Tragedy Strikes The Dauphin Island Race

Storms Race Across Louisiana

By 9:30 am (1435Z), concerns regarding the potential for severe weather along the Gulf Coast were affirmed by a well-developed thunderstorm complex moving east across Louisiana at nearly 40 knots. At 9:35 am (1435Z), the SPC issued Mesoscale Discussion #452 (click here) to highlight concerns over the continued threat of severe thunderstorms extending over a stretch of the Gulf coast from southwestern Louisiana to Southern Mississippi. A few minutes later at 9:37 am (1437Z), a gust of 56.5 knots was observed at West Cameron Block 17, an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Approximately thirty minutes later, a 72.1 knot blast was observed at the West Cameron Block 110 oil rig. These observations were among the first of many damaging wind gusts produced by the complex as it marched east towards Mobile Bay.

Figure 7: Base reflectivity radar image from NWS Lake Charles at 9:34 am / 1434Z. Click here for a larger version.

A radar loop of the storms travelling across Louisiana can be found here. A detailed inventory of the severe thunderstorm warnings, marine warnings, and high wind observations associated with the passage of the complex through Louisiana and Mississippi can be found here.