Hurricane Isaac continues to organize as it nears landfall

By: Angela Fritz , 9:31 PM GMT on August 28, 2012

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Isaac gained hurricane status this afternoon after hurricane hunters found winds of 76 mph and a minimum central pressure of 975 mb, and continues to become more organized. In their 5pm EDT update, the National Hurricane Center said Isaac has maximum sustained winds of 80 mph, and is moving northwest at 8 mph--a slow down from yesterday at this time. Satellite loops show that Isaac has gained thunderstorm activity on the southeast side, but is battling dry air to the north. Isaac still appears to be forming an eye wall, though is struggling to do so. Winds have been increasing as Isaac approaches, up to 60 mph has been recorded by buoys close to the shore. Winds off Lake Pontchartrain have varied around 35 mph from the northwest this afternoon. So far New Orleans (KMSY) is seeing wind gusts up to 40 mph, with light rain.


Figure 1. Isaac imagery from the high resolution Terra satellite at 12:30pm EDT, just before becoming a hurricane.

Some rain and thunderstorm activity has reached the northern Gulf Coast this afternoon, with Isaac just over 100 miles southeast of New Orleans. Radar shows thunderstorms from Pensacola to New Orleans. Storm surge has begun to impact the coast, as well, particularly in Mississippi and Louisiana, where reports are that water is "up to cars" in some areas. Many streets are closed in Ocean Springs and Pascagoula, Florida due to surge flooding.

Water levels so far (above mean):

• Shell Beach, LA: 8 feet
• New Canal Station (New Orleans): 2.7 feet
• Bay St. Louis, MS: 5.6 feet
• Pascagoula, MS: 4.4 feet
• Dauphin Island, AL: 3.7 feet

Hurricane Isaac will likely make landfall tonight as a category 1 around midnight CDT, but will still have enough energy and warm water available to maintain hurricane strength for a few hours inland. Isaac will likely continue to strengthen a bit before landfall, but given the large wind field, rapid intensification is unlikely. The storm surge threat could then continue along the Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama coasts through mid-afternoon on Wednesday, as winds will continue to blow from the east, and then from south, as the storm moves northwest past New Orleans. Should the peak surge coincide with peak tide, the highest storm surge, anywhere from 6 to 12 feet, is expected in Louisiana and Mississippi. Alabama could see a storm surge around 4 to 8 feet.


Figure 2. Rainfall forecast from the HPC through Sunday morning. The lime green bullseye over Gulfport, MS is a value of 15+ inches.

The Hydrometeorological Prediction Center is forecasting around 15 inches of rain to fall around Gulfport, Mississippi, and up to 12 inches of rain to fall near New Orleans, Louisiana by Sunday morning. As Isaac tracks north after landfall, it will bring some much-needed rain to the drought-stricken Mississippi Valley region, particularly west of the Mississippi River. While anywhere from 3-5 inches of rain is expected from Arkansas to Indiana by Sunday, and the Arkansas, Missouri, and Illinois drought will benefit, this is not a drought buster. The driest parts of the country are in the Central Plains states, and this rain will be too little to have a meaningful impact.

Monitor Hurricane Isaac online:
Track, forecast, and current observations
Radar and weather stations
Satellite
Webcams


Angela

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1764. lopaka001
3:39 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Duh..
There is a new blog entry that why it's dead here.
I need to stop drinking!
Member Since: February 19, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 239
1763. MahFL
3:39 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
I am off to bed, work in the am.
Member Since: June 9, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 3805
1762. truecajun
3:35 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Quoting MahFL:


The Fire Chief said about 30 people stayed. He called them "Old Dogs". One assumes they being Old it's not the first cane they have rode through.


yeah. i always expect the old dogs to stay. i guess the word "droves" is what threw me a little
Member Since: August 24, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1867
1761. lopaka001
3:33 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Carrollton, LA

Data from station is reporting that the water level has risen 2.5 feet and still climbing.
You look at google map it doesn't look like it would take much to flood that area.
Google Map
Member Since: February 19, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 239
1760. MahFL
3:32 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Quoting truecajun:


Right, but the article made it sound like LOTS of people were calling in about water. I assumed that if they were under mandatory evac that there wouldn't still be LOTS of people there.


The Fire Chief said about 30 people stayed. He called them "Old Dogs". One assumes they being Old it's not the first cane they have rode through.
Member Since: June 9, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 3805
1759. truecajun
3:29 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Quoting MahFL:


You don't have to actually leave, it's just if you need rescued they may not be able to help you as the conditions might be too dangerous for the rescuers. You stand a much higher chance of death in that situation.


