Hurricane Katrina: Weather Warnings

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On Thursday, August 25, 2005, Hurricane Katrina passed over South Florida as a Category 1 hurricane. The following evening, August 26th, weather forecasters at CNN predicted that Katrina was aiming for Mississippi and Louisiana, which CNN posted online, along with the weather warning that a "Deadly hurricane could hit again Monday as a Category 4."

Hurricane specialists at the National Hurricane Center, including Max Mayfield, the Center's Director, predicted at 11:00 PM, Friday, August 26th, "more than two days before Katrina reached land," that the "hurricane would make landfall in the bayous of Louisiana, east of New Orleans." They were only "off by 18 miles".

Mayfield, St. Petersburg Times' staff writer Tamara Lush reported Monday, August 30th, "was so worried about Hurricane Katrina that he called the governors of Louisiana and Mississippi and the mayor of New Orleans" on Saturday night, August 27, 2005.

FEMA's National Situation Update for Saturday, August 27, 2005, reported that Katrina had already become a Category 3 hurricane and that in "anticipation of a possible landfall, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and Louisiana Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco declared States of Emergency Friday [August 26th]. In Louisiana, New Orleans is of particular concern because much of that city lies below sea level. According to Gov. Blanco, Lake Pontchartrain is a very large lake that sits next to the city of New Orleans and if the hurricane winds blow from a certain direction, there are dire predictions of what may happen in the city."

On Sunday, August 28, 2005, Katrina was being called a "monster storm" and "[f]orecasters feared Sunday afternoon that storm driven waters [would] lap over the New Orleans levees ... rain bands and gusty winds were flowing across coastal Louisiana near the mouth of the Mississippi River, almost due south of New Orleans and conditions were expected to continue to deteriorate as the powerful storm neared land."

At 4:00 PM on Sunday, August 28th, "National Hurricane Center Meteorologist Chris Lauer said Katrina was still on track to hit the New Orleans area as a devastating Category 5 hurricane as its eye comes ashore" on Monday morning, August 29th, Gordon Russell wrote in The Times-Picayune.

Also, on Sunday, August 28th, Max Mayfield, still "worried about Hurricane Katrina ... even talked about the force of Katrina during a video conference call to President Bush at his ranch in Crawford, Texas."

SourceWatch Resources: Hurricane Katrina: List of related pages

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