Written by Mary Katherine Westmark Thursday, 23 August 2012 07:30
At 5am EDT Thursday, Tropical Storm Isaac was located about 255 miles south-southeast of San Juan Puerto Rico, or approximately 1,275 miles from Miami, Florida.
After a wobble to the southwest and a reformation of the center of circulation last night, Isaac is moving west at 12 mph. Although additional “wobbles” are possible, a general west-northwest motion is expected for the next day or 2 as it is steered around the southern edge of a large high pressure system in the central Atlantic Ocean.
Computer model track guidance is coming into better agreement (the outlying westward models have shifted east and the outlying east models shifting west) and many of these, along with the official NHC forecast, take Tropical Storm Isaac south of Puerto Rico and then across southern Dominican Republic and Haiti tomorrow.
Beyond that time, high pressure should weaken, which will allow Isaac to curve northwest across eastern Cuba and into the Florida Straits and eastern Gulf of Mexico. Some models still signal a more westward movement across central or western Cuba. The official forecast track has Isaac moving across the Florida Keys early Monday and then moving towards the Florida Panhandle, to a position roughly 85 miles west of Tampa early Tuesday morning.
Maximum sustained winds have decreased and are now near 40 mph, but conditions are favorable to promote strengthening. There is still a chance Isaac could become a hurricane before reaching Hispaniola, but the highest chances are that it may remain a tropical storm.
Isaac is a large storm, and tropical storm force winds now extend up to 140 miles from the center.
Any land interaction with Haiti and Cuba will likely weaken the storm, but warm water in the Florida Straits will allow for some re-strengthening.
Several Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance missions will be deployed today that will help further increase confidence in the long-range track and intensity. It is important to note that computer model guidance, especially beyond 72 hours, can still be unreliable.
At 5am Thursday. Tropical Depression Ten was located roughly halfway between the Cape Verde Islands and the Leeward Islands.
Maximum sustained winds remain near 35mph. Some strengthening is possible and it could become Tropical Storm Joyce as early as this afternoon.
T.D. 10 is moving west-northwest at 16mph and this motion is expected to continue through Saturday before turning more to the north on a track towards Bermuda.
A new tropical wave has emerged from western Africa. Development should be slow to occur and the National Hurricane Center is currently forecasting a low (10%) chance of becoming a tropical cyclone within the next 2 days.
It is too early to forecast the extent of any affects Tropical Storm Isaac will have on Florida. Everyone in and near the error cone should continue to closely monitor this system and begin to review their preparedness plans.
There are no tropical watches or warnings in effect for Florida, but much of Florida is within the 5 day error cone. Remember that the cone does not necessarily forecast impacts.
Portions of South Florida from Palm Beach to Ft. Myers now have a 30-40% chance of receiving tropical storm force winds within the next 5 days. Tampa currently has a 22% chance of receiving tropical storm force winds and Tallahassee has a 10% chance. All of Florida currently has less than a 5% chance of seeing hurricane force winds within 5 days.
Flood Warnings are in effect for 6 Florida rivers.
More information on Tropical Storm Isaac, T.D. 10, and eastern Atlantic wave can be found at www.nhc.noaa.gov.
Click here to view storm related graphics. Another update will be issued Thursday afternoon.
Florida Division of Emergency Management
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