How far west will Isaac go?
The model runs over the past 24 hours have been a lot more consistent with regard to one thing. Isaac will make a landfall west of Alabama. The question remains how far west as some models like GFDL suggests a landfall point near Houston, TX. Thoughts this afternoon are that Isaac will make a landfall over southeast Louisiana. Based on this track, a strong onshore flow and feeder band activity should bring strong tidal surge, torrential rain, and a tornado threat to the Alabama Gulf coast. What is concerning forecasters today is the threat that exists for New Orleans.
When will Isaac make landfall?
Based on current forecasts, Isaac should make a landfall Tuesday night near the Mouth of the Mississippi River. Landfall may be just west of the mouth of the Mississippi River.
How strong will Isaac be at landfall?
Despite looking impressive at times on satellite, Isaac remains a tropical storm. This system has had a tough time re-organizing after encountering Cuba, Hispaniola, and Florida. Plus, there is a bit of dry air that has interacted with the cyclone. As long as Isaac remains over water there is still room for further strengthening. The National Hurricane Center has adjusted their intensity forecast with Isaac now projected to be a category 1 at landfall time. Another factor that has limited strengthening is the large 200 mile-plus-wind field. Tropical storm winds extend way out from the center and that is one reason tropical advisories stretch east across the Alabama Gulf Coast.
What can we expect in central Alabama?
The westward track has been good news in our area with the pressure gradient wind threat and heavy rain threat shifting well west. Scattered showers and thunderstorms will be possible tomorrow and on Wednesday as Isaac approaches from the south and passes to the west. There is a chance some of the outer feeder bands could bring an isolated tornado threat during the late Wednesday/ Thursday timeframe for areas west of Interstate-65. I find it interesting that the GFS model stalls Isaac’s remnants over the Midwest over the weekend. Lots of moisture looks to remain pooled up over Alabama through this week and this could spark a good coverage of scattered tropical downpours over the weekend. J-P will have an updated long range forecast on Fox 6 News at 5 PM.
Fox6 Meteorologist Wes Wyatt