Colleagues, An extended forecast. Keep in mind if I am off even one degree, that over the week, it would make a world of difference in path and landfall. But I am beginning to see with more confidence the movement of key elements. FORECAST: Tropical Storm Isaac will be south of Puerto Rico by this afternoon and will be south of the Dominican Republic and Haiti Friday morning, probably as a Category 1 hurricane. The mountains of Hispaniola will weaken it and Isaac it will become a TS. The mountains of eastern Cuba will weaken it further. Isaac will begin to restrengthen in the Florida Straights. The Florida Keys might have near hurricane force winds, at least so in gusts. And Miami area will have strong Tropical Storm force Sunday and lots of rain, squalls and gusts well into next week. All peninsular Florida will experience A LOT of rain and squalls well into next week with winds that are of tropical storm force with gusts approaching hurricane force. A few tornadoes are a possibility.
Late Sunday, Isaac will regain some strength, becoming a strong tropical storm. Right now, although some may call it a hurricane I see it being a very strong tropical storm, but that could change as it moves up the west coast WEST of Tampa. Local flooding is certain as well as disturbed seas and potentially high storm tides at least as bad but similar to Debby. Weather in Tampa starting early Monday morning will be rough but the maximum sustained winds (msw) will be of strong tropical storm force, not hurricane force, and not a direct hit. Tampa will have high tides, and local flooding and heavy rain. High tides will hit the panhandle, and they could be very high, nearly 8 feet in places east of Apalachicola extending to the Crystal River, the worst will be in the St. Marks area. Think Dennis.
DISCUSSION: Complicated, and it ALL depends on the movement and strength of the trough!!! That is at the heart of the forecast. A very very small error would have huge consequences. In the scenario that I believe in, the peninsula will keep Isaac from becoming a strong hurricane UNLESS it moves further into the Gulf, which is a possibility, but that would remove it from being so close to land. It will not be before Saturday before it really all comes together and the key elements being to interact in a strong way. But I do have confidence in this forecast.
I will be paying close attending and send out a new forecast if I seen an evolution that is different than this.
NEXT FORECAST: Tomorrow, August 24
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