Isaac lashing the Keys; an eyewall is building

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:48 PM GMT on August 26, 2012

Tropical Storm Isaac is steadily organizing as it lashes the Florida Keys with heavy rain and tropical storm-force winds. Sustained winds of 44 mph and 41 mph have been observed at Molasses Reef and Sombrero Key, respectively, this morning. Radar out of Key West shows an increase in spiral banding, and the beginnings of an eyewall. An Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft completed its first pass through the center of Isaac near 11:30 am EDT, and did not find the pressure had fallen, or that the peak winds had increased. Infrared and visible satellite loops show that Isaac is a large and increasingly well-organized storm. An analysis of upper level winds from the University of Wisconsin CIMSS shows that upper-level outflow is quite good and increasing to the north, but is lacking elsewhere. Moderate wind shear and dry air to the south are interfering with heavy thunderstorm development on Isaac's south side. Heavy rains from Isaac are lingering over Haiti and the Dominican Republic; flash floods in Haiti from Isaac's torrential rains killed at least four people.

Figure 1. Morning reflectivity image from the Radar out of Key West radar shows the northwest section of an eyewall beginning to form to the southeast of the city.

Latest model runs for Isaac
The latest set of 0Z and 06Z (8 pm and 2 am EDT) model runs have diverged significantly, and we can no longer be confident we know where Isaac will make landfall on the Gulf Coast. One camp of models, the UKMET and ECMWF, predict that a trough of low pressure moving across the Southeast U.S. will be strong enough to turn Isaac north to a landfall in the Florida Panhandle. The other set of models, the GFDL, GFS, and HWRF, predict the trough will bypass Isaac, and a ridge of high pressure will build in and force Isaac to a landfall over Louisiana. The official NHC forecast averages out these two extremes, calling for a landfall midway between the two solutions. Odds are, one of the two model solutions will turn out to be the correct one, and the NHC will be forced to make a substantial adjustment in their forecast track to the east or the west. Isaac has the potential to drop torrential rains capable of causing serious flooding and drought relief over the South. The latest 8-day precipitation forecast from the GFS model calls for 10 - 20 inches of rain over Southeast Louisiana, where it predicts Isaac will make landfall. The ECMWF model, however, these heavy rains will fall more over the Florida Panhandle, Alabama, and Georgia.

Figure 2. A hurricane forecaster's dilemma: which set of models is correct? The latest set of 0Z and 06Z (8 pm and 2 am EDT) model runs have diverged significantly. Our two top models--the GFS and ECMWF--have 72-hour forecasts that are about 350 miles apart. The ECMWF forecast is not shown here, but lies just to the west of the UKMET forecast (white line.)

Intensity forecast for Isaac
Isaac survived passage over Hispaniola and Cuba relatively intact. It's large size aided this. Isaac is over very warm waters of 31°C (88°F) with high total heat content in the Florida Straits, but is encountering moderate wind shear of 10 - 15 knots due to upper-level winds out of the southwest. This shear is predicted to relax to the light range tonight as an upper-level anticyclone becomes established over the storm. This should allow for more substantial intensification after Isaac passes the Florida Keys. However, the total heat content of the ocean decreases for Isaac Monday morning as it encounters a relatively cool ocean eddy in the Southeast Gulf of Mexico. If Isaac takes a more westerly track, passing due south of the Central Louisiana coast, the storm will encounter a modest warm eddy, which would aid intensification. The intensify forecasts from the various models are very divergent. The latest 06Z (2 am EDT) run of the GFDL model keeps Isaac as a strong tropical storm until landfall in Louisiana. Isaac will undergo rapid intensification into a Category 3 hurricane as it hits New Orleans, says the latest 06Z (2 am EDT) run of the HWRF model. The ECMWF model has Isaac as a strong Category 2 storm with a central pressure near 950 mb as it hits near the Alabama/Florida border.