Right, but the article made it sound like LOTS of people were calling in about water. I assumed that if they were under mandatory evac that there wouldn't still be LOTS of people there.
Member Since: August 24, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1867
1758. StormHype
3:29 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Live mobile eyewall intercept video near Lockport:
Link
Member Since: May 31, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1210
1757. truecajun
3:28 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
For anyone bored and who still has electricity. You have to put it on the History Channel. Top Gear is in the Atchafalaya, and it is HYSTERICAL!
Member Since: August 24, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1867
1756. MahFL
3:26 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
I noted a big slow down too.
Member Since: June 9, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 3805
1755. MahFL
3:25 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Quoting truecajun:


Wasn't Plaquemines Parish under mandatory evac?


You don't have to actually leave, it's just if you need rescued they may not be able to help you as the conditions might be too dangerous for the rescuers. You stand a much higher chance of death in that situation.
Member Since: June 9, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 3805
1754. Jwd41190
3:20 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
The blog is extremely slow tonight...everyone lost power?
Member Since: August 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 157
1753. truecajun
3:19 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Quoting shoreacres:
"As Hurricane Isaac lands on the tip of Plaquemines Parish, a curfew is in affect and the eye is inching up the parish, there is 4.5 feet on the Tide Water Road in Venice and the storm surge on the east side of Pointe-a-la-Hache is measured at about 11 feet. Residents are calling in droves to report water sloshing over parts of levees on the west and east banks and the wind is rattling off homes, trees and power lines, even up in Belle Chasse.

Trees,citrus plants and power lines are down. About 5,000 homes in Plaquemines are out of power, most of the southern end of the parish from south of Alliance on the west bank and Carlisle on the east bank, according to Entergy.

During a one hour drive with James Madere, an analyst with the parish GIS - Geographical Information Systems - department, down the west bank, the storm surge readings down in Pointe-a-la-Hache jumped every 20 minutes: 7.9 feet, 8.4 feet, 8.9 feet, 9.4. It's continued jumping nearly 5 inches every 20 minutes, as the eye of the Isaac now comes up toward Empire." (Read more)


Wasn't Plaquemines Parish under mandatory evac?
Member Since: August 24, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1867
1752. Times2
3:16 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
New Orleans may never get hurricane force winds. The eye may never get close enough. TWC folks are getting tired they want action lol.
Member Since: September 11, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 153
1751. FunhouseFX
3:11 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Quoting MercForHire:
Still people strolling down the sidewalk on Bourbon Street webcam, light rain, lightish wind, occasional car


No reason why not. Certainly not that I have seen.

It's one thing to get all excited over a radar image and the theoretical potential devistation it might cause if this or that... but that's the internet / weather-geek world rather that the real one. I don't mean that disrespectfully, I am here along with the rest of you all, but regular non-geeks are not like us.

They look outside, see that it is drizzling with a five mph breeze, and they go on with their lives. Perhaps they paid attention to the hype and hysteria briefly, but they quickly decided that they were being played for fools yet again and they changed the channel.

The reality is this. All the theoretical disaster scenarios aside, this is barely a hurricane. And from what it is ACTUALLY doing to most of the places directly under its skirts, it's not even that. It's calm with occassional bands of soothing rain-- a gentle giant.

That could all change, and some people have certainly suffered damage, but so far the real devistation is to the reputations of the experts who hyped it as a Katrina rerun.
Member Since: April 11, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 18
1750. josephtuna
3:10 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Quoting Patrap:
Nola Roux has delivered Pup # 3 just this last minute!!!

A white one with a Black Butt!.. Woo Hoo!


mazo tov! (cajun for congratulations)
Member Since: August 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6
1749. RTSplayer
3:04 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Quoting leftlink:
HOLY CRAP! When Isaac did that little loop-de-loop the pressure in an area he already passed went way DOWN.

from 28.70 (with light 9.9kt wind)

to 28.64 (with wind at 44.1 kts)

This thing is bombing out big time and Category 2 is going to happen!


Let me repeat: the place where Isaac made landfall at 971.9mb at 6:48pm now has pressure at 969.86mb at 9:18pm and the storm is well west of that location. Someone can do the calcs... this is equivalent to a 5mb pressure drop with virtually no movement?

LINK


Hurry up and watch the wunderground radar loop and compare...

As soon as the eye closed back off, a large wedge of additional hurricane force winds filled that space INSTANTLY.

