Hurricane Isaac

By: Kailey Franz
By: Kailey Franz





Location: 29.5N 90.5W

Max. Sustained Winds: 80mph (although higher gusts near 100mph are still being reported)

Central Pressure: 970mb (center near Houma, LA)

Movement: NW at 6mph

Hurricane Isaac (Category 1) is about 15miles ESE of Houma, Louisiana and 40 miles SW of New Orleans.  Isaac is anticipated to slowly move through Louisiana today and Thursday and then over Southern Arkansas by Friday.

Storm surge of 6 feet to 10 feet have been reported along the Coast of Louisiana and Plaquemines Parish has seen flooding waters due to the surge over topping levees forcing residents to higher ground and into attics to ride out the storm along with the flood waters.  Officials are reporting that 65% to 70% of New Orleans is without power this morning and will likely remain that way for some time.

Isaac remain quasi-stationary for several hours overnight and then slowly made a second landfall near Port Fourchon, Louisiana around 2:15am.  As tropical systems tend to do, Isaac has been "wobbling" along the Louisiana state line which is making forecasts a bit tough on the exact path of this storm.  That being said, it is confident that Isaac will drift west-northwest through today before turning more north-northwest late today followed by a northeast turn Thursday and into Friday.

That forecast doesn't come with some error, however.  Do the the uncertain drift of Isaac to the west, some computer models are drifting Isaac closer to the Louisiana / Texas State line -- some of which even bringing the center of circulation into Texas by Thursday.  These models are picking up on a slight weakness in the ridge of high pressure to the northwest -- which is forecast to move east in the next 24 hours -- which could pick up Isaac and drift the storm west through part of today.

We'll have to watch the movement of Isaac closely, as a more westerly movement may be close enough to produce a few showers in the Brazos Valley by Thursday afternoon (at least in our eastern counties).  For now, expect breezy to gusty winds (25mph to 30mph gusts possible) today and Thursday -- with a 30% chance of scattered, spotty showers tomorrow afternoon.  (To the rright is our in-house PinPoint Forecast. Note the circulation just to the northeast of the Brazos Valley -- that is our computer model picking up on the center of the remnants of Isaac moving into East Texas.  That, of course, is just one solution out there that we use to make our forecast.)

Next update from the National Hurricane Center is due in at 10am -- we'll get an updated official forecast path then as well.










Isaac Wobbles West Along the Coast


10pm Advisory:

Location:  29.0N, 89.7W

Max Winds:  80mph

Movement:  NW at 8mph

Central Pressure:  968mb

Hurricane Isaac made a brief landfall Tuesday evening before wobbling westward with the center edging back offshore.  That should be temporary, as the hurricane should ease onshore near Grand Isle overnight before pushing slowly inland during the day Wednesday.  A storm surge of just over 10 feet was reported at Shell Beach, Louisiana.  As the storm moves inland, the threat of flooding will increase from heavy rainfall as 7 to 14 inches could fall with isolated totals up to 20 inches.

While the wobble to the west is expected to be temporary, more computer models are coming in line bringing the system further west.  If that occurs, then rain chances may be much higher for parts of Southeast Texas by Thursday.  Stay tuned!




Isaac Makes Landfall


At 6:45pm Hurricane Isaac made landfall in Plaquermines Parish, LA with winds up to 80mph. The storm surge has already started to push in-land. A recent report from Shell Beach Louisiana had reports of a storm surge up to 9.5ft. A surge of 6-12ft is expected. The storms central pressure continues to drop indicating the storm is in the process of becoming more organized. The current central pressure is near 968mb.

The storm is moving towards the Northwest at 8mph. A slightly slower speed is expected as the storm continues to move inland. The storm will continue to drift along Louisiana's coast and then eventually turn in a more north-westward direction inland. Isaac is expected to lose strength as the system tracks further inland. At this point the storm is still a category one hurricane and is expected to stay well organized through the evening. 








