“I’m not sure we’ve seen anything like it..”

Whilst we had some weather the other week, New Orleans is being evacuated for the second time in three years as the now category 4 3 Hurricane Gustav heads for landfall. The US blogs Mick noted in 2005 are probably worth checking again for coverage. As is the local New Orleans media where they’re blogging the detail. More coverage here. Update From Brendan Loy

Gustav is, in fact, weakening. The Hurricane Center’s 115 mph estimate is, as they say, “generous,” and frankly, although I’m generally reluctant to criticize the NHC, I’m not sure what purpose is served at this point by continuing to pretend Gustav is a major hurricane. This is a Category 2 hurricane, as it has been for most, if not all, of the last 24 hours. Maintaining its Cat. 3 status all day yesterday made some sense, as the possibility of restrengthening remained, and one didn’t want to sound a premature “all clear.” But now, calling Gustav a Cat. 3, when it’s really a Cat. 2 and isn’t going to get any stronger, simply risks creating more public cynicism, it seems to me. It’s not as if people will fail to notice when Gustav doesn’t cause major-hurricane-level damage or wind gusts.