Colleagues, Threat to Tampa is minimal as Isaac heads to New Orleans. FORECAST: Tropical Storm Isaac about 350 miles south of Tallahassee headed NW with winds of 65 mph. Just made a jog to the west and has slowed to about 13 mph. Isaac will slowly intensify. Close to landfall some models show a jog to the east (like Katrina did), but I don't believe it. I think it will make landfall going NW to the west of New Orleans, which is not good good for New Orleans. It will be a Category 1 at landfall. Mississippi and Alabama will experience significant storm surge and sustained tropical storm force winds. Western Florida Panhandle will experience tropical storm force gusts and all the panhandle rough seas and elevated storm surge of a few feet, but not like it looked just a few days ago. Tampa will continue to have rain, occasionally heavy, but not more than squall lines. Weather in Peninsular Florida will be gradually improving, but with occasional heavy rain especially today and through tomorrow. No sustained tropical storm force winds in Florida, but gusts can easily reach those levels.
The rain has largely left the immediate Miami area, but heavy rain and strong gusts will continue from Fort Lauderdale up the coast, moving north and becoming less with time. Rain should reach the panhandle later today. This storm is more wide than intense so all of Florida can expect some occasional heavy rain.
DISCUSSION: Isaac is off the radar now until it get closer to New Orleans.
NEXT FORECAST: Tomorrow, Tuesday, August 28, sooner if new data comes in that would allow refinement. I will be watching the data come in constantly until after landfall.
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Peter S. Ray
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