Date Added: Sept. 26, 2005
In the days following Hurricane Katrina's landfall on Louisiana's and Alabama's gulf coast on August 29, 2005, these photos of interesting weather phenomena began circulating with great furor. However, despite the citation in the e-mail, these pictures do not depict Hurricane Katrina, nor any other hurricane.
Here are some INCREDIBLE photos of Hurricane Katrina's storm front moving inland. They're actually quite beautiful. Check them out.
These were taken in Alabama of Katrina as it was "coming in". Although devastating, there is a bit of beauty in the photos.
Check these pictures out. It was supposedly Katrini over Alabama.
Dickie Brady has a friend that has a nephew in Alabama. He sent these pictures of Katrina approaching.
As a society, we've become quite spoiled by the "you were there," on-the-scene coverage of the media, and our perceptions and expectations have been distorted by Hollywood. We expect newsworthy events to have amazing visuals.
Afterall, though millions of people have been affected by hurricanes, most people have never actually seen one. Sure, we see tidy little whirling dervishes on the weather satellite images and the requisite reporter-in-the-wind-and-rain news perspective shot. But can you really see a hurricane approaching - I mean the actual storm as an object (and better still, take pictures of it)?
A hurricane is a massive weather phenomenon, usually about 300 miles in diameter. Even when the center of a hurricane is more than 300 miles away, surrounding areas are already feeling its effects, such as winds in excess of 39 miles per hour and long bands of severe storms and tornados. These conditions worsen dramatically as the hurricane grows near.
In other words, once the storm got close enough to see it, you'd already be in it, making photos like the ones above difficult to achieve, at best.
The images above predate Hurricane Katrina by at least a year. Many chain-breakers remembered seeing these same images circulated as supposed pictures of Hurricanes Charley and Isabel, after those storms ravaged Florida in late 2004. But the shots predate even those events and depict an entirely different weather phenomenon altogether.
The photos above were taken in 2002 and 2004 by Mike Hollingshead, a self-declared "storm chaser," and depict tornados in Kansas and Nebraska and are included with related pictures on his web site.
Actual hurricane photos are possible, but they require an aircraft and special expertise, such as that provided by the Air Force Reserve 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, otherwise known as the "Hurricane Hunters." Their Web site offers aerial photography of hurricanes dating back to 2005 (including Katrina), though the real images are decidely less dramatic than those being misrepresented above. Break this chain.
References: Snopes.com, Hurricane Hunters Association