Discover the path of Hurricane Katrina and why it weakened in intensity moving from a Category 5 hurricane until it was eventually downgraded to the status of a 'tropical depression'. Hurricane Katrina began on August 23, 2005 with winds of 157 mph and finally ended on August 31, 2005 as the sustained winds dropped below 39 mph. For additional facts and information about the Environmental, Social and Economic effects of the catastrophe refer to Facts about Hurricane Katrina.
Facts about Hurricanes for kids:
Facts about Hurricanes for kids: How Hurricanes are formed
Facts about Hurricanes for kids: The Difference between Hurricanes,
Cyclones and Typhoons
In the North Atlantic or Northeast Pacific, the hurricane season is from June 1 to November 30.
What Caused Hurricane Katrina?
On August 23, 2005 the temperature of the ocean off the coast of the Bahamas hovered around 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
An area of low pressure formed and a spinning wheel of thunderstorms gathered strength, feeding on the heat and moisture
The winds hit 39 mph and Hurricane Katrina was born
Katrina moved slowly at first, increasing in speed, getting stronger and heading toward Florida
Hurricane Katrina was a category 1 when it fleetingly hit the Florida peninsula on August 25, 2005, with 80 mph winds and then spun out into the Gulf of Mexico.
The water in the Gulf of Mexico hit 87 degrees Fahrenheit which caused Katrina to grow even more intense
As Katrina swirled over the warm waters of the Gulf on August 28, she grew into to a Category 5 hurricane by August 27, with winds of 160 mph with a storm surge over 20 feet high
As Katrina made landfall the intensity of the tropical storm began to decrease without its water vapor "fuel"
Katrina made landfall in Louisiana at 6:45 AM local time on August 29, 2005 as a Category 4 hurricane, with sustained winds of 127 miles per hour. New Orleans was devastated
Katrina weakened to a Category 3 status as it hit near Buras-Triumph, Louisiana with sustained winds of 125 mph
As the hurricane made its second landfall on the Mississippi/Louisiana border, wind speeds were approximately 125 mph
Katrina maintained strength well into Mississippi, finally losing hurricane strength more than 150 miles inland near Meridian, Mississippi
It was downgraded from a hurricane status to a tropical depression near Clarksville, Tennessee and its effects continued across Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky and Ohio. A tropical depression produces maximum sustained winds below 39 mph
Rain bands from Katrina also produced tornadoes causing further damage in areas such as Georgia
Other areas across the United States were affected by the weather phenomena which eventually ended on August 31, 2005 when its remnants were last distinguishable in the eastern Great Lakes region.
It was absorbed by a 'frontal boundary' as less dense air rose up and over the colder air ahead of the front. The cold and warm air masses interacted resulting in an 'extratropical storm' which moved rapidly to the northeast and affected eastern Canada
The strongest winds produced by Hurricane Katrina were over the coastal areas of Louisiana and Florida.
Hurricanes can create tornadoes. Thirty-three tornadoes were produced by Hurricane Katrina over a five-day period, that mainly affected Georgia.
The center of the hurricane, which is called the eye, is usually calm with low winds. Katrina's eye measured a 35 mile diameter, an above average size for the eye.
Katrina was the most deadliest hurricane in the United States since the Okeechobee Hurricane that hit Palm Beach on September 16, 1928 along Lake Okeechobee and the Galveston Hurricane of 1900.
|US American History
|1990 - Present: The Modern Era