After chasing Isaac as a tropical storm in Key West, the chase team and I headed up to the northern Gulf coast to intercept the storm again. This time Isaac would be a hurricane and provide a show that I have never seen from a category 1 system. All tropical cyclones are a little bit different and the sights and sounds are always different because of the characteristics of the storm and the location of the chase.
The worst of Isaac arrived in New Orleans after dark had arrived, but the lights of the city of New Orleans would provide enough to see an amazing show of wind and rain. The winds varied greatly in the city because of different factors, but the biggest factor that stood out to the chase team and I was the effect tall buildings in the Central Business District had on the winds. Most of the sustained winds seen in the French Quarter were around 55 mph maximum with gusts to maybe 65 or 70 mph. The tall buildings grabbed higher winds from higher up and brought them down to the surface and also funneled winds through buildings to create winds speeds much higher than that seen elsewhere. All of us in the group estimated wind gusts as high as 115 mph with those effects factored into the winds we actually caught on tape.
After adding another chase to the mix, we all get to add some really neat footage to our collections capturing how nature and civilization mix. The results can be catastrophic so preperation is always key for us humans. Heed the warnings from the National Hurricane Center and your local emergency managers because you do not want to be caught off guard.
Be sure to check out all the chase video including over a dozen raw features on Isaac at my You Tube Web channel http://www.youtube.com/user/pontiac51 or the list of links is below...
You can also check out my personal website BroadcastMeteorologist.com