Base velocity
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
1748. floridaT
3:03 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Quoting sfranz:
After watching Isaac with y'all this week and running the radar loop a couple of times I have one question: if we have a thousand oil platforms out there, why aren't there a few more fitted with Doppler radars? Just saying'
or how about the southernmost
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1093
1747. Patrap
3:03 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
www.nola.com

More Isaac news:
8 p.m. NOAA/NHC advisory
Video: Hurricane Isaac and a drive down Bourbon Street
Gallery: Hurricane Isaac hits Grand Isle
Isaac facts: Wind, water and more
Latest Isaac photos
More on Isaac
What's the weather like in your neighborhood?
% Isaac hasn't shut down appetites or local restaurants
If Isaac knocks the power out, how will you stay entertained?
See, share your Hurricane Isaac photos
Read an e-edition of The Times-Picayune
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129435
1746. AussieStorm
3:02 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Quoting Patrap:
Nola Rux has delivers Pup # 3 just this last minute!!!

Boy or girl?
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15962
1745. floridaT
3:02 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Quoting justsouthofnola:
eye is gonna pass over my house with the new direction after the westward float
keep safe and keep us posted
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1093
1744. Patrap
3:02 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
I'm deeming this one.."Eye Sac" ''!


A Gurl again
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129435
1743. RTSplayer
3:01 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
What category is this hurricane?

I have a CELL moving 86kts...


K6 48 dBZ 17,000 ft. 6 kg/m² 0% chance 0% chance 0.00 in. 86 knots ESE (103)
2 C6 46 dBZ 17,000 ft. 8 kg/m² 0% chance 0% chance 0.00 in. 49 knots E (81)
2 B3 46 dBZ 8,000 ft. 5 kg/m² 0% chance 0% chance 0.00 in. 51 knots ESE (108)
2 E4 45 dBZ 16,000 ft. 7 kg/m² 0% chance 0% chance 0.00 in. 64 knots


I don't know what they are calling this thing, but based on the eye wall and the damned radar, this is at least a category 2 hurricane, and the latest advisory still has it officially as an 80mph hurricane...

Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
1742. Bradenton
3:00 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Quoting WunderAlertBot:
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 44
1741. Patrap
3:00 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Nola Roux has delivered Pup # 3 just this last minute!!!

A white one with a Black Butt!.. Woo Hoo!
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129435
1740. Patrap
2:59 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
1736. leftlink

Foul Language is a Direct violation of the Terms of Service and rules of the road.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129435
1739. sfranz
2:59 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
I would think a couple of dopplers would be a fine pr move from BP. We could even offer to take down a couple of those Harry in Vegas pics in return.

Seriously - doesn't the oil industry have a pretty huge stake in these forecasts?

Member Since: September 4, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 149
1738. nolacane2009
2:58 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Rain and wind still kicking here in Terrytown. Hopefully it slacks off soon.
Member Since: August 19, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 248
1737. Patrap
2:57 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Quoting airmet3:


I don't know why the question of landfall is pertinent. Did someone have money on this?


Landafall with the eye crossing a coast is the Dumbest thing as half the Storm is fully onshore and that wording needs to be let go.

It's terribly misleading for those being impacted.

My standard post on dat stuff.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129435
1736. leftlink
2:57 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
moved to new blog...
Member Since: December 28, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 134
1735. Gorty
2:57 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
What's the L storm? Think we can get her in Aug. or Sept?
Member Since: November 8, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 1058
1734. Patrap
2:55 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Quoting cccol:
Things are relatively quiet here at the moment. Small rain squall just moved through and winds are in the 15 - 25 mph range. We have been just east of the edge of the TS force wind radius since 4pm.

Patrap - Congrats! We have had two litters since Christmas!


Thanks and bac atcha.

She is doing fine with the 2 nursing and laboring a third now..they came 1hr and 20 apart the two..
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129435
1733. Patrap
2:54 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Uptown here its a dry slot as its stop raining suddenly and its cool.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129435
1732. cccol
2:54 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Things are relatively quiet here at the moment. Small rain squall just moved through and winds are in the 15 - 25 mph range. We have been just east of the edge of the TS force wind radius since 4pm.

Patrap - Congrats! We have had two litters since Christmas!
Member Since: December 23, 2001 Posts: 0 Comments: 1
1731. oddspeed
2:54 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
neat wind map
http://hint.fm/wind/
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 237
1730. airmet3
2:52 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Quoting RTSplayer:


I kind of agree. hitting a river delta that wouldn't even exist if not for man's interferance really doesn't count as a "land fall". It was probably under water as they eye passed over it anyway, so technically there was no "land" there when it passed.


I don't know why the question of landfall is pertinent. Did someone have money on this?
Member Since: August 4, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 170
1729. AussieStorm
2:51 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Quoting tennisgirl08:
I think it is so cool that Patrap's dog had pups during the storm with one of them named Isaac. So cute!