Isaac Becomes Better Organized



Since the last model runs Issac has become slightly more organized as the storm system moves into the northern Gulf Coast. The hurricane has sustained winds near 80mph. The center of Isaac is expected to be over the coastline of Southeastern Louisiana this evening. There could be some strengthening within the storm before it makes landfall but the hurricane is expected to weaken considerably once on land. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 60 miles on the Northeast and East side of the storm. The National Hurricane Center continues to keep the hurricane track moving in a north-westward direction towards a weakness in a sub-tropical ridge. The ridge is then anticipated to build back pushing the storm in a more northerly direction. There is still a slight possibility that some areas east of the I-45 corridor could be dealing with some scattered showers associated with Isaac on Thursday into Friday.








Isaac Becomes a Hurricane




As of 11:20am, the National Hurricane Center upgraded Isaac to a Category 1 Hurricane after finding winds of 75mph near the center of the storm, along with higher gusts upwards of 90mph.  

As of 1pm this afternoon, Isaac was located 55 miles to the south / southeast of the Mississippi River and 135 miles southeast of New Orleans.  The pressure had dropped slightly to 975mb.

Hurricane force winds extend 60 miles outward to the northeast and east of the center of circulation.  Tropical Storm force winds extend up to 185 miles from the center of Isaac as well.  Those tropical storm force winds were already being experienced near the mouth of the Mississippi River and are expected to reach the Gulf Coast region later this afternoon.

Storm surge is still expected to top 6 to 12 feet in Mississippi and Southeastern Louisiana along with 4 to 8 feet in Alabama and 3 to 6 feet in South-Central Louisiana.

Rainfall estimates with Isaac are expected to exceed 7 to 14 inches in many locations -- with the possibilities of isolated 20 inch rain totals around Mississippi and Louisiana.  

Next update on Hurricane Isaac is due in from the National Hurricane Center around 4pm.
































Location: 27.8N 88.2W

Maximum Sustained Winds: 70mph

Central Pressure: 976mb

Movement: Northwest at 7mph

Isaac continues to hold strong as a Tropical Storm with winds sustained at 70mph (with higher occasional gusts).  Despite an eye feature showing up this morning on satellite imagery -- wind speeds are still 4mph too slow to be classified as a hurricane.  Wording from the National Hurricane Center is that "Reconnaissance Aircraft find Isaac nearly a hurricane."

Hurricane Warnings remain in effect for East of Morgan City, Louisiana to the Alabama / Florida border -- which includes New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain.

A Tropical Storm Watch is now in effect for parts of the Texas Coastline -- from just east of High Island, Texas to the west of Cameron, Louisiana.

Tropical Storm force winds continue to extend around 205 miles outward from the center of Isaac's circulation.

Hurricane hunters have indicated that Isaac's pressure has dropped a little more, but so far, the maximum flight-level winds still do not support hurricane intensity.  The inner core of this storm is becoming better defined, which suggest that strengthening is imminent and that we could have a weak Category 1 hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico later this morning or possibly as late as this afternoon.  

Isaac is a large tropical cyclone -- so while New Orleans and the far east side of Louisiana is under the scope for a direct hit with this tropical system, the effects of the storm will be felt some couple hundred miles away.  Storm surge for areas from New Orleans to Mississippi is expected to top 6ft to 12ft.  Flooding is also a large concern as computer models suggest up to 18 inches of rain to fall across portions of the Louisiana / Mississippi Coastline.  

Next Update on Tropical Storm Isaac is due in around 10am.

Latest Forecast Path from the National Hurricane Center:





























Location:  27.1N, 87.0W

Maximum Sustained Winds:  70mph

Central Pressure:  979mb

Movement:  NW at 10mph


Isaac has not yet strengthened into a hurricane, but it could become one within hours.  The central pressure has fallen 2mb this evening, and strong thunderstorm activity has developed near the center, a sign that an eye may be about to develop.

The forecast track remains much the same with landfall late Tuesday in southeast Louisiana.  The storm is then forecast to move slowly inland and veer to a more northerly course.  If that forecast track occurs, the remnants of Isaac will pass to the east of Shreveport on Thursday, and that's where the Aggies' season opener is Thursday evening.  A decision is expected on Tuesday regarding the status of the game.