Comparing Isaac with Ike of 2008
The current situation with Isaac is similar in some ways to that of Hurricane Ike of 2008. Ike spent considerable time over Cuba, weakening from a Category 4 to a Category 1 storm. The storm couldn't put its energy into building a strong inner core, but it was able to build up its outer rainbands that were over very warm waters. This resulted in a major expansion of its wind field, with tropical storm-force winds extending out 275 miles from the center at one point. Ike was able to intensify into a Category 2 storm on its path towards Texas, and had an unusually low pressure for a Cat 2 storm with 100 mph winds--944 mb. That's a central pressure more typical of a Category 3 storm, but Ike could only manage Category 2 winds, since it had such a large chunk of the atmosphere to keep spinning. With Isaac's TS winds already extending out to 205 miles, maybe we'll see another Ike-type situation as it intensifies--the storm will have an unusually low pressure in order to keep a huge wind field spinning, but never make it above Category 2, since it will take so long to spin up such a large wind field.

Storm surge forecast for Isaac
Isaac is a very large storm, with tropical storm-force winds that extend out 205 miles from the center. For comparison, Hurricane Katrina at landfall had tropical storm-force winds that extended out 230 miles from its center. Isaac's large size will enable it to set a large area of the ocean into motion, which will generate a large storm surge once the storm approaches land on the Gulf Coast. The latest 3:30 am EDT Integrated Kinetic Energy analysis from NOAA's Hurricane Research Division put the destructive potential of Isaac's winds near 0 on a scale of 1 to 6, but the destructive potential of Isaacs's storm surge was 2.1 on a scale of 1 to 6. A 2008 paper by Irish et al., The influence of storm size on hurricane surge, found that large storms like Isaac are capable to delivering a 30% larger storm surge to the coast than a smaller storm with the same maximum wind speeds. The angle with which the storm hit the coast is important, too--a storm moving due north or slightly east of north will deliver a storm surge about 10% greater than a storm moving NNW or NW. Consult our Storm Surge pages for detailed information on what the risk is for the coast. I expect that Isaac's storm surge will be about 30% higher than the typical surge one would expect based on the maximum wind speeds.

Invest 97L off the coast of Africa
A tropical wave (Invest 97L) is located about 650 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa. The storm has a modest amount of spin and heavy thunderstorms, and is under moderate wind shear. In their 8 am EDT Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave 97L a 50% chance of developing by Tuesday morning. None of the reliable models foresee that 97L will be a threat to the Lesser Antilles Islands. However, both the GFS and ECMWF models predict that a tropical wave that has not yet emerged from the coast of Africa may develop late this week, and potentially take a more westward track towards the Lesser Antilles, arriving around September 2.

Angela Fritz will have a new post here by 6 pm EDT. For the next few days, I plan to do the morning blog post, and Angela will be doing the late afternoon post. I'm in Atlanta to help out The Weather Channel with their on-air hurricane coverage, and will be on either in the afternoon or evening on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.

Jeff Masters

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As the model split says, this comes down to;

A. The strength of the trough and
B. Isaac's strength, which plays into A.

Hard to say which camp will be right.
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90 hrs, just offshore of Lake Charles. Unbelievable.
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From our blog (originally written to help w/ Irene):

Full disclosure. major dad and I are veterans of major Hurricanes Bertha, Fran, Ivan and Dennis (along with others less significant in damage for us, but worth preparing for). Thanks to Irene visiting brother Bingley last year, I thought I would offer up what's worked for us in terms of preparation, both food-wise, house-wise PLUS some of the things folks don't know about, that make life bearable if those winds of almost-September come early. I hope you'll find something that you didn't know before. First up is the heavy lifting.

For Bertha and Fran in NC (Cat 2 and 3, 56 days apart in ’96), we only lived 10 miles inland, were on the eastern side of the storm both times (translation: got beat all to hell), never boarded up and did just fine. The most important thing we did, and have always done, is CLEAR THE AREA OF POTENTIAL FLYING OBJECTS. Anything and everything in our yard AND the neighborhood that could be turned into a missile (including that 100lb garden pot you don’t think can fly…it can), goes into the garage. Bertha came in during the daytime and, along around noon, we got to watch the neighbor’s metal shed explode and fly through our backyard at about 110 mph. That was the only thing we couldn’t control that day that went walkabout, and it would have killed someone if the wind hadn’t been parallel to the house.

