Tropical Storm Isaac's wind field continues to grow at the expense of becoming a hurricane sooner. Tropical storm force winds now extend almost 250 miles from the center. These large storms are less likely to become major hurricane's like Katrina or Rita according to Dr Neil Frank, former director of the National Hurricane Center.
The biggest changes today is a slight adjustment in the cone of uncertainty. The National Hurricane Center adjusted the path about one degree to the West this morning. This puts about a 6 to 12 foot storm surge on the coastal areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Heavy rain will continue to strike the coastal areas of Florida requiring tornado watches and warning throughout the day. Total rainfall from tropical storm Isaac could eventually be around 6" - 12". Isolated rainfall amounts of 18" are also possible as the rain bands spiral toward the gulf coast states through Thursday.
Models are still showing a wide spread after 36hrs. The latest European model has moved Isaac's path more to the West, in line with the GFS. The current dynamic model spread does seem to be honing in on the southeastern coast of Louisiana. This would put the dirty side of the storm over the central gulf coast states. This is West of where Hurricane Katrina made landfall 7 years ago. While likely not as strong as Katrina. Rainfall from a slow moving tropical storm would put the levee system around New Orleans to the test.
Here'e the latest from the NHC. . .
SUMMARY OF 400 PM CDT...2100 UTC...INFORMATION ---------------------------------------------- LOCATION...26.4N 86.2W ABOUT 320 MI...515 KM SSE OF MOBILE ALABAMA ABOUT 255 MI...415 KM SE OF THE MOUTH OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...70 MPH...110 KM/H PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 305 DEGREES AT 12 MPH...19 KM/H MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...981 MB...28.97 INCHES WATCHES AND WARNINGS -------------------- CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY... THE HURRICANE WARNING FROM THE FLORIDA-ALABAMA BORDER TO DESTIN HAS BEEN CHANGED TO A TROPICAL STORM WARNING. SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT... A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR... * EAST OF MORGAN CITY LOUISIANA TO THE ALABAMA-FLORIDA BORDER... INCLUDING METROPOLITAN NEW ORLEANS...LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN...AND LAKE MAUREPAS A HURRICANE WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR... * INTRACOASTAL CITY TO MORGAN CITY LOUISIANA A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR... * FROM THE ALABAMA-FLORIDA BORDER TO THE AUCILLA RIVER * INTRACOASTAL CITY TO MORGAN CITY LOUISIANA A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR... * EAST OF SABINE PASS TO WEST OF INTRACOASTAL CITY LOUISIANA