Of more immediate concern, of course, are the effects of Isaac along the coast.  Storm surge flooding of 6 to 12 feet is possible over southeast Louisiana and the Mississippi coast.  Fresh water flooding is also expected inland across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, where 6 to 12 inches of rainfall may occur, and isolated amounts could be up to 18 inches.



Location:  26.4N, 86.2W

Maximum Sustained Winds:  70mph

Central Pressure:  981mb

Movement:  Northwest at 12mph




Tropical Storm Isaac appears to be gaining strength and organization now.  The central pressure has fallen 7mb and the maximum sustained winds have increased to 70mph.

Some drier air is noted on the east side of the circulation, and that could interfere with the strengthening process.  However, the storm will be passing over very warm water, and steady intensification is forecast up until landfall.

A Hurricane Warning is now in effect from Morgan City, Louisiana, eastward to the Alabama-Florida border.  On the current forecast track, Isaac would make landfall Tuesday night along the southeast coast of Louisiana.  Storm surge heights of 6 to 12 feet will be possible along the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts, and 6 to 9 feet along the Alabama coast.

After landfall, Isaac should move on a more northerly track, weakening to a depression as it heads northward into Arkansas.  If Isaac follows this forecast track, then we should see little effect in the Brazos Valley other than a steady northerly breeze and some high clouds.



Maximum Sustained Winds:  65mph

Central Pressure: 988mb

Movement: Northwest at 14mph

Tropical Storm Isaac is currently sitting about 250 miles south of Apalachicola, Florida or 310 miles southeast of the Mouth of the Mississippi River.  Tropical storm force winds can be felt outward 205 miles form the center of Isaac.

Storm Surge is still expected to be around 6 to 12 feet for Southeast Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.  South Central Florida to the Florida Panhandle could see a storm surge around 3 to 6 feet during high tide time.

Not much overall change with Isaac this morning.  There has been a ragged eye feature occasionally appear in the morning data, but has been unable to persist.  The ridge to the north of Issac has shown signs of strengthening which is the cause for the northwest to west movement in the forecast path / cone from the National Hurricane Center.  There is good model agreement over the next 36 to 48 hours (which will do a good job at pinning down where Isaac could make landfall) however, after 48 hours the models continue to spread across a few hundred miles.  That will be noted in the 3 day "cone of uncertainty" now including most of Louisiana and part of far East Texas.  

Next Full Update from the National Hurricane Center is due in around 4pm this afternoon.


Tropical Storm Force Wind Speed Probabilities (The Brazos Valley remains at a 10% - 30% chance)




Maximum Sustained Winds: 65mph

Central Pressure: 988mb (slowly falling)

Movement: West-Northwest at 14mph

 The center of Tropical Storm Isaac is sitting about 185 miles west / southwest of Ft. Myers, Florida and 360miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River. 

Hurricane WARNINGS are in effect for areas east of Morgan City, Louisiana to Destin, Florida (including New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain).  A Hurricane Warning means that that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area and is typically issued 36 hours before the first Tropical Storm force winds are anticipated to be felt.

As of this morning, tropical Storm force winds could be felts 240 miles outward from the center of Isaac.

Storm surge impacts are as anticipated:

Southeast Louisiana, Mississippi & Alabama: 6 to 12 feet

South-Central Louisiana: 3 to 6 feet

West Coast Florida: 1 to 3 feet

Southeast Florida and the Florida Keys: 1 to 2 feet

The latest National Hurricane Center update indicated that Isaac is slowly starting to organize better now that it is over the open, warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.  Light southeasterly wind shear is only going to allow gradual strengthening for the next 12 hours or so, but after that there should be steadier organization with this tropical storm (possibly into a Category 1 hurricane).

Here in the Brazos Valley -- a few of our computer models want to drift Isaac's landfall and movement thereafter a bit closer to home -- about the Texas / Louisiana state line.  Should that happen our rain chances could be coming up slightly on Thursday and Friday as outer bands of this low pressure system might make it as far west as (at least) our Eastern counties (about I-45 and points east).

