Isaac slamming Gulf Coast with damaging floods, tornadoes

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:44 PM GMT on August 30, 2012

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Slow-moving Tropical Storm Isaac continues to hammer coastal Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida's Panhandle with tornadoes, torrential rains, high winds, and a damaging storm surge. Over the past 24 hours, destructive tornadoes have touched down in Biloxi and Pascagoula, Mississippi, and one person was killed by a tree falling on a car in Pearl River County, Mississippi. A major flood event is occurring in Slidell, Louisiana, where Isaac's storm surge filled Bayou Bonfouca and the W-14 Canal, inundating portions of the city with 1 - 5 feet of water. While Isaac is now a weakening minimal-strength tropical storm, it is still a potent rainmaker, and will cause damaging floods all along its path for the next three days. Major river flooding is occurring or is about to occur on a number of rivers in the landfall area. In north central Tangipahoa Parish in southeast Louisiana and southwestern Pike County in southern Mississippi, a mandatory evacuation has been ordered for all low-lying areas and along the Tangipahoa River, due to the potential failure of the Lake Tangipahoa dam. Audubon Park in New Orleans, recorded 11.19" of rain as of 7 pm Wednesday night. An earlier amount of 19" was found to be erroneous, and this is not a 24-hour precipitation record for the city. According to wunderground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, New Orleans' greatest 24-hour rainfall on record is 14.01" on July 24 - 25, 1933. The Louisiana official state 24-hour record is 22.00" on Aug. 29, 1962 at Hakberry, although U.S. Army Corps of Engineers `Storm Studies' mentions a 23.80" falling in a 24-hour period at Millers Island during a TS on Aug 7-8, 1940. Storm total was 37.50" over a 60-hour period there during that event.

A few other rainfall totals from Isaac, through 11 am EDT on Thursday:

15.02" Marion, MS
10.09" Hattiesburg, MS
10.15" Gulfport, MS
9.80" Slidell, LA
9.74" Biloxi, MS
8.52" Mobile, AL
5.57" Baton Rouge, LA


Figure 1. Isaac's winds and storm surge overcomes the seawall and floods South Beach Boulevard in Waveland, Miss., Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012, the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina hitting the Gulf Coast. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis). Waveland experienced a storm surge in excess of 5' for 36 hours.

Isaac's storm surge winds down
Storm surge levels along the coast of Mississippi and surrounding areas are gradually receding, and the surge has finally fallen below 5' at Waveland, which experienced a storm surge in excess of 5' for 36 hours. Isaac's storm surge levels were characteristic of a Category 2 hurricane, and lasted for an exceptionally long period of time. Waveland, Mississippi experienced a peak surge of 8' and peak storm tide of 9' (surge plus the natural high tide), which beat the levels that occurred during Category 2 Hurricane Gustav of 2008 (7' of storm tide.) The peak 11.06' storm surge at Shell Beach, which is in Lake Borgne, 30 miles southeast of New Orleans, exceeded the 9.5' surge recorded there during Gustav. According to an article in nola.com, Isaac pushed a storm surge of 13.6' into Lake Borgne, on the east side of New Orleans. This is not far from the 15.5' storm surge Hurricane Katrina brought to the location. It is quite possible that Isaac's storm surge might have breached levees of the east side of New Orleans, flooding areas inhabited by tens of thousands of people, had the Army Corps of Engineers not completed their $14.5 billion upgrade to the New Orleans flood defenses this year. I estimate that storm surge damage from Isaac will exceed $2 billion. Isaac has likely caused $2.5 billion in insured damage not related to flooding, insurance firm Eqecat estimated yesterday. Here were some of the peak storm surge values that were recorded at NOAA tide gauges during Isaac:

11.1' Shell Beach, LA
8.0' Waveland, MS
3.5' Pensacola, FL
4.6' Pascagoula, MS
3.8' Mobile, AL


Figure 2. A TRMM satellite 3-D view of rainfall on Aug. 28 showed a few very powerful thunderstorms near Isaac's eye were reaching heights of almost 17 km (10.6 miles.) Intense bands of rain around Isaac were occasionally dropping rain at a rate of over 2.75 inches per hour. Image credit: SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce.