How-To's for PLYWOOD BOARDING of your windows WITH PICTURES at my WunderBlog

Alright, shopping time.

IMHO and hard won experience, these are stores every single household should have (and you may already have much of it). Use your brain, based on the number and age of folks in your household.
Remember you are going to be HOT, cranky and exerting yourself in the aftermath if, GOD FORBID, the thing smacks you good.
Think of preparing for this as a picnic on crack. Take a good hard look at what you already have on your shelves first, add or subtract according to what you have onhand vs your particular needs/family’s tastes and then…

A Few Days PRIOR (three days out may be TOO LATE to find everything):

3 gallons BOTTLED water per person (for 3 days) minimum
enough prescription medication to get you through 10 DAYS if you take any
canned tuna/chicken/SPAM/shelf stable meats
those damned nasty vienna snausages
canned chili
beenie weenies
canned soups like “chunky” that don’t need water added
bread (Get the one with the FURTHEST OUT SHELF DATE)
canned vegetables, like green beans or baby peas
kraft macaroni and cheese in a box
dry cereal
instant oatmeal
squeezy cheese
large jar(s) peanut butter
large jar(s) jelly
various boxes of crackers
instant coffee or tea
coffemate, dry milk or shelf stable milk
sugar, salt, pepper
juice boxes
instant potatoes (like a BIG box of “Potato Buds”)
whatever fresh fruit your family enjoys
butter or (gulp) margarine
dogfood/catfood if you have furry family members besides, well…
snacks and chips
canned or plastic jarred fruits, like cocktail or peaches
pudding cups
dish detergent
antiseptic hand soap
paper towels
paper napkins
plastic utensils (forks, knives,spoons)
paper plates
plastic trash bags
ZIPLOCK baggies, QT and GAL
DUCK tape
boxes of wooden matches
large candles (and not really stinky ones) WITH a GAS LEAK, CANDLES CAN BE BAD. **SITUATIONAL AWARENESS** KNOW what’s going on.
bug spray, both yard and personal
A BATTERY OPERATED RADIO (that voice in the dark from the local TV station will be your BEST FRIEND, trust me.)
LARGE BATTERY OPERATED LIGHTS that will sit independently (hard to go to a dark bathroom holding a flashlight)
small flashlights
LED poplights are great
FILL YOUR PROPANE CANNISTER NOW (if you are on a direct gas hook-up, get a charcoal grill)
3 bags of charcoal
lighter fluid for the charcoal
CAR CHARGER for cell phones (ours were worthless during Ivan but I’ve heard they’ve come a long way, tower-wise…)
COOLERS for the ice (and the stuff that’ll come out of that fridge)
FIRST AID KIT which I bolster with additional Ace bandages, BandAids of every size and description, sterile wraps, tapes, Neosporin, hydrocortizone, anti-histimine pills, aspirin etc.
Little Coleman tanks if you have camping stoves or lights (as always, to be used OUTSIDE AFTERWARDS…DUH)
Old fashioned board games, playing cards, Mille Bornes, Yahtzee, books (especially with wired little ones)

Hold off on ice until the latest you possibly can, which is why it’s NOT on the “go after work TONIGHT” list. TOP YOUR GAS TANKS off while you can. You all will have to fight a ton more people at the pump than we ever did down here.

*DIRECT plug-in phone like a Princess type, if you have a PHONE COMPANY landline. Your multiple remote handset phone will not work when the power goes out, and your old fashioned one may very well get a call out on the substation batteries. See below.

************************************************* ************************************************** *******

When you’re ready to close the house up, LOCK YOUR GARAGE DOORS DOWN. If you don’t park in your garage, PULL YOUR CARS SNUG UP TO THE DOORS. They provide the most excellent wind baffle you can imagine and, considering the further up the East Coast you go, the less the doors are reinforced like ours here in the Panhandle, you will NEED every little bit of wind mitigation you can muster. You car insurance will take car of whatever Irene does to the vehicle.