For now, we'll follow the National Hurricane Center's forecast and call for gusty winds to kick up from the north and northeast Wednesday & Thursday, followed by breezy conditions Friday and Saturday as the remnants of Isaac continues to pull towards the Northeast United States.

Should Isaac's path continue to trend to the west, we may need to do a 180° with our forecast for the middle to end of the week and take the windy, dry & near 100° forecast to a rain chance, cloudy and slightly cooler outlook.  Details that will be hammered out over the next day to day and a half.

The continued word stressed by the National Hurricane Center is to not focus on the center track of the forecast -- but rather the "cone of uncertainty." While the exact forecast is being slowly defined down, the outward extents of this storm (wind, squalls, tornadoes to the northeast of the center) need to be taken with caution as well.

Next Full Update from The National Hurricane Center is due around 10am.

Tropical Storm Force Winds Probabilities: (Brazos Valley currently in the 10% to 30% range):














Monday Morning Model Runs:














Maximum Sustained Winds: 65mph

Central Pressure: 993mb

Movement: West-Northwest at 14mph



Once again the latest model runs have Tropical Storm Isaac moving further west. Isaac has the potential to become a hurricane within the next 48 hours. As Isaac continues to move over the Gulf of Mexico the storm will continue to gain strength from the warmer waters and favorable environmental conditions. 






Maximum Sustained Winds: 60mph

Central Pressure: 992mb

Movement: West-Northwest at 16mph


The center of Tropical Storm Issac is just south of Key West, FL and is expected to move into the eastern gulf by tomorrow evening. Isaac is expected to gain some strength over the next 48 hours and has the possibility to get up to hurricane strength in 24-48 hours. The latest model runs on the path of the storm are still disagreeing quite a bit. Isaac is expected to approach the northern gulf on Tuesday but how far west or east still remains the question. Isaac is expected to eventually move in a Northeast direction through a break in the sub-tropical ridge but even the most reliable models are disagreeing making this a harder than usual hurricane track forecast. The latest runs continue to move him further west.







Tropical Storm Isaac continues to get better organized and is now just below hurricane strength.  At 10:00 p.m. Friday, the center of Isaac was located near 17.7N and 72.5W.  Winds have increased to 70 mph, and the storm is moving to the Northwest at 14 mph.  A Tropical Storm Warning and Hurricane Watch are now in effect for all of the Florida Keys.




Tropical Storm Isaac has increased in strength today but remains below hurricane intensity.  At 4:00 p.m. Friday, the center of Isaac was located near 17.2N and 71.9W.  Maximum winds are now 65 mph.  Movement is to the Northwest at 16 mph.  A Tropical Storm Watch is now in effect for the Florida Keys, which could receive the brunt of the storm late Sunday.

Tropical Depression Joyce out in the Atlantic has lost its circulation, and advisories are being discontinued.






Tropical Storm Isaac:











Isaac is showing a bit more strength this morning although remains poorly organized, in terms of a well-defined center of circulation.  Maximum sustained winds have increased to 50mph, as of the latest hurricane hunter data, but there is still difficulty finding the exact center of this storm.

Limited strengthening is expected as Isaac will come in contact with Hispaniola soon, from there there should be a chance for decent, further development over the warm waters of the Straits of Florida.  The latest official forecast continues to nudge the projected path of this storm a bit to the west, leaving a Florida Panhandle / Alabama landfall possible.  That being said, coastline from Louisiana to Florida are currently placed in the cone of uncertainty.

Wording from the National Hurricane Center this morning: "It is important not to focus on the exact track due to uncertainties in the initial location and the track forecast...and the fact that Isaac has a large area of tropical storm force winds associated with it."











Tropical Depression Joyce:

Max. Sustained Winds: 35mph

Central Pressure: 1008mb

Movement: Northwest at 14mph

Joyce didn't stay a tropical storm for long -- dry air and strong wind shear have brought the strength of this system back down to depression strength.  While the official forecast path keeps Joyce a depression through the next couple of days, there is a strong chance that this system may fall apart earlier than that.




