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View Diary: ALERT! RITA to make landfall Saturday Morning (161 comments)

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  •  Watch out Louisiana (4.00)
    Houston is going to be very wet and windy, but not flying cow windy. Galveston's fate depends mostly on the storm surge but I think it'll be OK.

    It's always about the storm surge.

    Most people that die in hurricanes, drown. As destructive as 150 mph winds can be, that's only 1/2 the wind speed of a large tornado.

    The worst storm surge is a gulf hurricane is to the east of the eye. The wind drives the high tides and flood waters, and hurricanes rotate counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere. Picture the winds spiraling around the eye counter-clockwise:

    • On the east side of the storm, the winds blow from the south, across the water.

    • On the west side, the wind blows from the north, over land.

    So the storm surge will be the worst to the north east of Rita. If the eye passes over the TX/LA border, the worst flooding will probably occur over a ~70 mile stretch extending eastward from the TX/LA border.

    I'm surprised most of the talk is still about Houston and Galveston. The barrier islands between  Lake Charles and Morgan City, LA could well bear the brunt of the flooding and coastal erosion.

    If you live in that area, please take precautions.

    -- "Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppression...will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day." -- Thomas Jefferson

    by Todd Johnston on Fri Sep 23, 2005 at 02:55:40 PM PDT

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