Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina
Category 5 major hurricane (SSHWS/NWS)
File:Hurricane Katrina August 28 2005 NASA.jpg
Hurricane Katrina at peak intensity in the Gulf of Mexico on August 28, 2005
FormedAugust 23, 2005
DissipatedAugust 31, 2005[1]
(Extratropical after August 30)
Highest winds1-minute sustained: 175 mph (280 km/h)
Lowest pressure902 mbar (hPa); 26.64 inHg
Fatalities1,836 total
Damage$125 billion (2005 USD)
(Tied as costliest tropical cyclone on record[2])
Areas affected
Part of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season

Hurricane Katrina was one of the deadliest hurricanes to ever strike the United States and the second Category 5 hurricane of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. The storm formed over the Bahamas on August 23, where it moved west and hit south Florida as a Category 1 hurricane two days later. Katrina then crossed over Florida and strengthened into a Category 5 hurricane moving west in the Gulf of Mexico. The storm then turned north, had an eyewall replacement cycle, and hit east Louisiana and Mississippi, flooding coastal areas on the morning of August 29. The leftovers of Katrina then died out over the Great Lakes on August 31.

80% of New Orleans was flooded when the levees protecting the city broke.[3][4] Most of the people killed by Katrina were thought to have died from drowning. Many of the survivors had swum to higher roofs or tree branches.

Storm history

Hurricane Katrina began as Tropical Depression Twelve over the southeastern Bahamas on August 23, 2005. The depression later strengthened into a tropical storm on the morning of August 24, and was named "Katrina". Katrina continued to move into south Florida, and became a Category 1 hurricane only two hours before it made landfall around Hallandale Beach on the morning of August 25. The storm weakened over land, but became a hurricane again while traveling west across the Gulf of Mexico.[1]

Katrina began to gain strength very quickly, moving over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.[5] On August 27, Hurricane Katrina reached Category 3 strength on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, becoming the third major hurricane of the season. An "eye-wall replacement cycle" once made Katrina stop becoming stronger for a short moment, but made Katrina to become nearly twice as large in the end.

Costliest U.S. Atlantic hurricanes
Cost refers to total estimated property damage
Rank Hurricane Season Damage
1 Katrina 2005 Template:Ntsp
2 Sandy 2012 Template:Ntsp
3 Ike 2008 Template:Ntsp
4 Andrew 1992 Template:Ntsp
5 Wilma 2005 Template:Ntsp
6 Ivan 2004 Template:Ntsp
7 Irene 2011 Template:Ntsp
8 Charley 2004 Template:Ntsp
9 Rita 2005 Template:Ntsp
10 Frances 2004 Template:Ntsp
Source: National Hurricane Center[6][7][8][nb 1]

Katrina again began to quickly strengthen, reaching Category 5 strength on the morning of August 28 and reached its strongest point with maximum sustained winds of 175 mph (280 km/h) and a minimum central pressure of 902 mbar. This made it the fourth-most powerful Atlantic hurricane on record at the time, only to be beaten by Hurricanes Rita and Wilma later in the season. Katrina was also the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Gulf of Mexico at the time (a record also later broken by Rita).[1]

Katrina made its second landfall on August 29 as a Category 3 hurricane with sustained winds of 125 mph (205 km/h) near St. Bernard, Louisiana.[1] At landfall, hurricane-force winds reached outward 120 miles (190 km) from the center, and the storm's central pressure was 920 mbar. After moving over southeastern Louisiana, it made its third landfall over the Louisiana-Mississippi state line. Levees collapsed, leading to massive flooding. Katrina kept its hurricane strength well into Mississippi, but began to weaken later, finally losing hurricane strength more than 150 miles (240 km) inland near Meridian, Mississippi. Katrina weakened to a tropical depression near Clarksville, Tennessee, but its remains were last seen around the eastern Great Lakes on August 31 when it died. The leftover extra-tropical cyclone moved quickly to the northeast and affected Ontario and Quebec.[1]

People on the roofs of their houses, to avoid the flood waters

Related pages

Notes and references


  1. All damage figures are in USD amounts of their respective year.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Knabb, Richard D; Rhome, Jamie R.; Brown, Daniel P (August 10, 2006) [December 20, 2005]. "Tropical Cyclone Report: Hurricane Katrina: 23 – 30 August 2005" (PDF). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved 2006-05-30.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. Swenson, Dan D.; Marshall, Bob (May 14, 2005). "Flash Flood: Hurricane Katrina's Inundation of New Orleans, August 29, 2005" (SWF). Times-Picayune.
  5. Leben, Robert; Born, George; Scott, Jim (September 15, 2005). "CU-Boulder Researchers Chart Katrina's Growth in Gulf of Mexico". University of Colorado at Boulder. Retrieved 2006-06-05.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. Blake, Eric S; Landsea, Christopher W; Gibney, Ethan J; National Climatic Data Center; National Hurricane Center (August 10, 2011). The deadliest, costliest and most intense United States tropical cyclones from 1851 to 2010 (and other frequently requested hurricane facts) (PDF) (NOAA Technical Memorandum NWS NHC-6). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. p. 47. Retrieved August 10, 2011.
  7. Blake, Eric S; Kimberlain, Todd B; Berg, Robert J; Cangialosi, John P; Beven II, John L; National Hurricane Center (February 12, 2013). [[[:Template:NHC TCR url]] Hurricane Sandy: October 22 – 29, 2012] Check |url= value (help) (PDF) (Tropical Cyclone Report). United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service. Archived from the original on February 17, 2013. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  8. Hurricane/Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy, October 22–29, 2012 (PDF) (Service Assessment). United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Weather Service. May 2013. p. 10. Archived from the original on June 2, 2013. Retrieved June 2, 2013.

Other websites


Tropical cyclones of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season

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Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale
TD TS C1 C2 C3 C4 C5

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