Tropical Storm Isaac

 Max Sustained Winds: 45mph

Central Pressure: 1002mb

Movement: West-Northwest at 16mph


There has been a slight increase in the wind speed within Isaac over the past few hours. A good indication that a little strengthening has occurred. The model runs are still disagreeing a little bit. The global models show the ridge weakening allowing for the system to move further west.



Tropical Storm Joyce:

Max Sustained Winds: 40mph

Central Pressure: 1006mb

Movement: West-Northwest at 14mph


Tropical Storm Joyce is not expected to impact the United States Coast. Intensification of this system is unlikely over the next 48 hours. 




Tropical Storm Isaac

Max Sustained Winds: 40mph

Central Pressure: 1003mb

Movement: West-Northwest at 16mph



Once again the center of Isaac is not well defined. With an undefined core Isaac is having a hard time developing even though the environmental conditions are favorable for a hurricane. If the center of the storm does become more defined it is quite possible that we could have a hurricane on our hands sooner than later. Models are in agreement that over the next 48-72 hours the general path of the storm will be in a west to northwest  direction. After that time period models are starting to disagree a bit on Isaac's path. Some models are starting to pull him a little further west into the gulf while the others keep him on track to hit Florida. This is still a ways out so hopefully the models will be in better agreement by tomorrow. 



Tropical Storm Joyce

Tropical Depression has officially been upgraded to Tropical Storm Joyce in the Atlantic Ocean.  Here's the latest on Joyce:











The good news, as stated in this morning's earlier update, Joyce is not expected to impact the United States Coast.  This storm is likely to continue on a northwest path over the next several days to then turn back to northeast as a trough of low pressure off the East Coast steers this storm towards Bermuda.  














Tropical Storm Isaac:

 Max. Sustained Winds: 40mph

Central Pressure: 1003mb

Movement: West at 13mph

Not a whole lot of change with Tropical Storm Isaac this morning as Air Force Hurricane continue to find a poorly defined inner core with a large area of light winds around the center of circulation.  

Over the next 36 hours, as Isaac continues it's march to the west, the dry air hindering development should begin to turn more moist.  The official forecast calls for some strengthening -- possibly into a Category 1 Hurricane -- before quickly being reduced back down to a tropical storm as it interacts with the mountains and land areas of Hispaniola.  Once better determination is made on how it will interact with that and Cuba, there will be better consensus on where this storm will go and how strong it may be by the time it reaches the United States. 

The official forecast path for Isaac is just to the west of the Florida Coastline -- with a projected possible landfall around the Florida Panhandle.  That being said, residents from Florida to Mississippi & Alabama are urged to watch the development of Tropical Storm Isaac.



Tropical Depression Ten:

Max. Sustained Winds: 35mph

Central Pressure: 1007mb

Movement: West-Northwest at 16mph

Southerly vertical shear, in the upper-levels of the atmosphere, is hindering rapid development of Tropical Depression Ten.  While there is some indication this storm may be close to tropical storm status, the unimpressive convection structure of this system will keep the system classified as a tropical depression by the National Hurricane Center (for the time being).

Down the road, this depression may have to deal with more wind shear off the outflow of Tropical Storm Isaac -- the more dominant of the two systems.  Should that occur, among other factors, that could cause this system to dissipate before the end of the current forecast period (by Tuesday morning). For the time being, the official forecast continues to bring the possibility of this depression to be upgraded to Tropical Storm Joyce by as early as this afternoon.  Despite development, the only land mass in jeopardy at this time is Bermuda by next Tuesday morning.








Tropical Storm Isaac:

Max Sustained Winds: 45mph

Pressure: 1004mb

Movement: West 21mph


 The latest data runs of Tropical Storm Isaac indicate that the storm does not have a well developed core. Other than problems with the location of the center not much has changed with the forecast for Isaac. The storm is still expected to move in a west to northwest fashion as the ridge gradually decreases. Currently the storm is moving over the Lesser Antilles. So far the islands haven't experienced tropical storm-force winds but have received up to 1.5 inches of rain. Over the next 12 hours not much is expected to change when it comes to the storms strength. Models are still suggesting that after 48 hours we could have Hurricane Isaac on our hands. We will just have to wait and see!



