Tropical Storm Isaac is now headed for eastern Cuba and then likely on to the Florida Keys. Hurricane status could occur on Sunday.
UPDATE (11AM SUNDAY):
As of the 11AM update on this Sunday, Isaac is revealed to have lost a bit of strength as it passed over Hispaniola. The storm is now approaching eastern Cuba and producing maximum sustained winds of 60mph, down from 70 mph last night. Isaac is expected to push toward the Florida Keys next and then into the Gulf of Mexico Sunday into Monday. The current forecast shows Isaac strengthening further to a Category 1 hurricane. While models show it passing close to Florida's west coast and thus impacting the events in Tampa, landfall is expected along the Alabama or Mississippi coastlines. It is prudent to note that this large somewhat disorganised storm is over 600 miles wide and is of no small consequence even if it stays as a tropical storm or becomes "just" a Category 1 hurricane. Highs winds and flooding from storm surge and heavy rainfall from such storms can cause very serious destruction. Witness the effects of Irene last year here in DC and in Vermont when she was "only" a tropical storm. Some of the remnant rain from Isaac could impact the DC area later next week.
- 2012 Hurricane Season Storm Names
Even if Isaac doesnt make a direct hit on Florida it still could be a terrible scenario for the state as not only will flooding rains and isolated tornadoes be possibilities, but also some high storm surges may be noted along the extent of Florida is it travels north along the coastline. Remember that the north east quadrant is the strongest part of hurricane and that would put the west coast of Florida in the crosshairs. Again, exact track of this storm is still uncertain at the moment but guidance has consistantly shown a trend more westward with each consecutive run. Below is a link to the latest computer models and forecast tracks.
To the east of Isaac we are also tracking tropical depression Joyce. Over the past 12 hours dry air and wind shear has taken its toll on this storm, weakening it considerably. Joyce is forecast to remain a tropical depression as it tracks to the northwest and then turns northeast into the cooler water of the northern Atlantic. This storm will be mainly a shipping concern but may bring some tropical moisture to Bermuda. Again, below is a link to the computer model projections and track of Joyce.