Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hurricane Isaac Forecast Archive

A record of our multi-state team's collaborate on-site and 
tropical forecasting during 2012's Hurricane Isaac  

 Storm Surge reaching the coast in Biloxi, MS 
as captured by On-Site Forecaster Joey Krastel

 A forecast graphic published by the Tropical Team that 
was redistributed to thousands of readers across the Eastern U.S.

10:15 AM EDT 8/25 (Forecaster Isaacs) A HURRICANE WARNING is in effect for the Florida Keys including the Day Tortugas, Florida Bay, and the West Coast of Florida from Bonita Beach Southward. For a direct look at local hazards to the region, visit this interactive link by the NWS Miami Office. We also have a dedicated on-site team posting regular updates to our South Florida & The Keys page in Facebook.  

As of the National Hurricane Center's 8 AM update, Tropical Storm Isaac only slightly weakened to 60 MPH winds after moving across the Southwestern Peninsula of Haiti. Currently, Tropical Storm Isaac is still moving Northwest at 14 MPH and has a minimum central pressure of 998 MB.

  • A local state of emergency for Monroe County has been declared. There will be three shelters opened at select Monroe County Schools starting at 2 PM. 
  • The Key West International Airport will stop commercial traffic this evening at 7 PM and it will last all day Sunday. 
  • All county offices, sheriff offices, schools, and county courts will be closed on Monday. City Buses will not be running on Sunday. 
  • The City of Key West Offices will be closed on Monday.
Monroe County Emergency Managament Officials are urging visitors to leave the Keys if they have the means to do so safely. For those that cannot...officials are directing them to stay inside during the storm.

12:00 PM 8/24/12 (Meteorologist Randall J.) The lastest NHC advisory has Tropical Storm Isaac is up to 60 mph winds with a minimum pressure of 1000 mb, moving WNW at 14 mph. What we know:
  • Deep convection is still trying to wrap around the center.  With most of the thunderstorm activity on it's southern half, this is good news for the island of Hispaniola, including Haiti and the Dominican Republic. 
  • This development may mean less rainfall impact to the island and less risk of mud
     slides. However at the same time, the mountains in Haiti will act like a sponge and work to "remove" as much as rain as possible from Isaac due to orographic lifting. 


  • The track continues to have Isaac enter the Eastern Gulf passing nearby Key West, if not directly over, then up towards the Florida Panhandle. 
  • All eyes from New Orleans to the Keys need to keep an eye on Isaac! 
  • HURRICANE WATCH in effect for Haiti
  • TROPICAL STORM WARNING in effect for Dominican Republic, Haiti, Eastern Cuba, Central and Southern Bahamas including Cat Island, The Exumas, Long Island, Rum Cay, and San Salvador, The Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, The Inaguas, Mayaguana, & The Ragged Islands, and The Turks & Caicos. 

  • TROPICAL STORM WATCH in effect for Andros Island, Jamaica, Central Cuba. 

8:00 AM EDT 8/24/12 (Advisors Forrest & Foot) The morning update from our Tropical Team reported that as of the current NHC advisoryTropical Storm Isaac is a little stronger, as reported by a Hurricane Hunter aircraft. With maximum sustained winds of 50 MPH and a central pressure of 1000 mb, Isaac remains organizationally challenged, but a bit stronger. The 8 AM NHC update locates Isaac at 16.0N, 70.3 W, 175 miles SSW of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, headed W at 15 MPH.

  • A Hurricane Watch is posted for Haiti.
  • A Tropical Storm Warning is posted for Dominican Republic, Haiti, portions of Cuba, Southeastern Bahamas, the Ragged Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands
  • A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for portions of Cuba, Andros Islands and Central Bahamas, San Salvador and Jamaica

  • A turn to the WNW is expected today and NW tonight. Isaac is forecast to come near or over Hispanola and over SE Cuba on Saturday. 
  • The effect of Isaac on Hispanola include 8-12 inches of rain, with up to 20 inches possible, with flooding and mud slides.


Tropical Depression Joyce is located at 16.9 N, 45.0 W, with winds of 35 MPH, moving to the NW at 14 MPH and a central pressure of 1008 mb, posing no threat to land at this time.

8:00 AM EDT 8/23/12  (Advisor Forrest)  Currently Tropical Storm Isaac is located at 15.4 N, 64.8W, moving to the W at 13 MPH, sustained winds of 40 MPH and a central pressure of 1003 mb. What we know:
  • Overnight, the center of Isaac was in the process of reforming more to the SW. An Air Force reconnaissance aircraft early this morning found a poorly defined inner core, with a large area of light winds around it. Outflow patterns continue to be impressive. Sea surface temperatures are in the low 80's, which should help support development of Isaac.
  • The question of Isaac's direction continues to be an issue, particularly for those watching along the Florida coasts. While strengthening is forecast, Isaac's interaction with land mass, especially the mountainous terrain of Hispanola could well impact Isaac. Isaac is moving toward the W at 13 MPH, with a WNW direction predicted today, taking the storm toward the southern coast of the Dominican Republic.

5:00 AM EDT 8/23/12 (Advisor Ed C.) Tropical Storm Isaac is currently situated farther south than expected, at 15.3 North and 64.0 West and weaker with winds of 40 mph this morning. The storm is moving to the West at 12 mph with a central pressure of 1004 mb.

At last look, computer models have a wide range of solutions for the future track. So ... at this time the future track of Isaac remains uncertain for this reason and some influence from what was mentioned in our lead story. Florida, the Eastern Gulf coast and the Southeast Atlantic coastal states should continue to monitor Isaac. By the weekend, a better idea should emerge about Isaac's next steps.

Enhanced Loop | Water Vapor | NOAA Wind/Wave

9:11 AM EDT 8/22/2012 (Forecaster Daniel & Advisor Forrest) TS Isaac is moving west at 19 mph with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph. As of the latest advisory, the NHC has Isaac about 211 miles east of Guadeloupe. 

  • Isaac's forecast track from the NHC (below) hasn't deviated much, but the ensembles trying to pinpoint his landfall (or lack thereof) have shifted by hundreds of miles in the past few days. 
  • As he slides closer to land, they are starting to come to a consensus (as much as multiple models can get to), with a Florida hit (early next week) seeming more likely by the day. 
  • Just where he'll hit is up in the air, but folks living in the Sunshine State need to be prepared to board up and possibly evacuate. At the present time, the Tropical Team thinks it's likely that Isaac will reach Cat 1, with an upgrade to Cat 2 possible depending on how the Caribbean Islands affect him.

There are Tropical Storm Warnings for Martinique, Dominica, Guadeloupe and the surrounding islands, Barbuda, Montserrat, Anguilla, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, the Bristish Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands

There is a Hurricane Watch in effect for: Puerto Rico, the US and British Virgin Islands and the south coast of the Dominican Republic, westward to the Haiti-Dominican Republic  southern border

If your county, state or organization would like to consider dedicated consulting services from our team during this event, contact us: We're ready to work the storm with you.

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