Isaac's storm surge on the Mississippi River
A storm surge estimated at 12' moved up the Mississippi in Plaquemines Parish near Port Sulphur, LA, near 8:30 pm EDT Tuesday, causing overtopping of the levees and flooding of homes in the mandatory evacuation areas behind the levees. These levees were not part of the $14.5 billion levee upgrade New Orleans got after Hurricane Katrina, and were not rated to Category 3 hurricane strength, like the levees protecting New Orleans are. Since salt water is more dense than fresh water, the surge travelled along the bottom of the river, with the fresh water flow of the river lying on top. The surge continued upriver, and before reaching New Orleans, encountered an underwater barrier in Plaquemines Parish. This barrier was constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers beginning on August 15, in order to keep salt water from moving upstream and contaminating drinking water for Plaquemines Parish and New Orleans. Salt water had made it 90 miles upriver to the outskirts of New Orleans, due to the low flow rate of the river (which had dropped 7' below average in height due to the drought of 2012.) According to a spokesperson for the National Weather Service River Forecast Office, this barrier was probably able to completely block the flow of salt water upriver due to Isaac's storm surge, and no salt water made it as far as New Orleans. However, the massive intrusion of ocean water into the river channel caused the mighty Mississippi's fresh water flow to back up for hundreds of miles. Water levels were elevated by 10' in New Orleans (103 miles upstream from the mouth of the Mississippi), 8' in Baton Rouge (228 miles upstream), and 1.4' at Knox Landing, an amazing 314 miles upstream.

Hurricane Kirk in the Central Atlantic
Hurricane Kirk intensified into a 75 mph Category 1 hurricane this morning, becoming the busy 2012 Atlantic hurricane season's fifth hurricane. With the season's mid-point of September 10 still almost 2 weeks away, we've already had 12 named storms and 5 hurricanes, which is close to what an entire season experiences in an average year (11 named storms and 6 hurricanes.) Kirk should stay well out to sea and not trouble any land areas.


Figure 3. Morning satellite image of Hurricane Kirk.

Tropical Storm Leslie forms in the Central Atlantic
Tropical Storm Leslie has formed in the Central Atlantic. Leslie's formation on August 30 puts 2012 in 2nd place for earliest formation date of the season's 12th storm. Only 1995 had an earlier formation date of the season's 12th storm. With records dating back to 1851, this year is only the second time 8 total storms have formed in August. The other year was 2004, when the first storm of the season formed on August 1 (Alex), and the 8th storm (Hermine)
formed on August 29th. Leslie is organizing quickly, and appears destined to become a hurricane before the week is out. Fortunately, Hurricane Kirk is weakening the ridge of high pressure to the north of Leslie, and Leslie is expected to turn to the northwest and miss the Lesser Antilles Islands. In the long term, it remains unclear if Leslie will follow Kirk and fully recurve out to sea. The latest 2 runs of the GFS model have predicted that Leslie will recurve out to sea and not threaten any land areas, but the latest 2 runs of the ECMWF model have predicted that the trough of low pressure pulling Kirk to the northeast will not be strong enough to recurve Leslie out to sea. Instead, the ECMWF predicts that a ridge of high pressure will build in early next week, forcing Leslie more to the northwest, making the storm a potential threat to Bermuda, then to the Northeast U.S. and Canada in 8 - 11 days.

Jeff Masters

Hurricane Isaac Louisiana (apphotos)
Two men walk in the storm surge from Isaac, on Lakeshore Drive along Lake Pontchartrain, as the storm approaches landfall, in New Orleans, Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Hurricane Isaac Louisiana
west palm beach flood isaac (alishu)
West Palm Beach flood from Isaac
west palm beach flood isaac
Hurricane Isaac Impacts Navarre Beach & Pier10 (jennjeff1)
Hurricane Isaac versus Navarre Beach Pier, the longest concrete pier on the Gulf of Mexico
Hurricane Isaac Impacts Navarre Beach & Pier10

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500 mb. vort. displaced to the south of the center:

Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Convection in the eyewall of Kirk has weakened and the eye has become a bit less well defined. It may have peaked.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32858
My kids and classroom await me. Everyone have a great Friday!
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Leslie's center might be running south of forecast track again.

Leslie Long Floater - Visible Imagery Loop
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
0545Z would have been around 1:45 am EDT so around 3 hours or so difference.

So in about 3 hrs Leslie has travelled 0.7N, yet the NHC still says movement is West. mmmmmm
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Good morning. You do realize that the latest position there was from 5 1/2 hours ago, right ?
Quoting AussieStorm:


These 2 don't compute.... both from NOAA

2012-08-31 0545Z 14.5N 47.6W 12L LESLIE

SUMMARY OF 500 AM AST...0900 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...15.2N 47.8W


How many hours apart are these 2 observations???

both of you are right times are different

Quoting stormwatcherCI:
What makes you think it is further south ?

ok I'll make up a graphics give me 2mins
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Quoting AussieStorm:


These 2 don't compute.... both from NOAA

2012-08-31 0545Z 14.5N 47.6W 12L LESLIE

SUMMARY OF 500 AM AST...0900 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...15.2N 47.8W


How many hours apart are these 2 observations???
0545Z would have been around 1:45 am EDT so around 3 hours or so difference.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
Quoting wunderkidcayman:

right and if H fly and find the LLCOC further S and W I wounder what NHC will say then

but I still say it at 14.4N 48.4W
What makes you think it is further south ?
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
1280. LargoFl
THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR PORTIONS OF SOUTHEAST
LOUISIANA...SOUTH MISSISSIPPI AND THE ADJACENT COASTAL WATERS.

