Tropical Storm Isaac has had a rough day in keeping at its intensity level. Last night, Isaac was downgraded 5mph to a Tropical Storm with 40mph winds. Currently, Isaac is looking worse and worse per Infrared satellite imagery and this simply is to do with dry air from Haiti and the Dominican Republic getting inside the core of the storm. The process of dry air intruding the system is going to continue through the next couple of days. Until then, this storm is huge and going to be sending impacts as far as 500 miles away. The wind swath of winds is very minimal the moment but the cloud mass extends nearly 1000 miles in diameter. With these large monstrous systems, they usually take quite a long time to get their act together and fighting off dry air from the north is not helping. So, until late Saturday I am not expecting this storm to see any major strengthening.
The track of the system is what everyone wants to know…yet, with so many changes in the system, we nor the other experts cannot come out with an accurate track. One thing I can say right now is North East and Mid Atlantic is totally cleared from the main threats from this system. Speaking on threats, Hurricane Warnings are up for Haiti and portions of the Dominican Republic while tropical storm warnings are draped behind the system over the Lesser Antilles and Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico took a big impact to this system as rain bands continue to pour in from the southwest. Over the next 24-36 hours, heavy rain is going to be the main threat.
As you may or may not know, Storm Central doesn’t allow on computer models to make a forecast track. We use a different look at things including looking at the storm, the overall wind patterns, and the environment surrounding it. Storm Central has updated the latest thoughts here at Hurricane Central model runs. (SCHC-1,2,3,4). You can note quite a change westward since the past update 2 days ago. We are not totally disregarding a direct hit to South Florida yet as time goes by, it is looking lesser and lesser. Our model runs point in 2 basic directions. The high pressure taking this system like a hook into the western side of Florida or a trough digging into the United States pulling the system much farther north and west into the central Gulf of Mexico. *Note: These tracks go 5 days out* Any of these tracks can be the one…so, anyone in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and especially Florida needs to take preparations now for ATLEAST a Cat 2 Hurricane. If this system were to move into the central Gulf of Mexico we could be looking at a Major Hurricane with Major Problems for the central Gulf coast residents. Right now, there’s no time to panic…but, keep an eye on this and get ready if it does come. The system itself is still 1000 miles away from Miami Florida and over 1500 miles to the Alabama/Mississippi area. Debating on what track it takes, will overall determine the intensity of the storm. We should get a much better idea on where the system will go in the next 2 days as Isaac approaches Jamaica.
Keeping all the above in mind, we have took the center track of all this bringing it into the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. Whether it goes east or west is uncertain come that time period. What are track notes is a west to west North West track continuing with the system passing just North or over Jamaica. Come Monday afternoon, a pass over Cuba would be the likeliest bet as the system is slowing considerably.
Threats for the next 3 days:
-Puerto Rico: Heavy Rain, Some wind, Flooding and Power Outages Likely
-Dominican Republic: Very Heavy Rain, Widespread Flooding, Mudslides, Power Outages Likely.
-Haiti: Heavy Flooding Rain, Mudslides, Widespread Flooding, Power Outages Likely. Some minor wind damage is also possible in poverty areas.
Cuba: Storm Approaches may send rain bands into the area as soon as Friday Evening.
Bahamas: Rain squalls from Tropical Storm Isaac will batter the area on occasion.
Certainly many questions with the system but we have narrowed it down to two thoughts. Please check our Facebook page for the latest updates. We encourage you to share this with our friends as well as our images to keep family and friends ready for the worst yet hope for the best.