Monday, August 27, 2012

Good Afternoon, Tropical Storm Isaac continues to slowly strengthen as he moves into the central Gulf of Mexico. The latest information from the hurricane hunters show slowly lowering pressures and a ragged eye approximately 26 miles in diameter. The last 4 fixes from the hurricane hunters show a trend more toward the west-northwest as opposed to the northwest motion forecast by the National Hurricane Center. This is most likely in response to the high pressure system to Isaac's north being a bit stronger than forecasted. Model guidance continue to be in conflict with the European model and the UKMET on the eastern side of the envelope and the GFDL and the GFS on the western flank. Intensity forecast also continues to be a challenge. Currently Isaac is forecast by the NHC to make landfall at Categeory 1 status. Given the warm gulf temps, low wind shear, and good upper level outflow i would not be surprised to see Isaac make a run at Category 2 status before landfall. Since confidence in final landfall is low everyone from SE Texas to the Mississippi coastlines should monitor Isaac's progress. Subtle shifts or jogs in track could influence Isaac's eventual landfall location. Regardless of exact location of landfall, Isaac will have an influence over a large area due to his size. Also storm surge amounts are likely to be greater than the windspeeds would indicate due to his massive windfield. Some models are hinting at a slowing or stall near the coast with a bend more to the left or west, which would also allow water to pile up along the coastlines. I expect a storm surge of 8-12 feet to the east of landfall location. Depending upon landfall location SE Texas should feel impacts of Isaac. A track near New Orleans would result in only brisk northerly winds but a track near SW Louisiana would result in heavy winds and rain as Isaac makes his closest path to our east. Please continue to monitor this situation and i will update later today! Thanks, Jeremy

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