.  The Panhandle of Florida is the northern Gulf Coast.  Also Hurricane Opal October 4th 1995 was very destructive too as a Category 4 150 mph winds 916mb however like you said this one did weaken upon approach down to a Cat 3 of 115 mph.
 
Picture of Hurricane Michael 2018
OIP.HlF0jbA4VV0fgbeiA-yhLwHaFM?w=244%26h=180%26c=7%26o=5%26pid=1.7&key=29b68d4c9cb7f93e8b30c8b5f22dffa5c30abd00df5bb873e2448d92cb9fc381

Just from a on the ground perspective I can tell you the summers are much longer now vs the 90’s & early 2000’s. The warm weather lasts longer as well as the wait for any decent fronts coming thru. Not certain if this has an impact on Panhandle storms but I assume it does.


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4 hours ago, CheeselandSkies said:

I wonder if the conventional wisdom that hurricanes "always" weaken on approach to the northern Gulf Coast really took off in the wake of the 2004-'05 seasons. Despite the onslaught of U.S. MH landfalls in those years; Ivan, Dennis, Katrina and Rita all weakened into landfall. Only Charley and Wilma intensified or held steady into landfall, and they were western Florida not northern Gulf.

(Jeanne too, but it was east coast of FL. Not sure what Frances did although I know it was well weaker than its Cat. 4 peak)

Perhaps a layman's observation might help here.  I do think that it did start with those seasons but there were some key differences.  Apart from EWRCs, the key determinants appear to be:

1) The heat content of the continental shelf water (unless the system is moving really fast) because the width of the shelf along the northern Gulf tends to be very wide. The heat content of this water is typically less because it is shallow and thus, it cools more quickly under cloud cover and rain (storm conditions).  It is also 100+ miles wide at many points (so that is typically worth 6 to 12 hours at typical storm motion velocities). 

2) The nature of conditions in the southeast in general (inflow regions).  How much this matters varies with storm size but both Michael and Laura encountered exceptionally moist environments in the southeast.  Michael had the benefit of being in an environment that had literally not seen a cold front (with drier continental air) in months. Laura, OTOH, benefited from Marco's disappation.  The moist, tropical air that pulled north in the days immediately preceding Laura was notable and contained exceptionally high dewpoints that would normally be relegated either to peninsular Florida or the warm sector in a spring storm system.  In both systems, there was little in the way of dry air available to be pulled into the circulation. Add in some Gulf bathwater and low shear and the results not unheard of.  I believe that the initial forecasts for Laura were probably underestimated because Marco was being overestimated.  Ironically, shear may have helped Laura tremendously (but by decapitating Marco who abandoned a pool of tropical moisture). 

 

Just my (mostly empirical) thoughts... 

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50 minutes ago, NavarreDon said:


Just from a on the ground perspective I can tell you the summers are much longer now vs the 90’s & early 2000’s. The warm weather lasts longer as well as the wait for any decent fronts coming thru. Not certain if this has an impact on Panhandle storms but I assume it does.


.

Fall has become a brief November thing of late, even for those north of I-40.

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13 hours ago, brianc33710 said:

I think that Ivan Sep 04 produced the most tornadoes of any hurricane. How often do tropical systems produce EF-2+ tornadoes though? I'm pretty sure almost all tropical tornadoes are EF-0s & 1s.

Isaias produced an EF-3 in NC although I agree that's pretty rare. It does happen though obviously.

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1 hour ago, Kevin Reilly said:

Hurricane Michael 2018 was raging and intensifying quickly before it slammed into Mexico Beach as a Category 5.  The Panhandle of Florida is the northern Gulf Coast.  Also Hurricane Opal October 4th 1995 was very destructive too as a Category 4 150 mph winds 916mb however like you said this one did weaken upon approach down to a Cat 3 of 115 mph.

 

Picture of Hurricane Michael 2018

Image result for picture of hurricane michael

My post was specifically in reference to the extraordinarily busy 2004-'05 seasons and how they might have contributed to the "always weakening" perception of storms approaching the Gulf Coast.

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1 hour ago, CheeselandSkies said:

My post was specifically in reference to the extraordinarily busy 2004-'05 seasons and how they might have contributed to the "always weakening" perception of storms approaching the Gulf Coast.

Yeah 2004 was strange. We had nothing until 01 August but I think we still made it thru the N name. 

Also, we are under a Flash Flood Watch. NW AL has a 3 Torcon index while we are under a 2 down here in Bham. I'm interested to see if Laura's continues to overperform tornado wise again today. 

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3 hours ago, NavarreDon said:


Just from a on the ground perspective I can tell you the summers are much longer now vs the 90’s & early 2000’s. The warm weather lasts longer as well as the wait for any decent fronts coming thru. Not certain if this has an impact on Panhandle storms but I assume it does.


.

Hey Don, I was thinking about something similar.

When I was a kid growing up tracking hurricanes and storms (1998, 1999), I remember weather and climate patterns up here in Ohio seeming much different than today. I was discussing this with my mom recently, as we made note that blackberry bushes were rampant in this area growing up, and now they're a rarity.

My mother said she believes that we have much shorter springs and falls. Pretty much it's snow until May, or we have heat until November. We don't seem to have an even distribution of the seasons as much as it seems from a few decades ago. I also noticed that when summers seem colder than normal, hurricanes tend to strike the USA. I remember 2004 had a very cold summer here in NE Ohio, and we had disastrous landfalls. 2017 was a cool summer as well, and it was memorable with Harvey, Irma, and Nate. This summer here was pretty cool as well, and we have already had devastating landfalls. Do you believe there could be a correlation? 

Another thing I see much less of is severe weather. I remember in 1998 and 1999 having vicious severe thunderstorms in spring and summer. In April or May of 1998, we had a real tornado drill in school. It was terrifying. Infact, I remember looking at The Weather Channel for the local forecast during nasty thunderstorms and they'd be doing coverage of Hurricane Bonnie or Hurricane Georges and that's what began my hurricane interest. 

I seem to feel like we have much less severe weather here in the Northeastern Ohio area than we did in the 1990s. Any thoughts on pattern shifts?

 

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I do think that the fall and spring seasons seem highly delayed (and compressed) compared to what they used to be. The fall is the most noticeable because summer is hated where I live but I'm also aware that March and April have been below average as well.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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9 minutes ago, mempho said:

I do think that the fall and spring seasons seem highly delayed (and compressed) compared to what they used to be. The fall is the most noticeable because summer is hated where I live but I'm also aware that March and April have been below average as well.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

Do you main reaper?

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