Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Major Hurricane in Miami? 
not so fast...

7:25 AM 8/22 (Forecaster Foot) In all the years I and many others on our Tropical Team have been forecasting and analyzing the long range indicators for tropical cyclone paths, we'd like to convey one certainty in our experience: The projected path of a hurricane beyond 1-2 days can change dramatically over the course of the storm's life cycle. However, the accuracy of tropical forecasts by the National Hurricane Center has also improved just as dramatically in the past 20 years. Last August about three days out from Irene's landfall, the NHC, and students on our team monitoring their analyses, both arrived at the same projection: Reaching the Carolina Coast just west of Cape Lookout. The forecast was dead on.

WHAT IT MEANS FOR ISAAC? As our Tropical Team has been analyzing, the Atlantic ridge of High pressure is expected to weaken and pull back considerably from the coast next 5 days. 

Shown above is the 96-hour projection from the NOAA Ocean Prediction Center. This indicates a large window of opportunity could open along the coast to allow Isaac an unrestricted movement toward the Southeast. One the other hand, were the ridge to maintain position, the storm could also move into the Gulf of Mexico. Another factor that will significantly affect the storm's eventual path is interaction with land over the large islands of the Caribbean. Recall that in August 2011, Irene was churning westward and then got bungled up over Puerto Rico. This changed the entire situation going forward and was a factor in the eventual impacts to the Carolinas, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. 

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO? Continue monitoring the National Hurricane Center for official statements and our Tropical Zone for on-going analyses and updates. We have a wide-angle view on this storm from a 9-state Tropical Team who is on this like a hawk, we will stay on it for you. 

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