I have never seen a tropical weather system covered quite like Isaac. Granted, I was a little busy during Irene, still this feels like the breakout social media storm. It’s tough to visit Twitter without being inundated with data and insight. I’m sure the confluence of Isaac and the RNC adds to the sensitivity.
This season has also seen a growth spurt in forecast visualizations. There are a limited set of models, but myriad ways to display them.
It’s tough to go wrong with NOAA’s graphics, but I’ve recently taken a liking to WeatherbellModels.
Isaac came through Key West weaker than expected–marginally. Tides ran around 10″ above forecast. Rainfall amounts have been significant throughout South Florida.
Translation: pain in the ass, not a major impact.
Now Isaac has a few days over warm, open water. There will be intensification. How much? Who knows. We’re terrible at tropical intensity forecasts, even over a very short period!
Tampa and the entire Florida West Coast will be impacted, but like the Keys it will be mainly a pain which will clean up quickly.
As I mentioned overnight there’s a huge question where this storm will go. The ECMWF says the Pensacola area. The GFS points toward New Orleans. The Hurricane Center will be forced to overwarn which will make evacuations tougher next time.
Wherever Isaac makes landfall there will be major pain! Wednesday morning is the likely time. There’s a lot of population on the Northern Gulf Coast, but I don’t expect a major loss of life, even at Category 2 or 3, except if Isaac strikes just west of New Orleans. Then all bets are off. It’s a real possibility and not enough has changed to expect a significantly different outcome.
Isaac could bring us heavy rains in Connecticut, but that’s a week away.