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT

SOME LINGERING BANDS OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS TODAY MAY CONTINUE
TO PRODUCE LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL ALONG WITH LIGHTNING STRIKES AND
GUSTY WINDS.

A FLASH FLOOD WATCH IS IN EFFECT TONIGHT FOR TANGIPAHOA PARISH
LOUISIANA AND PIKE COUNTY MISSISSIPPI FOR THE POTENTIAL FAILURE OF
THE LAKE TANGIPAHOA DAM...ALSO KNOWN AS THE PERCY QUIN DAM IN PIKE
COUNTY MISSISSIPPI.

A COASTAL FLOOD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR ALL OF COASTAL LOUISIANA
AND MISSISSIPPI THROUGH NOON TODAY.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...SATURDAY THROUGH THURSDAY

A MORE TYPICAL SUMMER PATTERN WILL RETURN ON SATURDAY THROUGH
WEDNESDAY WITH SCATTERED MAINLY AFTERNOON SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS EACH DAY. HOT AND HUMID CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO
RETURN WITH HEAT INDICES RISING TO 100 TO 105 DEGREES...POSSIBLY
HIGHER IN SOME LOCATIONS.

.SPOTTER INFORMATION STATEMENT...

SPOTTER ACTIVATION IS NOT ANTICIPATED.
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:

right and if H fly and find the LLCOC further S and W I wounder what NHC will say then

but I still say it at 14.4N 48.4W


These 2 don't compute.... both from NOAA

2012-08-31 0545Z 14.5N 47.6W 12L LESLIE

SUMMARY OF 500 AM AST...0900 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...15.2N 47.8W


How many hours apart are these 2 observations???
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:


well atleast something agrees with me

20120831 0545 14.5 47.6 T3.5/3.5 12L LESLIE
20120830 2345 14.5 45.7 T3.0/3.0 12L LESLIE

hey Aussie can you post the link to those postions please thanks

Kirk I think we for sure be our first Major of the season

Isaac just don't know when to stop I have a feeling he may pull an Ivan trick
Good morning. You do realize that the latest position there was from 5 1/2 hours ago, right ?
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
1277. LargoFl
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HWRF on Leslie calling for about 962 mb. 100 mph Cat 2 Hurricane:



GFDL about 959 mb. 95 mph Cat. 1 Hurricane:

Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
1275. LargoFl
Quoting AussieStorm:


When were the models were predicting that?

Anyone remember the CFS model I posted last week. CFS is the very long range. had 4 systems in 1092hrs.

This is what it's predicting now....

648hrs...


744hrs...



840hrs...



972hrs...

when isaac was still by florida
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1274. LargoFl
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Quoting LargoFl:
we all must thank that bermuda high and the changed conditions..because all the good models had Kirk AND leslie, hitting the same area's near or IN..the same area's as Isaac, one after another..what a diseaster That would have been, probably nothing left standing


When were the models were predicting that?

Anyone remember the CFS model I posted last week. CFS is the very long range. had 4 systems in 1092hrs.

This is what it's predicting now....

648hrs...


744hrs...



840hrs...



972hrs...

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1272. LargoFl
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Quoting AussieStorm:
14.1N 43.4W


14.4N 45.3W



Movement N x 0.3N NHC says Movement is W?? not WNW.

14.7N 46.8W

Movement N x 0.3N, again NHC says movement is W?? not WNW.


Movement N x 0.5N NHC says movement is WNW.

right and if H fly and find the LLCOC further S and W I wounder what NHC will say then

but I still say it at 14.4N 48.4W
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1270. LargoFl
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leslie=surfer.storm=thats.good
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1268. LargoFl
we all must thank that bermuda high and the changed conditions..because all the good models had Kirk AND leslie, hitting the same area's near or IN..the same area's as Isaac, one after another..what a diseaster That would have been, probably nothing left standing
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Quoting K8eCane:



well that makes sense in a weird sort of way. anyway they wont send a plane this soon. no plane this soon to investigate leslie

maybe, maybe not we just have to wait and see.
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14.1N 43.4W


14.4N 45.3W



Movement N x 0.3N NHC says Movement is W?? not WNW.

