Andrew Anniversary & Isaac

By: Bryan Norcross , 3:01 AM GMT on August 25, 2012

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This evening 20 years ago the sun set on the horrendous first day after Hurricane Andrew. I was in downtown Miami at the studios of the NBC station. We knew that there was "total" destruction in South Dade County, but even that didn't describe it. Here's to the people that went through it... and held their families together in a situation that most people can't imagine.

And now there's Isaac. A number of developments today. It's organizing and intensifying... which would likely continue steadily and significantly if it weren't interacting with the landmass of Hispaniola. The system has a tropical-looking core for the first time, and the upper air pattern on the satellite imagery looks quite favorable. The intensifying trend will likely slow or stop, depending on how much land the core moves over.

Forecasting the exact track of the core and the intensity of Isaac is tricky. If the core of the system only passes over the narrow western Haiti peninsula and the eastern tip of Cuba, it will have more time over water and could be stronger than the NHC is forecasting. This is a case where the intensity is tremendously dependent on the exact track the core takes. We aren't able to forecast the minor difference in track that could result in a stronger storm when it approaches South Florida and the Keys. The NHC has issued a Hurricane Watch for the Keys for that possibility.

And then there's the forward speed. Isaac stalled today and is moving a bit more slowly tonight than it had been. Everybody in peninsula Florida needs to be ready for an extended period of heavy rain and strong winds - two days or more. In South Florida this begins late tomorrow (Saturday). Power outages and flooding in low-lying, flood-prone area are expected.

Another complicated issue, looking ahead, is the possibility of storm-surge flooding on the west coast of Florida. If the storm stays near the coast, after the center moves north of a given location and the winds come in from the southwest and west, the water will pile up along the coast and push storm surge into the rivers and bays, including Tampa Bay.

If the storm moves north farther offshore, like Hurricane Dennis in 2005, an effect called a "Kelvin wave" can set up in the relatively shallow water over the coastal shelf, which make the surge higher than it would be without that shelf effect. Just the right factors have to come together to get this enhancing effect, but it can't be ruled out. Whether Isaac is strong enough at that point so the storm surge is disruptive to the Republican Convention in Tampa remains to be seen... but based on what we know, it's going to be close.

All indications are for landfall on the northern Gulf coast as a Cat 1 or 2 hurricane, but there are too many moving parts to know exactly where that will occur.

See you tomorrow on the Weather Channel.

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47. bunnyinsofla
3:44 AM GMT on August 26, 2012
"Here's to the people that went through it... and held their families together in a situation that most people can't imagine."

Here's to YOU, Bryan, for getting us through it!
Member Since: August 26, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 0
46. LemieT
3:39 PM GMT on August 25, 2012
It always good to have experts weighing in on tropical systems. Welcome to WunderGround Mr. Norcross.
Member Since: August 15, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 157
45. pvbeachbum
2:55 PM GMT on August 25, 2012
Thanks Mr. Norcross - glad to see you here with a blog as a hurricane expert. Your information will be very welcome!
Member Since: August 26, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 280
44. weatherskink
2:53 PM GMT on August 25, 2012
Dude !
I'll never forget that night during Andrew when you kept us informed . Thank you and glad you have a blog here.
Member Since: September 3, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 76
43. Bluestorm5
2:46 PM GMT on August 25, 2012
Welcome to WU :)
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 23 Comments: 7506
42. seflagamma
2:31 PM GMT on August 25, 2012
Oh Wow, glad to see you blogging here with us. You are the Andrew Hero to all of us from SE Florida!

will be looking forward to your comments and thoughts!
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 294 Comments: 40840
41. Tazmanian
2:25 PM GMT on August 25, 2012
welcome
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114072
40. atmosweather
10:40 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Welcome to Wunderground Bryan, you are going to be a great addition to our community! Thanks for giving us your analysis. But an even bigger thank you for 20 years ago today, my parents and I huddled under mattresses in Kendall...we had you on the radio all night long and you told us the type of power we were going to encounter. You've done so much for south Florida and the area will always be grateful of that.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
39. tj175
8:38 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Thank you for joining our blog we really need someone who has a great deal of knowledge when it comes to forecasting storms. Being a fellow native of South Florida (Miami Gardens) we respect you so much because on WTVJ you always kept us informed and are always calm cool and collect.
Member Since: September 26, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 96
38. DocNDswamp
5:42 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Great to see you blogging here, Bryan... and very informative as always - know a lot of folks feel a debt of gratitude for your efforts leading up to and during Andrew's assault 20 years ago.

Went thru Andrew Part Two as slammed SE LA night of 25-26th, the "forgotten landfall" by many, in the NE quad with it's center 38 miles to my SW while at Cat 4 intensity... Residents here, with preparations underway, truly epitomized the phrase "rush to completion" upon seeing the horrific imagery out of Homestead... Less severe, sure, but it's devastation on Louisiana also left many scars never healed...

