Archive for August 25th, 2012
It seems our country is so polarized today. Nearly every issue drives people to both sides of the aisle.
Seems the computer models are going that way as well. There is great polarization between the 18z GFS which brings a monster storm to New Orleans and the Euro, which curves the hurricane north toward the middle Florida Panhandle.
The new GFS is out far enough for us to see that it think even further westward, with a landfall over Southeast Louisiana south of New Orleans on Tuesday afternoon. That’s not good for the Crescent City.
But the new NAM carries it toward a Florida Panhandle landfall around Destin.
We will reconvene in the morning.
James will have the Weather Xtreme video and discussion up early. And we will all be following it together through the day.
We’re about an hour from the next advisory package and updated forecast track.
It will be interesting to see what the forecasters at the National Hurricane Center do, since there has been a significant westward shift in the model forecasts late today. Here is your latest plate of spaghetti models:
The storm has been very disorganized all afternoon and evening, but thunderstorms are really starting to blow up now over eastern Cuba and near the center off the north coast of the island nation.
The latest recon fix was at 6:23. Central pressure was 997 millibars. Max flight level winds were 53 mph in the eastern quadrant. That translates to about 45 mph, which seems logical given the disorganized nature of the storm on satellite. Will be interesting to see if Isaac can overcome this disorganization. I think it will.
The early guidance based on the 0z model runs is pointing to New Orleans…
Waiting for the package…
SPOT REPORTS AT 8 PM CST
Key West…rain, 79, wind NE 17
Miami…84 cloudy, wind NE 18
Molasses Reef, 85, wind, east 28, gusts 30
Mobile…83, mostly cloudy, wind south 8
Gulf Shores…clear, 81, wind SE 3
Dauphin Island…82, wind NE 2
Tampa…mostly cloudy, 80, wind NE 6
…only light to moderate showers extreme south
…heavy showers south of Miami into Key West and the Keys
…only less than five strokes at 8:15 across the Gulf of Mexico based on lightning detection equipment.
…for about the south half of Florida from Tampa southward for Sunday
Isaac is still disorganized this evening as it skirts the northern coast of Cuba. But it still has top winds of 60 mph and the central pressure has dropped a little to 997 mb.
The storm will intensify as it moves away from the coast of Cuba. It is still expected to become a hurricane tomorrow night, likely before it crosses the Florida Keys and enters the Gulf of Mexico.
The system will almost certainly strengthen over the Gulf. In fact, the Hurricane Center says that conditions will become very favorable over the northern Gulf. That’s not good news. If it becomes better organized, significant intensification could occur before landfall.
For now, the official forecast calls for Isaac to strengthen to 100 mph by Tuesday afternoon with landfall coming late Tuesday evening, most likely on the Florida Panhandle coast. We don’t like to focus on the “skinny black line” of the forecast track, but it is always interesting to see how it shifts. Now the NHC draws it somewhere around Destin. You want to focus more on the “cone of uncertainty” which surrounds the forecast track, and it indicates that folks all along the Alabama coast and the Northwest Florida coast to the Big Bend area have to be ready to act when warnings are issued.
It is a good time for business and individuals to plan what actions they will take when the specific levels of impact become more apparent. I have heard people say today that they just want a straight answer.
Hello. We would all like a straight answer, but let me assure you, there isn’t one yet. We are fairly sure that a hurricane will impact the northern Gulf Coast this week. Will it make landfall at Destin? Or will it be Southeast Louisiana? Could it go east of Panama City? Will it be a minimal hurricane? A cat two? A major hurricane? You can find a model that will support any of those scenarios.
So what do we do with all this information? We start preparing to execute the plans that will minimize those impacts on our interests? Whether it is moving a parent from Gulf Breeze who is on oxygen, to going and moving the furniture up to the second floor of your condo, to evacuating from Seaside, these are personal decisions that require information. Unfortunately, we can’t give you that specific level of information at this point.
We still have 72 hours until landfall. Tomorrow will be critical, because Monday will be the primary day for action in the hurricane warning areas that have yet to be declared. We will all digest the information the Hurricane Center and local emergency management gives us an make decisions accordingly. We will try to summarize as much information along as we can here and urge you to seek many local trusted sources out as well.
Moisture to the west of us is working into Alabama this afternoon, and the result has been considerable clouds and a few showers along an area of convergence.
The lighter showers over Mississippi are weakening as they run into the Alabama force field (really just drier air).
The heavier showers are over western counties, from Marion, through Lamar, Fayette, Pickens, Greene and Sumter. They are moving north.
Further south, showers and storms are widely scattered over Lowndes, Dallas and Perry Counties. They are moving northwest.
Some of these showers will be sporting lightning soon.
Everything is moving clockwise around the back edge of a ridge of high pressure to our northeast.
Isaac is emerging off the North Coast of Cuba. It should begin strengthening again tonight and will be a hurricane by tomorrow, approaching the Florida Keys.
The morning run of the European is complete. It shows a major hurricane moving inland near Panama City Tuesday evening and curving up into Georgia. The Canadian shows a Southeast Louisiana landfall. The GFS morning run shows a slowly moving hurricane pounding the Mississippi/Alabama on Tuesday and Wednesday before moving up into Mississippi and to near Memphis.
Model hokey pokey continues!