Gustav To Miss NOLA To The Left?

Dr. Jeff Masters’ WunderBlog writes that Gustav is strengthening; pressure has fallen and higher winds will follow.

Gustav’s storm surge is not likely to breach the New Orleans levees–if they perform as designed

The latest computer generated storm surge map shows that highest surge will be along the levee system along the east side of New Orleans. Storm surge levels of this magnitude are characteristic of a Category 3 hurricane. The levee system of New Orleans is designed to withstand a Category 3 storm surge. If Gustav intensifies more than the NHC forecast is calling for, there is a significant threat of multiple levee failures in the New Orleans levee system resulting in flooding of portions of the city. However, the latest 12Z (8 am EDT) model runs have shifted their landfall points a bit further west, reducing the odds of a Category 4 storm surge in New Orleans. My best guess is that New Orleans will suffer a Category 2 or 3-level storm surge. The levees will hold with that level of storm surge, if they perform as designed.

Here’s a computer generated map of potential storm surge:

Click image to enlarge

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