Appreciate your analysis on TWC, keep up the great work!
And best wishes for all in Isaac's path.
Member Since: September 21, 2005 Posts: 94 Comments: 4783
37. redwagon
5:26 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
welcome to the weather wunderground


Welcome, Mr. Norcross!
Member Since: August 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 2813
36. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
5:20 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
welcome to the weather wunderground

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52383
34. opal92nwf
4:25 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Great to see you blogging here! A lot of my family on my Dad's side went through Andrew in South Miami, Kendall, and Homestead. Unbelievable...
Member Since: May 12, 2012 Posts: 10 Comments: 1924
32. cloudymix
4:02 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Thank you Bryan. TWC and now WU are (almost) as fortunate to have you here as S. Fla was during that dreadful night.
Member Since: July 21, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 23
31. floridiancanuck
4:01 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Will never forget listening to you on the radio through hurricane Andrew, welcome to WU!
Member Since: August 19, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 94
30. Grothar
3:58 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Been following you since Channel 10 in Miami. Glad to see you have a blog. We hope to see more of you on here. Many of us have never forgotten how you were there for us a certain time ago. Welcome.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 64 Comments: 23749
29. snotly
3:53 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Doing some reading up on the Kelvin Wave

Link
Member Since: August 27, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 682
28. Ryuujin
3:53 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Welcome to Wunderground. Come Visit us in the Dr. M's blog.
Member Since: August 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 372
27. tropicfreak
3:50 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Welcome to Wunderground Brian. I enjoy seeing your analysis on TWC and look forward to seeing more of it on yours and Masters blog :).
Member Since: September 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6814
26. unknowncomic
3:45 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Awesome Brian. Enjoyed your videos on Andrew. It was a very eerie time in SFL.
Member Since: August 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1722
25. GTcooliebai
3:38 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Thank You Bryan, and welcome to Wunderground. So it appears the GFS model has the better handle on the dynamics in the Upper Levels of the Atmosphere, and impacts from Isaac to the Tampa Bay might be storm surge which I find interesting even if it stays offshore because of this Kelvin Wave. So I wonder will the GFS have a good handle on the Upper Air Dynamics when it gets into the GOM.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
24. floridaboy14
3:37 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Welcome! feel free to chat with us about the tropics
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1102
23. 954FtLCane
3:37 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Brain I still remember that evening like it was yesterday. You will always be remembered as the calming voice that helped many of us thru that awful evening 20 years ago today.

We miss you down here!!!
I look forward to reading your future blogs!

Member Since: September 30, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 108
22. RTSplayer
3:37 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Hey Mr. Norcross.

Thanks for the information, and I like your dedication and information on TWC during tropical season.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 32 Comments: 1503
21. zoomiami
3:36 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Glad to see your on our favorite blog. I am one of the many who listened to you through Andrew. It is the only thing that gave us any comfort that night.
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 10 Comments: 4136
20. caneswatch
3:36 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Welcome to the most calm and collected forecaster in the world!
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
19. KeyWestwx
3:35 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
hi Brian.Welcome. I met you once on The Cape. This is Great website!
Member Since: September 20, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 270
18. Doppler22
3:35 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Thanks for the update and welcome to WU
Member Since: February 13, 2012 Posts: 10 Comments: 3269
17. Hurricanes305
3:34 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Welcome, Bryan One of the Greatest hurricane experts. Hope you become the next NHC director.
Member Since: May 25, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2043
16. j2008
3:34 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Nice, thanks for the update. Ohh and welcome to the wild world of WU.
Member Since: December 19, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 224
15. allancalderini
3:34 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Welcome to weather wunderground I like your analysis love your work on the weather channel.
Member Since: October 15, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 3707
14. AegirsGal
3:33 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Welcome to the Wunderground community, sir. May you enjoy it here!
Member Since: August 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 291
13. mcluvincane
3:33 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Hey, welcome
Member Since: June 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1338
12. wxchaser97
3:33 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Welcome to Wunderground, like others said head over to Dr. Maters blog. We would all like to hear what you have to say.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 123 Comments: 7890
11. CybrTeddy
3:33 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Welcome to weather underground!
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23015
10. tamipeach
3:33 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Hi, and welcome!
Member Since: April 18, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 25
9. Felix2007
3:32 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Welcome, Mr. Norcross!
Member Since: July 12, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 383
8. leelee75k
3:32 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Nice to see you blogging here! Btw Thank You for all of your years of service to the South Florida community, glad to see you on the Weather Channel.
Member Since: September 9, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 557
7. lottotexas
3:31 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Hello from WU
Member Since: December 3, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 52
6. washingtonian115
3:31 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Hey.Happy forecasting.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 15738
5. hurricanehunter27
3:30 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Welcome to Wunderground!
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3813
4. WxGeekVA
3:27 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Welcome to the Wunderground community! And as TropicalAnalystwx13 said, we sure don't bite! I, for one, would love to hear your input over on the main blog!
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3466
3. HrDelta
3:27 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
What the guy above me said.

Not all of the commenters over there are imbeciles. :P
Member Since: October 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 450
2. weatherh98
3:26 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
We like the information!
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6439
1. TropicalAnalystwx13
3:25 AM GMT on August 25, 2012
Thanks Bryan.

Come on over to Dr. Masters' Comment Section. Trust me, we don't bite.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30291

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This is the official blog for Bryan Norcross, Hurricane Specialist at The Weather Channel.

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