While not widely covered by the mainstream media the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its final data analysis in late Dec 2005 that Katrina was only a Cat 1 or 2 on landfall.
In an overview written for IPS on Jan 11/06 I wrote:
Hurricane Katrina was the worst U.S. natural or environmental disaster ever, and a new analysis of the storm by NOAA’s National Hurricane Centre released in late December reveals some chilling, overlooked details. Perhaps most stunning of those is that more than 4,000 people are still missing nearly four months after Katrina’s landfall in late August. The official death toll is 1,336 people.
But the most worrisome is that Katrina was not a particularly powerful storm on landfall. While it was of Category 5 strength briefly while out in the Gulf of Mexico, new data reveals that its winds were in the Category 1 or 2 class when it struck New Orleans. What Katrina did generate was an enormous storm surge topping 27 feet, sweeping inland some six miles in places. Katrina’s “tsunami” is what resulted in the flooding of 80 percent of New Orleans, and massive destruction along the Gulf Coast.
Such storm surges are bound to worsen with rising sea levels.
See More Unnatural Disasters on the Horizon for rest of story.
Steve’s Hurricane Handbook 2008
25-page eBook a collection of the best bits from 4 years of articles on science of hurricanes and global warming. Arranged chronologically, the scientific story about hurricanes and climate change becomes increasingly evident. Colour pix of hurricane devastation.
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