The good news tonight. . .Isaac is having a tough time strengthening. The bad news. . .the official NHC forecast track has a bad track for New Orleans. I have not changed my window for landfall in about 4 days and it’s starting to look like I wasn’t far enough west. For now, I’m staying the course.
I have included the NHC track forecast and the 00z or 8 pm EDT track guidance forecasts for Isaac. As you can see, the NHC track is to the right of the guidance package which is starting to make me nervous. The models have been trending farther and farther west with some taking Isaac towards Beaumont or Lake Charles, while some reliable models that aren’t listed take the storm towards Biloxi or Mobile. Why the large spread? Different models handle subtle systems over the U.S. differently, which leads to a different Isaac track. While I am not convinced that Isaac is heading towards Lake Charles, I think it would be a good idea to prepare now. The area from Lake Charles through Lafayette and Baton Rouge are now within the 3 day cone and the NHC track bring a dangerous hurricane track towards New Orleans. I am now starting to lean towards a landfall very similar to NHC or anywhere from Houma, LA to Pascagoula, MS. How strong will Isaac be? That is a very good question and we will have to see if the storm can develop an inner core. The best case here is that it never does and a moderate tropical storm makes landfall in the Central Gulf coast. Right now, I think we will have a hurricane by tomorrow night.
Bottom line: Florida weather conditions will improve heading into tomorrow night and a track towards LA/MS seems more likely as a Category 2 hurricane.
I will try to post an update in the morning. Thanks for reading!