This is doubly important because, contrary to the old wives tale about “equalizing pressure’, if those winds get into your garage, not only do they start tearing the garage to bits, they start LIFTING YOUR ROOF OFF. And then your whole house is a goner. The only house in our neighborhood to have the roof blown to bits during the 140mph+ gusts of Ivan was the ONE home where the owner had the garage door “cracked” opened to “relieve the pressure”.
************************************************** ************************************************** *****
*What to Do Inside*

Get Your Important “Stuff” Together

Your papers, diplomas, etc. All those things that make your life identifiable? Those things your would rush out of a burning building with? If they’re not already in one place together, get them together NOW. And add one more thing ~ a copy of a utility bill, like electric or phone. If, God forbid, you have to evacuate and they work it like they do down here, that address on your drivers license WILL NOT BE SUFFICIENT PROOF OF YOUR RESIDENCY. You HAVE to have a utility bill with THAT address and YOUR name in your possession to return to your home. Period. (Great evacuation tips here in the comments.)
Have a “plan”. WHO are you going to call when it’s over, WHO knows where all your stuff is if, God forbid, something happens. If you get separated, have a meet-up. In our family, it’s Bingster and me tag-teaming. He has all our info for both sides of the family (including Kcruella). When the batteries on the landline substations were still working the morning after Ivan, I got a call out to him, and that’s how everyone else knew we were okay. AT&T screwed the pooch cell-phone-wise here, so we have KEPT our landline, in spite of everything. Trauma dies hard.

What to Do With Important “Stuff”

You all will laugh, but I double plastic bag it, duct tape it…and put it in the dishwasher, then latch the thing shut and tape over the entire front control panel. It’s waterproof and even if one of those spin-up tornados takes a chunk of the roof, the documents of my life are going nowhere, because they’re bolted under the counter and DRY. Other middlin’ precious things I double bag up as well and stash in a rack-free self-cleaning oven and the dryer (duct-taping the door of that shut).

Potable Water

Make sure every single water toting vessel is clean and filled with filtered (if you can) water, from the sun-tea jar to the ancient Igloo softball cooler to tea kettle, and all the pitchers in between. This augments the bottled water on your list and is the FIRST water you use. (Make sure it’s COVERED to keep out bugs/dust.) As well, EVERY POT is filled to the brim with tap water for use as either coffee/tea/mac ‘n cheese makings or wash/rinse water, as well as pet drinking water. All that’s staged on the kitchen counters.

Get ALL Your Laundry Done

You can run out of underwear FAST and blow through some serious t-shirts clearing flotsom. Plus, the second the last load is out of the washer, fill it up on it’s largest setting with cold water and STOP it. Voilà. Another source of water for rinse/washing. (The washing machine also makes an EXCELLENT ice cooler if you are space challenged, trust me. Fill it with THAT instead.)


Scrub EVERY tub SPARKLING With a bleach based cleaner. We use a piece of saran wrap over the stopper, then plug it to make absolutely sure there’s NO leakage, then FILL THAT SUCKER UP. This becomes both relatively clean water to dip out for a sink sponge bath AND the ALL IMPORTANT FLUSH THE TOILET water. (And is ONLY used for…well, not tinkling.) Speaking of which, it doesn’t hurt to have a “Tidy Bowl” beforehand, if there’s a chance the power might be out for DAYS, if you get my drift…
Now, you may get lucky and have a trickle of water like we did after Fran, but the water company may beg you not to use it, because they’re trying to find leaks, or it’s not potable or whatever. (Another reason to HAVE A REAL RADIO: PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE)

GIVE YOUR PETS AMPLE OPPORTUNITIES TO “DO THEIR BUSINESS”. Once the front door shuts on the howling outside, it’s shut for GOOD. If it comes in during the day, we make meals a tad lighter and earlier than usual. The Scotties and Labradors have always seemed to know something big was on the way and their systems have responded accordingly, but, let’s face it: when you gotta go, you gotta go. So don’t force the poor things into that position in the first place. Plenty of available water, but schmaybe that big dinner/breakfast isn’t necessary, okay?

