New Orleans: Severe Situation Possible
By Quincy Vagell on August 26, 2012, 10:55pm
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11 p.m. update:
Latest NHC track takes the center of Isaac directly into New Orleans.
5 p.m. update:
Hurricane Warnings have been issued for the north-central Gulf coast, including the city of New Orleans.
The overall trend has been further west, even though some individual models, like the GFS and ECMWF, have been hinting at a possible hit near New Orleans for the past few days.
Regardless of the exact track of Isaac, New Orleans is likely to experience some major effects from the storm. Increased waves and storm surges will be likely all along the coast from Louisiana towards the Florida peninsula.
Looking at the latest models, New Orleans is basically right in the middle. Only 2 out of 25 models, shown above, continue to show a landfall that is not close to New Orleans. (those will show a turn towards the north and into the panhandle of Florida.
The official National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecast only calls for a Category 2 hurricane near landfall, but that is not set in stone. Some models are showing strengthening to a major Category 3 or higher hurricane. The conditions are certainly favorable for intensification in this part of the Gulf of Mexico.
Nationally, gas prices will likely begin to spike over the next few days. Many oil refineries are located near or off the Louisiana coast. Shell has already announced that all of their oil rigs in the vicinity are being shut down. Gas prices rose about 20% following Hurricane Katrina. Since Katrina was a larger and more powerful storm, fair estimates now point towards a possible 10% increase in gas prices. If this were to happen, the average price per gallon of gas in Connecticut could rise from $4.00 to near $4.40 per gallon sometime next week. This is not set in stone.
Isaac is projected to make landfall on Wednesday, August 29th. If this happens, it would be 7 years to the exact day that Hurricane Katrina made landfall. (August 29th, 2005)
Read on for additional details of how Isaac may impact New Orleans.