Written by Amy Wednesday, 22 August 2012 10:10
At 8am EDT Wednesday, Tropical Storm Isaac was located about 210 miles east of Guadeloupe, or approximately 1,570 miles from Miami, Florida.Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph and Isaac is moving quickly westward at 19 mph. Tropical storm winds extend up to 45 miles from the center.
This general motion is expected to continue for the next 2-3 days as it is steered around the southern edge of a large high pressure system in the central Atlantic Ocean.
Computer model track guidance is in good agreement and these, along with the official NHC forecast, take Tropical Storm Isaac across the Leeward Islands tonight and passing south of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands on Thursday.
Beyond that time, high pressure should weaken, which will allow Isaac to curve northwest towards Hispaniola and eastern Cuba. Some models have it curving earlier, moving towards the Bahamas, while others still signal a more westward movement towards the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
Conditions are becoming increasingly favorable to promote strengthening (wind shear decreasing and warmer ocean temperatures), and Isaac should become a hurricane within the next 60 hours.
Any land interaction with Haiti and Cuba in 72-96 hours could disrupt the storm and allow it to weaken, but warm water in the Florida Straits will allow for some re-strengthening.
It is important to note that computer model guidance, especially beyond 72 hours, can be unreliable.
Several Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance missions will be deployed today and tomorrow that will help computer models get into better agreement and increase confidence in the long-range track and intensity.
Elsewhere, the weak area of low pressure (95L) near the northeastern coast of Mexico is moving inland.
The National Hurricane Center has given this system a low (0%) chance of developing.
A tropical wave and associated area of low pressure in the eastern Atlantic (96L) continues to show signs of organization.
The National Hurricane Center is now forecasting a high (100%) chance of becoming a tropical cyclone within the next 48 hours and advisories on Tropical Depression #10 may likely be initiated later this morning.
Computer model guidance is in good agreement and takes this system on a west-northwest track through the central Atlantic, moving north of the Leeward Islands in 5-6 days before curving northward. Most models also intensify the system into a tropical storm within the next 3 days. The next name on the 2012 storm list is Joyce.
It is too early to tell if Tropical Storm Isaac will directly impact Florida or the extent of any affects. Everyone should continue to closely monitor this system.
There are no tropical watches or warnings in effect for Florida, but much of Central and South Florida is now within the 5 day error cone.
Portions of Southeast Florida from Palm Beach to Key West now have a 20-25% chance of receiving tropical storm force winds within the next 5 days, with areas further north to Sarasota and Cocoa Beach having a 10% chance. Tampa currently has an 8% chance of receiving tropical storm force winds. All of Florida currently has less than a 5% chance of seeing hurricane force winds within 5 days.
A stalled frontal boundary will continue to a threat for heavy rainfall of 1-2 inches, with locally higher amounts of 3-4” possible, across portions of the northern and central Florida Peninsula today.
A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for the southeastern Big Bend until 4pm, with a Flood Watch in effect for West Central Florida through 8pm.
Run-off from daily rainfall will move into already swollen rivers and a Flood Warning is in effect for 5 Florida rivers.
More information on Tropical Storm Isaac, 95L, and 96L can be found at www.nhc.noaa.gov.
Click here to view storm related weather graphics. Another update will be issued Wednesday afternoon.Amy Godsey
State Watch Officer
Florida Division of Emergency Management
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