LOCAL RADIO STATIONS (as well as simulcasts from local TV channels or your local university Public Radio) WILL BE YOUR BEST SOURCE OF WEATHER INFO for your area, not to mention what’s happening as the storm whirls overhead. John Ed Thompson out of Fox10, Mobile, AL is a GOD in our household for what he did during Ivan. At 3 in the morning, when ~ to quote the Squid Terrorist on the walkie talkie from next door ~ it “Sounds like the Devil’s trying to beat my front door down! I’m fixin’ to nail 2×4′s over it and, if that doesn’t work, I’m breaking apart the china cabinet to use IT!”

Creature Comforts

While you’re busy as a bee, I always, ALWAYS recommend setting the thermostat on your A/C (while you have it) as LOW AS YOU CAN POSSIBLY STAND IT.

As in MEATLOCKER. Wearing SWEATS IN AUGUST cold. “But, ths, why?” you ask.

Because the second that power goes out and ALL those anxious people are still in your house in August breathing?

That temp is going to climb and F.A.S.T. And it will suck so bad.

And you will still have HOURS of storm to go, and schmaybe days without power. You’ll thank me.

The Refrigerator

We were sort of old school with this. As I told Bingley in the comments, this is what we’ve always done, and ONLY works with a mostly FULL FREEZER. Once we’ve gotten ice ~ usually three to four of the big coolers worth, then three stacked on each other, on a beach towel, covered with garbage bags, then blankets for insulation ~ we already have inventoried the fridge itself. When the power starts going dodgey, we’ll transfer all the perishables out of the fridge to the lone ice chest (milk, BACON, eggs, half & half, etc.) and shut the door FOR GOOD. That’s IT. No peeking, no forgetting, no going in for something ~ you want the fridge to cool completely back down. When the power finally gives up the ghost, we throw unopened, big plastic garbage bags over the whole fridge, then cover that with packing blankets or whatever you have. Wrap some duct tape around it and keep your paws off. Believe or not, that will keep all but the flimsiest frozen goods rock solid for at least three days. If you don’t have power by then, you can start defrosting stuff and eating it. *NEVER eat anything that’s partially thawed. Throw it out. (*CHECK FOR THIS THE SECOND THE POWER COMES BACK ON as well, or it’ll refreeze and you could easily get sick from it later, and be clueless why. Don’t take the chance.)

With your ice chests, just break them out as you need them, always keeping the extras covered. We had ice for a week and a half after Ivan doing it this way, and thank goodness. (The stack worked out great against the door when the winds were threatening to blow it in. Dual purpose! And good times…)

There is NOTHING like the comfort of knowing you did everything you could possibly do to prepare. It’s out of your hands from that point forward.

Have a cocktail.

It’s amazing how many knuckleheads who evacuated and watched the whole damn thing on TV came home empty handed, small children in tow no less! We were living like refugees and had to give THEM supplies.


Trees will still be falling. On your gourd.


No electricity TO RUN GAS STATION PUMPS. No electricity TO RUN STOP LIGHTS. LIVE ELECTRICAL WIRES LAYING EVERYWHERE Flat tires upon multiple flat tires.


Whip you up some coffee, scrambled eggs and lovely applewood smoked bacon sammiches on the Weber gas grill, like we’ve done the morning after EVERY hurricane.

It’s a good thing.
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73. jpsb
Someone asked about the time needed to evac Houston. Most of Houston does not need to evac. However almost all of Galveston county and S.E. Harris county does and that takes about 36-48 hours, if handled properly. Galveston Island first then next closest to the gulf.
Certainly hope there will be no need to evacuate this area (Galveston bay area). So far we are not even in the cone. But the westward shifts are very troublesome.
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Quoting Kris50:

TX and LA are doomed, they need to evacuate everyone.

