Colleagues, Landfall on Louisiana Coast tonight as a Category one hurricane with winds of 80 mph. Be Safe! Hang in there. FORECAST: Tropical Storm Isaac is 200 miles south of Mobile Bay moving NW at 11 mph. Slowly intensifying. Track will be just west of New Orleans. Storm Surge along Mississippi and Alabama will be significant (in places 10 feet) and 4 to 6 feet along Florida's Western Panhandle. Disturbed seas along FL Gulf coast but east of Apalachicola surge will only be a few 2-3 feet. Rain of 4 inches or more possible in western Florida, and increasing as you go west. Tallahassee, maybe an inch or two. Most of Peninsular Florida will receive little or no rain although locally short heavy rain is possible. Strong winds only in Western Panhandle of Florida, and Hurricane force gusts in Alabama and Mississippi and Louisiana. Isaac is large storm with influence on the weather out as much as 400 miles to the east and 200 miles to the west.
DISCUSSION: Isaac is traveling over warm water and winds are favorable. Only dry air intrusion is limiting intensification. Katrina made landfall on Aug 29. Actually the Katrina damage was worst in Mississippi and Alabama with 20 feet of surge. However New Orleans suffered mightily due to human failure, of poorly constructed levees. I hate to say it, but it could have been avoided, but money that was designated to improve known weaknesses was diverted to other purposes knowing that the probably of a Katrina storm was small. A version of weather Russian Roulette. Eventually that caught up with everyone and a huge tragedy ensued. There is a lesson there, and we all morn the cost of that lesson. Tomorrow, I believe New Orleans will have some damage but not more than they can handle. Winds in the mid 70's with gusts of hurricane force. Mississippi coast will have similar winds.
NEXT FORECAST: Tonight
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Peter S. Ray
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