Hurricane and storm warnings are being posted throughout the Gulf Coast as Tropical Storm Isaac prepares to potentially strengthen and move toward land.
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- (Photo: Ramon Espinosa/Associated Press)
THE LATEST UPDATE: As of the 8 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Isaac appears to be getting a little better organized as it tracks west-northwestward through the Gulf of Mexico at 14 mph. Isaac has maximum sustained winds of 65 mph and is forecast to become a hurricane later Monday or overnight into Tuesday.
Hurricane warnings are already in place from just west of New Orleans to the Florida panhandle. While the accuracy in forecasting the tracks of hurricanes has improved greatly, forecasting its strength remains difficult. While it is easy to focus on the center of the official forecast track, you must remember that the storm can make landfall anywhere within the cone of uncertainty.
As you can see in the computer model guidance below, there remains a large degree of disagreement between even the most reliable models. Additionally, it is important to note that the longer this storm spends over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the better chance it will have to strengthen.
WHERE AND WHO WILL SEE THE WORST? The worst of the storm including storm surge, winds, rain and isolated tornadoes, will be on the right-front side of the storm as it makes landfall.
The bottom line is that everyone within the current forecast path should be rushing to complete their hurricane plans and preparations. They are all possible targets for the worst that this storm has to offer.
ANY LOCAL WEATHER IMPACT? The remnants of Isaac may ultimately make its way into the Mid-Atlantic region later this weekend, but aside from picking up some much needed tropical moisture, there should be little noticeable impact. We are once again talking about something more than a week away, though, so that may very well change.