Post Of The Year. Now go back under your bridge.
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If this storm does go farther west, it will have more time to strengthen, no?
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radar shows it looks like Isaac is moving NW
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96 hrs
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68. ITCZ
Thank you, Dr. Masters, for such a clear and factual post. Geez, now I gotta watch the Weather Channel this afternoon because I can't call myself a Dr. Masters groupie and not wave at him while he's on TV. :-)
Member Since: September 5, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 47
If Patrap hears the latest of Issac and NO, he is not going to be happy.
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Cat 3 in New Orleans? This is really bad news.
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Isaac pose a serious threat to Louisiana, exactly 7 years after Katrina and 4 years after Gustav.
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isaac is pulling dry air from cuba which is impeding its southern side of getting stronger. once he moves away, he should become a hurricane. if he does take the left track, he could reach a warm eddy which could result in a cat3/4 hurricane
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Thanks for the update Doc...will be watching this one closely
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Thanks Jeff.
Isaac is looking decent, but dry air from the south is still hurting him.
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New GFS oh joy

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And yet again Dr. Masters doesn't mention anything about the WPAC. Nothing on Typhoon Tembin massive hit on Taiwan and now Nothing on Typhoon Bolaven hit on Okinawa. Dr Masters, There is other places in the world that has Tropical Cyclones. Isaac is nothing compared to this beast.

Typhoon Bolaven. Check out the Pinhole Eye!!!

Goodnight all.
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What a tough storm to predict this continues to be, and it has been since its td status

Just shows us all how little we really know, despite all the technological assistance now available

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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
Based on Key West radar I'd say the core of the circulation is completely over water.

But the closer you are to the coast, the less deep the water is.
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Quoting WxGeekVA:
Thanks Dr. M. Not looking too good right now for New Orleans....

Convection firing on the south side of the circulation center now...

With these type of discussoins from those who know more than we do it seems like there are a whole bunch of people who will have to be ready just in case. Wouldn't want that pressure on my back knowing your giving millions of people advice on where to prepare for the worst
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Quoting WPBHurricane05:
I think STORMTOP hacked the computer models.

Where is Patrap? Haven't seen him on in a while.

He evacuated in the middle of last week. On vacation. Obviously, he didn't bring computer with him, because he wouldn't be on a vacation if he had it with him.
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90 hrs
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Wow that scenario depicted on the 12Z could be very bad for South Louisiana...if it parallels just off the coast rainfall rates could be there is always a chance for strengthening along the coast...I don't even know if it has made a definite landfall yet through 84 hours
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Well he's looking better on satellite but recon seems to indicate he's holding steady or weakening slightly if anything.

He's not weakening. Don't even go there, lol.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 34713
Wow. 37 posts in less than 8 minutes... lol

Thanks, Doc...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 20 Comments: 24777
ansmitted: 26th day of the month at 15:44Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 309)
Storm Number & Year: 09L in 2012
Storm Name: Isaac (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 21
Observation Number: 06
A. Time of Center Fix: 26th day of the month at 15:27:10Z
B. Center Fix Coordinates: 23°38'N 80°57'W (23.6333N 80.95W)
B. Center Fix Location: 83 miles (133 km) to the SE (141°) from Key West, FL, USA.
C. Minimum Height at Standard Level: 1,393m (4,570ft) at 850mb
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 56kts (~ 64.4mph)
E. Location of the Estimated Maximum Surface Wind: 56 nautical miles (64 statute miles) to the N (351°) of center fix
F. Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: From 58° at 48kts (From the ENE at ~ 55.2mph)
G. Location of Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: 61 nautical miles (70 statute miles) to the NNW (341°) of center fix
H. Minimum Sea Level Pressure: 996mb (29.41 inHg)
I. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Outside Eye: 19°C (66°F) at a pressure alt. of 1,401m (4,596ft)
J. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Inside Eye: 20°C (68°F) at a pressure alt. of 1,524m (5,000ft)
K. Dewpoint Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): 16°C (61°F)
K. Sea Surface Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): Not Available
L. Eye Character: Not Available
M. Eye Shape: Not Available
N. Fix Determined By: Penetration, Radar, Wind, Pressure and Temperature
N. Fix Level: 850mb
O. Navigation Fix Accuracy: 0.02 nautical miles
O. Meteorological Accuracy: 5 nautical miles
Remarks Section:
Maximum Flight Level Wind: 48kts (~ 55.2mph) in the north quadrant at 15:04:00Z
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Well he's looking better on satellite but recon seems to indicate he's holding steady or weakening slightly if anything.

