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Hurricane Katrina Heats up in the Gulf
Hurricane Katrina Heats up in the Gulf Image
Left: SSH highs at the center of the Loop Current reached 50-70cm in this image from August 27, 2005. Wind speeds of Hurricane Katrina, indicated in black along the path of the storm, reached highs of 173 mph.
Image Credit: Left: CCAR Right: NOAA

Maximum wind speeds of Hurricane Katrina increased dramatically as that storm passed over the warm waters of the Loop Current in the Gulf of Mexico in late August 2005. The storm evolved quickly from a category 3 to category 5 event in a matter of 9 hours as it drew heat from the Loop Current and a large warm core eddy evident in the sea surface height derived from merged TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason-1, GFO, and Envisat altimeter data processed by the Univ. of Colorado's CCAR group.

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