Tropical Depression Ten:

Max Sustained Winds: 35mph

Pressure: 1007mb

Movement: WNW 16mph



The last satellite run on Tropical Depression Ten made it clear that not much strengthening has taken place since the last update. The cloud tops are even starting to warm up a bit. This is a sign of a weakening storm. Although the storm system isn't doing to well today in the strength department, most models still agree that Tropical Depression Ten will eventually become Tropical Storm Joyce over the next few days. Models are predicting the storm to make a turn heading further north into the Atlantic and by-pass the east coast. Once again, it becomes a waiting game. 



MIDDAY WEDNESDAY UPDATE - Tropical Depression Ten Forms











Tropical Storm Isaac:

Max. Sustained Winds: 45mph

Pressure: 1006mb

Movement: West 21mph

An Air Force Hurricane Hunter Aircraft that was monitoring T.S. Isaac overnight found that the center of circulation had become elongated and noted that the inner wind field had become disorganized. Other than that, not many significant changes to the forecast path of Tropical Storm Isaac.  Due to the uncertainty in the forecast strength of the ridge of high pressure over Florida by the beginning of next week -- there is still a bit of question as to which part of Florida is (likely) be hit, but the official forecast path has shifted, in line with global forecast models, more to the west. 

The intensity has come down on the forecast for Isaac as well due to the anticipated land interaction with the mountainous areas of Hispaniola.  That being said, Isaac is expected to be at least a Category 1 strength hurricane by the time it nears the United State Coastline.




Tropical Depression Ten (Likely to becoming Tropical Storm Joyce):

Max. Sustained Winds: 35mph

Pressure: 1007mb

Movement: WNW 16mph

As mentioned in today's earlier update to this blog, the area known as Invest 96L has officially been upgraded to Tropical Depression Ten.  According to the official forecast for this system, intensification through the rest of today could be enough to upgrade this depression to our next named tropical storm, Joyce.

As for the official forecast path of T.D. Ten, it is likely to remain a recurving storm and basically be a storm for the fish in the Atlantic.  By the end of the forecast cone (8AM Monday), what will likely be Tropical Storm Joyce could have sights on Bermuda. Here's the latest forecast path of Tropical Depression Ten:





Tropical Storm Isaac is holding together well as it continues to churn towards the Lesser Antilles this morning -- where there are currently Tropical Storm Warnings in effect.  A Hurricane Watches and Warnings.  For a complete list of where the watches and warning are currently posted click here.

Current analysis of the atmosphere that Isaac has been traveling through shows a small amount of wind shear within the upper-level winds.  That being said, over the next 48 hours, the official National Hurricane Center forecast has the possibility of this system to upgrade into a Category 1 Hurricane as the wind shear is expected to relax.  Yesterday's forecast called for the potential of this storm to increase to a Category 2 hurricane before reaching near the Florida Coastline.  That has now been downgraded a bit due to the expected interaction that Issac will have with land masses such as Puerto Rico, The Dominican Republic, Haiti & Cuba.  The latest computer models are now suggesting a slight curve to the west which down the road seems to favor possible interaction with South or Western Florida.  

Plenty will continue to change with the direction and intensification forecast for Tropical Storm Isaac over the coming days, however, here is a look at the latest forecast put out by the National Hurricane Center:












Also, good to note while we are talking about the tropics -- hot on the heels of Tropical Storm Isaac is another area of interest currently labeled as Invest 96L.  This has the potential to become Tropical Depression Ten as early as today and possibly even Tropical Storm Joyce.  As of now, computer guidance keeps this storm over the Atlantic and (for now) looks likely to remain a storm for the fish. 





Tropical Storm Isaac was officially upgraded to tropical storm status on August 21. Despite the strengthening of the storm it still is very disorganized. The storm has been dealing with some light wind shear that has suppressed it's development over the past couple of days. The shear is expected to dissipate within the next 12 to 24 hours indicating that there is a possibility for Isaac to strengthen within the next day. Isaac is below a sub-tropical ridge that will keep the storm moving westward for the next few days. Eventually the ridge is expected to weaken over Florida allowing the system to move in a more north westward direction towards Florida. 



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