Crown Weather Update - Isaac - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 08-23-2012, 09:23 AM   #1
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Default Crown Weather Update - Isaac

Tropical Storm Isaac:
Isaac has remained nearly steady-state in its strength over the past 24 hours and the most recent reconnaissance reports indicate that the center of the storm is very ill defined. This lack in organization and strengthening is due to dry air to its north and northeast and some northeasterly wind shear. Over the next 24 to 36 hours, the environmental conditions are forecast to become more favorable and I think we will see Isaac strengthen as we head through the day today and especially as we get into tonight and Friday and Isaac is expected to become a hurricane during the day Friday.
Isaac is currently tracking nearly due west at a forward speed of 13 mph. The latest guidance correctly forecasted the reformation of Isaac to the south which occurred overnight and these models seem to suggest either a sharp turn to the northwest today or perhaps another reformation of the center of Isaac back to the north. After that, the forecast guidance, including the GFS, European and UKMET models forecast a general west-northwest track right into Saturday.
After Saturday, the forecast guidance is in pretty good agreement in forecasting a gap in the ridge of high pressure to develop across Florida and the eastern Gulf of Mexico. This gap will cause Isaac to turn northwesterly by Sunday and Monday. The most recent run of the GFS model forecasts a landfall in the Florida Panhandle near Apalachicola on Tuesday night, which is a shift to the west of its previous forecasts. The latest European model forecast now forecasts a landfall near Pensacola on Wednesday, which is a shift to the east of its previous forecasts and is in good agreement with the GFS model. The UKMET model also seems to suggest a landfall somewhere between Mobile and Apalachicola on Wednesday. The latest track consensus guidance forecasts a track that takes Isaac across southwestern Haiti on Friday afternoon and evening and then along the northeastern coast of Cuba during Saturday. After that, the consensus guidance forecasts a track that takes Isaac right across the lower Florida Keys on Sunday night before tracking into the eastern Gulf of Mexico on Monday.
Ok, here are my thoughts: I do think that Isaac will become better organized over the next 24 to 36 hours and become a hurricane at some point during the day on Friday. As for a track, I think that Isaac may miss a majority of the island of Hispaniola, but still track over the far southwestern portion of Haiti on Saturday morning. After that, it seems possible at this point that Isaac will track near or along the south coast of Cuba before tracking right over western Cuba on Sunday.
A track into the eastern Gulf of Mexico now looks very likely on Monday and I do think that Isaac will make its final landfall on the Florida Panhandle between Fort Walton Beach and Panama City on Wednesday morning. It needs to be pointed out that the ocean heat content in the eastern Gulf of Mexico is quite high and significant intensification is quite possible. Should this occur, then a significant and formidable hurricane could be making landfall on the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday morning.
With that said, all areas from southeastern Louisiana to the Florida Peninsula need to closely monitor the progress of Isaac as this is going to be a large storm in its overall size and its effects will be felt over a large geographical area; meaning, tropical storm conditions may occur across much of the Florida Peninsula even though the storm is tracking just offshore towards the Florida Panhandle. An high altitude flight around Isaac is scheduled for tonight. This reconnaissance information will be fed into the forecast guidance and I think will lead to a more accurate depiction of what Isaac may do by this time tomorrow morning.
So, all residents and vacationers from southeastern Louisiana eastward to the Florida Panhandle and the Florida Peninsula need to keep very close tabs on the forecast track of this system. Go over your hurricane preparedness kits today and make sure you know what to do should hurricane conditions impact your area next week.
I am monitoring the progress of Isaac very closely and will continue to update you on the latest.
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