14.7N 46.8W

Movement N x 0.3N, again NHC says movement is W?? not WNW.


Movement N x 0.5N NHC says movement is WNW.
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1265. LargoFl
GFS at 144 hours,could be something to watch huh........
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06z GFS:



Global Models (Statistical & Dynamical)

Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
1263. K8eCane
Quoting wunderkidcayman:


HH fly zone starts at 52W/53W
I think they may have one set on the next flight plan we have to wait for new plan to come out around 9/10am later this morning.



well that makes sense in a weird sort of way. anyway they wont send a plane this soon. no plane this soon to investigate leslie
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Good morning...I see Kirk continues to strengthen and Leslie is becoming more and more a threat to the Northeast US. C'mon Kirk just 10 more mph until the 1st major of the season you can do it.

Kirk:





Leslie:



Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting AussieStorm:


Link

Kirk has a chance since he's so small.

one of the models had Isaac going back out to see and building again in the warm current off the east coast. He won't be dead until he's embedded in a low near Greenland.

thanks

yep thats one that I also forgot Kirk is small lol

we let hope it can do no more damages
I know what it is like to get hit by multiple hurricanes and diffrent Cats and being in an area that is below sea level did you know that Grand Cayman is mostly under Sea level

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I think kirk was already a major...
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KIRK

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Quoting AussieStorm:


NOAA Doesn't think a HH should be sent. Nothing on the cards yet. Maybe it's to far for them to worry about.


HH fly zone starts at 52W/53W
I think they may have one set on the next flight plan we have to wait for new plan to come out around 9/10am later this morning.
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CaneGurl I feel sad for all the people that are experiencing the losses associated with this storm. I think you are right in your statement that a lot of people want to come out and criticize the victims, makes me think the are trying to shed guilt because they are not going to do a thing to help.Lastly if your area has never been affected by one of these storms, you don't realize the long term devastating impacts these storms have, or you hate where you live and want to move anyways. Rant over, going to check back on Leslie later.
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:


well atleast something agrees with me

20120831 0545 14.5 47.6 T3.5/3.5 12L LESLIE
20120830 2345 14.5 45.7 T3.0/3.0 12L LESLIE

hey Aussie can you post the link to those postions please thanks

Kirk I think we for sure be our first Major of the season

Isaac just don't know when to stop I have a feeling he may pull an Ivan trick


Link

Kirk has a chance since he's so small.

one of the models had Isaac going back out to see and building again in the warm current off the east coast. He won't be dead until he's embedded in a low near Greenland.
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Quoting K8eCane:


wunderkid
do you think thats necessary this soon?

I have no idea what in the world you are talking about
really I don't
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
I strongly think that the LLCOC is now near 14.5N 48.4W and I strongly suggest NHC gets HH out there flying into the storm either later this evening tonight or tomorrow early morning


NOAA Doesn't think a HH should be sent. Nothing on the cards yet. Maybe it's to far for them to worry about.
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Quoting AussieStorm:
I was going to ask if Leslie had moved north but looking at these numbers I can say no...

20120831 0545 14.5 47.6 T3.5/3.5 12L LESLIE
20120830 2345 14.5 45.7 T3.0/3.0 12L LESLIE


Looking good also. Best looking system that's been through this area all season.



Kirk is looking more cyclical now.


PINHOLE EYE!!!!
lol

Isaac still popping convection in his outer bands circulation



well atleast something agrees with me

20120831 0545 14.5 47.6 T3.5/3.5 12L LESLIE
20120830 2345 14.5 45.7 T3.0/3.0 12L LESLIE

hey Aussie can you post the link to those postions please thanks

Kirk I think we for sure be our first Major of the season

Isaac just don't know when to stop I have a feeling he may pull an Ivan trick
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Quoting SherwoodSpirit:
Isaac is beginning to show up in the far southern edge of my local radar (St. Louis) and I want to feel gleeful at the prospect of REAL rain for the first time since April...

but I feel horribly guilty because of the cost paid by the Gulf Coast in order for us to have our dreadful drought finally end.