He should name the female Leslie since she may end up being a formidable storm this year, too.

Post pics Patrap!!

How many pups? if there has been 10, they should get the names of this year so far.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15962
1728. tennisgirl08
2:50 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
I think it is so cool that Patrap's dog had pups during the storm with one of them named Isaac. So cute!

He should name the female Leslie since she may end up being a formidable storm this year, too.

Post pics Patrap!!
Member Since: July 17, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1242
1727. MercForHire
2:50 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Still people strolling down the sidewalk on Bourbon Street webcam, light rain, lightish wind, occasional car
Member Since: August 28, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 139
1726. airmet3
2:50 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Quoting RTSplayer:


I've asked the same question. There appears to be little logic to the way things are done regarding this issue.

There are rigs that have radars on board. The radars are smaller than the ones the NWS uses due to limited space on the rigs. The smaller radars can show reflectivity and velocity to a degree. The question is who operates the radar and interprets the data
Member Since: August 4, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 170
1725. AussieStorm
2:49 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Breaking News Storm ‏@breakingstorm
Report: 218,995 power outages statewide in Louisiana - @GOHSEP
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15962
1724. wxpaladin
2:49 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
The avg NOAA Doplar Radar is about the size of a house and uses a large amount of power. Not withstanding the rig to support the radar, where would then powersource to run the radar come from? I highly doubt Exxon or Shell or BP will just want hand over their rig generators to run the radar's power requirements. :)
Member Since: June 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 19
1723. RTSplayer
2:49 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Quoting leftlink:


HERE'S MY TAKE ON THIS:



I kind of agree. hitting a river delta that wouldn't even exist if not for man's interferance really doesn't count as a "land fall". It was probably under water as they eye passed over it anyway, so technically there was no "land" there when it passed.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
1722. leftlink
2:47 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
moved to new blog
Member Since: December 28, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 134
1721. RTSplayer
2:45 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Quoting sfranz:
After watching Isaac with y'all this week and running the radar loop a couple of times I have one question: if we have a thousand oil platforms out there, why aren't there a few more fitted with Doppler radars? Just saying'


I've asked the same question. There appears to be little logic to the way things are done regarding this issue.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
1720. CosmicEvents
2:45 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Quoting ProgressivePulse:


Yes, first landfall is valid. It will be a second landfall when Isaac crosses the coast again. However, there could be grounds to change it in the post season. As I mentioned earlier, and I am no pro, it looked like the "land falling center" was actually rotating around a larger center. Embedded Vort maybe? Again, no pro here, just an observation.
JB's gonna' get his quadracane of doom after all...unless it turns into a quintacane.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5677
1719. AllStar17
2:45 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Power flashes can be seen on The Weather Channel when they show the wide camera view of New Orleans.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5315
1718. RTSplayer
2:43 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Quoting leftlink:


I hear you... however I had a chance to finally look at the water vapor loop over 2 hours. The overall disk of high water vapor does take a big southward dip in the GEOS imagery. It in no way resembles a wobble, it is a continuous southward motion over several hours.

Some images:

10:21pm eastern time (10 min. ago):


9:21pm eastern time:


My earlier post about relocation was off base. It looks instead like the center water vapor "disk" keeps redeveloping over and over again (10am this morning was the last time, causing hurricane status) and this time it has redeveloped to the south.

When that "mini-eye" disappeared a couple of hours ago it did so over the southern edge of circulation and then it probably was responsible for the increase in convection over the water, growing that "water vapor disk" to the south of the center and eventually had the effect of shifting the location of the storm.



The radar presentation is becoming alarming.

At this rate the eye will be fully closed and developed again just a few more frames worth of time.

This has a HIGH END category 2 pressure, if it gets a solid eye developed and just sits there, those winds might come up to match it...
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
1717. sfranz
2:43 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
After watching Isaac with y'all this week and running the radar loop a couple of times I have one question: if we have a thousand oil platforms out there, why aren't there a few more fitted with Doppler radars? Just saying'
Member Since: September 4, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 149
1716. CaribBoy
2:42 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
EATL Wave is TRUCKING WEST :)
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6453
1715. HondosGirl
2:42 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Quoting Patrap:
Miss Nola Roux has delivered one Boy, Isaac, and now a gurl..!
Congratulations on the little Furricanes!
Member Since: August 20, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 111
1714. BrazoriaMan
2:40 AM GMT on August 29, 2012
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Isaac sure is unique.



I guess Blake Shelton will have to stop loving his woman lol. Anyone who know the song knows what I mean!
Member Since: July 3, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 32

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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