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Quoting Carnoustie:
what do UKMET and ECMWF see that others dont.
Isaac getting stronger faster and being influenced directly by the trough retreating slowly to the NE
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So...models to the East of me, models to the west, but the NHC finds me...NO models reflecting the official track right now...I'LL TAKE THAT!!
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Quoting WxGeekVA:
Thanks Dr. M. Not looking too good right now for New Orleans....

Convection firing on the south side of the circulation center now...
oh. That darkest red blob should be here soon
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Quoting ILwthrfan:

You think Cuba is still hampering the system. Or is it the dry air at the 500mb level in the gulf that the storm has untrained. It does seem to have the appearance that dry air is limiting the thunderstorms a bit? Maybe when it gets a bit more distance away from both Florida and Cuba inflow of moisture will be richer. Storm might be able to intensify better. Still looks if he still trying to finish building his CDO. After that happens, then we could possible see RI?
Cuba is definitely hampering the cyclone. Southern inflow channels are struggling as a result of it.

What is interesting is that the mid-level environment is very favorable for intensification as per the SHIPS model; as soon as the cyclone begins to distance itself from the Florida straits, it should begin to intensify at a more rapid pace.

Winds gusting to tropical storm-force again at my location, moderate rain.
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78 hrs
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Welcome to Atlanta Dr Masters..
If you are at TWC i am not more than 45mins from you.

Thx for the blog
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Traffic cams for all the Keys
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Angela Fritz will have a new post here by 6 pm EDT. For the next few days, I plan to do the morning blog post, and Angela will be doing the late afternoon post. I'm in Atlanta to help out The Weather Channel with their on-air hurricane coverage, and will be on either in the afternoon or evening on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.

I watch TWC via my computer...looking forward to see you doc...
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Quoting Gorty:
He's still too close to Cuba and FL. to intensify much right now imo.

I could be wrong though.
Based on Key West radar I'd say the core of the circulation is completely over water.
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what do UKMET and ECMWF see that others dont.
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Dr. Masters no opinion on what you think storm will do?Intensity,track?You are the expert would like your opinion.
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Quoting Kris50:

TX and LA are doomed, they need to evacuate everyone.
Stop it
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Quoting WPBHurricane05:
I think STORMTOP hacked the computer models.

Where is Patrap? Haven't seen him on in a while.

Patrap is on vacation...
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Latest GFS, storm slows down approaching the coast

48 hours

72 hours

Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 12074
30. MZT
Quoting CalmBeforeStorm2009:
wow, this blog is moving at warp speed..
Remember to copy any text to your clipboard before posting... The blog will 'eat comments' when it gets this crowded
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Hard stall, but steering is still slightly left...

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Quoting Kris50:

TX and LA are doomed, they need to evacuate everyone.

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Thank you Dr. Masters
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Thanks DR Masters, especially appreciated IKE parallels really puts into good context.

Latest data:

GFS run:

Not much change there:

Recon center:

Time: 15:27:00Z
Coordinates: 23.6333N 80.95W
Acft. Static Air Press: 842.6 mb (~ 24.88 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 1,466 meters (~ 4,810 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 996.3 mb (~ 29.42 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 357° at 2 knots (From the N at ~ 2.3 mph)
Air Temp: 19.0°C (~ 66.2°F)
Dew Pt: 16.4°C (~ 61.5°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 4 knots (~ 4.6 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 24 knots (~ 27.6 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 1 mm/hr (~ 0.04 in/hr)
(*) Denotes suspect data
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Dr. Jeff Masters' WunderBlog


Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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