Dear, that's thoughtful, but don't feel guilty. You did not cause the storm, which brings good to many, harm to many. Accept your blessings and pray for their losses...or donate... whatever your beliefs!
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Atmosweather that's my thinking also, you can definitely see two circulation on this storm also,I think the stronger one is to the south. But even the northern one appears to be somewhat farther south than forecast points.The system is also moving faster than they have forecast IMO. Well we will find out later today for sure, I have found it is hard to argue with the 3 day track.Looking at the surface analysis map that moonlightcowboy put up the other day it appears the high to the north of the storm is moving just as fast west as the storm, think it's going to be a close call.
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1250. K8eCane
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
I strongly think that the LLCOC is now near 14.5N 48.4W and I strongly suggest NHC gets HH out there flying into the storm either later this evening tonight or tomorrow early morning


wunderkid
do you think thats necessary this soon?
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Quoting CCkid00:

dude, you are wrong and hopefully you never encounter what some here have encountered. i live in Denham Springs, La....just east of Baton Rouge. thousands of homes, which have never flooded, are now flooded. i personally didn't get any damage but know of hundreds who did. at present, 50,000 people are evacuated due to a dam that they are afraid will break. it wasn't for us, but for thousands of people, Isaac was worse than Gustav and Katrina. before you go to making your rants, perhaps you should put yourself in some of these people's places. be thankful YOU aren't having to deal with the flooding. many more will flood in the next few days as our rivers are rising. funny how people are....as long as it isn't them, it's not important.

Until they are affected, these armchair idiots will continue their diatribes. Maybe watching disasters unfold before them gives them some kind of thrill or maybe they feel they're smarter... Instead of trying reason or explanation, use the ignore key; but maybe a delete should be added too.
Thanks to all who've sent Prayers (as well as contributions ) to all affected in FL, MS & especially LA. Isaac, a storm that surprised everyone.
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I was going to ask if Leslie had moved north but looking at these numbers I can say no...

20120831 0545 14.5 47.6 T3.5/3.5 12L LESLIE
20120830 2345 14.5 45.7 T3.0/3.0 12L LESLIE


Looking good also. Best looking system that's been through this area all season.



Kirk is looking more cyclical now.


PINHOLE EYE!!!!
lol

Isaac still popping convection in his outer bands circulation

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I strongly think that the LLCOC is now near 14.5N 48.4W and I strongly suggest NHC gets HH out there flying into the storm either later this evening tonight or tomorrow early morning
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Dvorak Agrees with MH status (in this set it's all 5.5)


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
5.5 / 961.3mb/102.0kt
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Good morning, all. Just finished reading back. Looks like Kirk and Leslie will skip the GOM, which is just fine in my book. (Better than fine actually. I'd like to call the season over.)
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1244. flcanes
Quoting HurrAndrew:


Good morning, Kirk.

major for sure
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Good morning, Kirk.
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1242. LargoFl
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1241. LargoFl
...........Good morning folks, back to normal here in the Tampa bay area, the start of the Labor day weekend..have a great day and stay safe out there
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1240. Liann
Quoting ScooterXX7:


I went through Andrew, thank you.

Every hurricane does damage. If you saw a picture of every hurricane's damage, from Cat. 1 - Cat. 5 at landfall, you'd see they'd all have damage. Doesn't mean all should be retired.

I'm not against retiring hurricane names, but let's save this for significant storms, guys. Isaac caused damage, people lost their lives. But this happens in EVERY landfall cyclone from Taipei, to New Orleans, or Madagascar.


There's no good reason to recycle names. In the olden days, weather guys girlfriends, wives and mothers (or mother-in-laws) made the list of angry women storms. Since weather guys don't retire every year, their girlfriend's or wives list didn't retire either.

But in the modern era when regular people carry more computing power in their pockets than existed on the entire planet, there's no good reason to recycle names.

Computers can produce a randomly selected list of names each year, and the internet can inform anybody who needs to know the list.

What's the good reason for keeping a confusing recycled list of names of storms which have already been here once, or twice, or several times before? We name things so we can talk about them as unique things, so why recycle name lists memorializing long-dead girlfriends?
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Quoting Gearsts:
...LESLIE STRENGTHENS MORE...FORECAST TO BECOME A HURRICANE LATER TODAY OR TONIGHT...
------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------

5:00 AM AST Fri Aug 31
Location: 15.2N 47.8W
Moving: WNW at 16 mph
Min pressure: 999 mb
Max sustained: 65 mph



Center jumped around more than I thought, if it is where their coordinates are then she won't have many problems intensifying. But low level flow is lessening, down to 14 kts.
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1238. Gearsts
Quoting atmosweather:
Seems like Leslie is another victim of the fast trade winds east of the Antilles. CIMSS analysis shows the mid level circulations somewhat S of the main low level spin. This should put a curb in major strengthening for a while.
...LESLIE STRENGTHENS MORE...FORECAST TO BECOME A HURRICANE LATER TODAY OR TONIGHT...
------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------

5:00 AM AST Fri Aug 31
Location: 15.2°N 47.8°W
Moving: WNW at 16 mph
Min pressure: 999 mb
Max sustained: 65 mph

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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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