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Hurricane Laura

August 28, 2020

By Paul Homewood



 Fortunately the damage from Hurricane Laura has turned out to be much less than originally predicted, although wind damage in and around Lake Charles, which bore the brunt, is still massive:







Laura made landfall with estimated wind speeds of 130 Kts, though as is often the case satellite data suggests lower speeds of around 120 Kts:



However, ground data puts winds at no more than 101 mph, which was at Cameron, where Laura made landfall:



There is talk of Laura being the most powerful storm to hit Louisiana, but this is meaningless given the number of states where hurricanes can hit. Interestingly though, according Philip Klotzbach Laura’s wind speeds tied with the Last Island hurricane, which hit Louisiana in 1856.

Nationally, there have been thirty Cat 4 and 5 hurricanes since 1856, and undoubtedly others will have gone unrecorded in the early years:



Although there have been four since 2017, you have to go back to Charley in 2004 to find the previous one, and evidence of bunching is apparent in earlier periods.

  1. August 28, 2020 1:51 pm

    Roy Spencer has pointed out that ‘Even with Laura, Louisiana Hurricanes Have Not Increased Since 1851’.

    But the usual suspects will squeal about some climate nonsense anyway.

  2. bluecat57 permalink
    August 28, 2020 2:04 pm

    Hmm, that’s Panic Porn for Ya. Overpromise and under deliver. That way at some point people will stop believing you and will all DIE. This accomplishing your original goal. Chicken Little. Olde Wisdom from Thee Frugal Curmudgeon

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      August 28, 2020 2:45 pm

      I think that people remember the shock predictions that last several days and don’t remember that the storm didn’t live up to expectations. The sole exception being people who actual look into the facts and some of those who were in line for a 50 mile storm surge but escaped.

      • Broadlands permalink
        August 28, 2020 3:06 pm

        And what will those people do without a ICE vehicle in the future? Even a PV vehicle won’t be rechargeable when the power goes down?

      • bluecat57 permalink
        August 28, 2020 3:37 pm

        That is why women have second babies and men second marriages.

  3. C Lynch permalink
    August 28, 2020 2:38 pm

    Sigh! Your persistence is admirable Paul – please keep it up.
    Article in the Telegraph today saying onset of Autumn is exceptionally early this year – suggesting of course that “Yo yo” weather (one of the pseudonyms of CAGW) is responsible. I’m confused because I always understood that CAGW caused the late onset of Autumn. But who am I to oppose the wisdom of 97% of scientists.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      August 28, 2020 9:12 pm

      Other than two short periods of very hot weather this summer has been pretty poor. July was way below average and August has been cool and now very cool since the heat. June was average at best

    • Eddie P permalink
      August 29, 2020 12:59 pm

      Just to remind people that the 97% of all scientists is actually 97% of less than 5000 and of those only 1.6% actually claimed that any global warming was due to human activity, less than the 3% who didn’t say that there was such a thing as global warming.

  4. Adam Gallon permalink
    August 28, 2020 2:40 pm

    Was it even a Cat 4 when it made landfall?
    Highest measured sustained wind speed, at a weather station, was 98mph, just inside the Cat 2 criteria.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      August 28, 2020 8:04 pm

      Inflate the category classifications and in a few years you may be able to pretend that hurricanes are becoming more severe, and by upgrading Tropical Storms to hurricanes, more numerous.

  5. tom0mason permalink
    August 28, 2020 5:22 pm

    The BBC true reason to exist …

  6. Joe Public permalink
    August 28, 2020 5:43 pm

    BBC Headline: “Hurricane Laura ‘will cause unsurvivable storm surge’ ”

    BBC Newsflash UPDATE: “Our weather expert Gus T Wind reports live from Louisiana, where he interviews numerous survivors giving their first-hand experiences of the unsurvivable storm surge.”

  7. Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
    August 28, 2020 8:51 pm

    Hurricane Rita (2005) brought calls for evacuations so folks jumped into all sorts of vehicles and headed north. By “all sorts” think ‘low on gas’ and/or ‘not fit for service.’ There was a heat wave. Autos broke down or ran out of gas. More than 100 people died before the storm arrived.
    A friend in Houston got caught-up in the mess. “Never again” she said. We were watching this one as it came north, but she had no intention of leaving. Houston is well west of Laura’s track, so not an issue this time.

    By the way, Rita was a big one!

    • Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
      August 28, 2020 9:10 pm

      Background for some, a quick read. 8,000 dead.
      Galveston, TX storm & rebuilld

      Most stories fail to mention the railroad tracks along the beach that were carried into the town and contributed to the destruction.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        August 28, 2020 11:40 pm

        I’ve been there… An oil rig “museum” you can visit, much history of the hurricanes they have suffered. And refinery row just up I45 onshore, and not far from the Houston Space Center, which also makes an awesome day out. Superb fish and crustaceans in the restaurants at Galveston too. Creole styles a speciality. Delicious!

  8. Gamecock permalink
    August 28, 2020 10:34 pm

    Gulf of Mexico waters are warm enough to support hurricanes EVERY YEAR.

    Some years, weather events result in hurricanes forming/propagating in the Gulf. The conditions exist for them EVERY YEAR. Not having a storm doesn’t mean you couldn’t, it just means you didn’t.

  9. dearieme permalink
    August 28, 2020 11:08 pm

    WKPD, he say:

    Shetland holds the unofficial British record for wind speed. A gust of 197 mph (317 km/h) was reported on 1 January 1992. An earlier gust in 1962 was recorded at 177 mph (285 km/h), both at RAF Saxa Vord. However, it is expected that higher gusts than those reported would have been achieved as during both storms the measuring equipment was destroyed by the extreme weather.
    A wind gust of 194 mph (312 km/h) was recorded at Cairn Gorm on 19 December 2008.

  10. August 29, 2020 4:23 am

    The North Atlantic tropical cyclone basin is just one of six cyclone basins and not a particularly active one in terms of total cyclone energy. The impact of agw on tropical cyclones can only be assessed in terms of total global cyclone energy in all six basins.

  11. August 30, 2020 12:51 pm

    I watched President Trump’s roundtable with the Governor and various responders in Texas yesterday. He had already been to Louisiana where the Lake Charles area took the brunt of the storm.

    Donald Trump phoned Governor Abbot at 1:00 am eastern time as the storm was crossing the coast. Everyone was saying how this administration was responding in a way never seen before. They had everything they needed w/o even having to ask and wait.

    Texas was not hit badly at all. They said they were sending people and aid to Louisiana because “The Cajun Navy” had always come to help them. There were lines of pick-ups towing boats to Texas during Hurricane Harvey to rescue people from the mammoth floods in 2017.

    The Cajun Navy is a loosely organized volunteer group of Louisianians with boats. When there is a hurricane they mobilize the moment it has passed to help with rescues. They are now going to Lake Charles and other affected areas to help where needed.

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