Thousands of people along the coast of the Gulf of Mexicofrom Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle were urged toevacuate as Hurricane Katrina gathered strength and aimedfor the US gulf coast. The hurricane is expected to makelandfall by Monday as a Category 4 storm, with sustainedwinds of 140 MPH. Meanwhile, extremely hot and humid airacross southern Texas and Louisiana, with temperaturesupwards of 105 F. could feed the storm as it approachesland, causing a rare condition where it gains suddenstrength as it makes landfall.

The hurricane is being called “extremely dangerous” by theNational Weather Service, and people in low-lying areas arebeing urged to seek higher ground within 36 hours, afterwhich it will be “too late.”

Hurricane Ivan, which moved over the Gulf of Mexico twoweeks ago, created waves among the highest ever recorded.These 90 foot waves (as tall as a ten story building) didnot make landfall, but it is possible that they could if ahurricane comes ashore fast enough. Normally, a storm’srotation will keep really gigantic waves offshore, but morepowerful circulation and changing weather conditions meanthat the way hurricanes impact shore areas is also changing.

For NOAA’s latest hurricane advisory,clickhere.

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