I don’t have any significant changes since my post last night. The model track forecasts have shifted ever so slightly east (see below), but range from a Cameron, LA landfall to a Biloxi, MS landfall. With that said, I will stick to my comment last night that if you live anywhere from Lake Charles to Pascagoula, you should be preparing now! The good news. . .Isaac may look better on satellite, but is still having a tough time consolidating an inner core. The 8 am advisory from NHC indicates a 65 mph tropical storm, but what got my attention was the central pressure drop to 988 mb. This means the storm is getting better organized and could be a hurricane by this evening.
The satellite presentation above shows a storm still in the organization stage with bursts of deep red indicating strong thunderstorm activity. The center of the storm is being disrupted by a bit of shear and dry air from an upper-level system to the south. I expect this to wane in the next 24 hours with a chance for rapid intensification by tonight. Again, the best case scenario is that the storm struggles to organize up until landfall. Based on the track trajectory (moving towards the northwest) and the very warm waters of the Gulf (above normal this year), my fear is that we see rapid intensification with a landfalling Category 2 or 3 hurricane by Wednesday morning. The NHC track (below) shows a landfall southeast of New Orleans, but the GFS model brings the storm along the coast to Cameron, LA, while the European model shows a landfall near Biloxi. The NHC (wisely) is picking the middle road here as the end game on Isaac is a big challenge to forecast.
Bottom line: I’m leaning towards a more west landfall now near the Houma to just south of Lafayette, LA. There are tropical storm watches in effect from Southwest LA and hurricane warnings farther east from Houma to Pensacola. Florida: Conditions will gradually improve today as the storm pulls away and consolidates. Expect more fast moving tropical downpours and gusty winds.
This one bear watching and I will have my next update this evening when I return to Baltimore. Thanks for reading!