Isaac On Track and On Schedule, But Questions Remain

By: Bryan Norcross , 11:44 AM GMT on August 26, 2012

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Isaac is behaving as expected so far today. Bands of increasingly windy squalls will move across the Keys and southeast Florida through the day. The storm surge against the Keys will peak in the late afternoon when the center come over or near Key West. The tide will be near high tide then, so the water will rise in the areas that were flooded by Hurricane Georges in 1998. Perhaps not to the same level, but be ready. Heed all emergency advice.

Waves of squalls with some winds to 60 mph or more will also move over the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale metro area. The best advice is to stay inside until the storm passes.

Luckily, Isaac will only slowly organize, so no surprises in intensity are expected.

The storm surge questions remain for the west coast. The NHC has lowered their maximum estimate for southwest Florida to 4-6 feet... still extremely threatening to anyone near the water. The 3-5 foot estimate remains for areas in and around Tampa Bay. The severity of the surge in these areas will be highly dependent on timing. If the peak surge comes at high tide, it will be significant and dangerous. The question of the surge being enhanced by a shelf wave is also still open. Heed emergency advice along the west coast!

There is no obvious reason why Isaac shouldn't strengthen once it gets into the Gulf. How much it strengthens depends a bit on the exact track. If it tracks just west of the coastal shelf, the water gets very deep so that cooler water can be churned up by the storm. Over the shelf or farther off into one of the warm pools and the cooling effect won't occur. In any case, the central northern Gulf coast should be thinking about a Category 3 hurricane under the theory that you always prepare for one category higher than forecast, knowing that intensity-forecasting skill is not high.

The track spread in the models continues from last night.

See you later today on The Weather Channel.

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10. TropicalAnalystwx13
7:13 PM GMT on August 26, 2012
Thanks, Mr. Norcross.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 34089
8. LakeWorthFinn
5:34 PM GMT on August 26, 2012
Thanks {{{Bryan}}}!

I had heard WU-bloggers mention your name here many times, calling you a hero, so I bow to you with kind respect :)

Before moving to SEFL, I lived in Finland and didn't even know the difference between a typhoon, dust devil, storm cell, tornado or a hurricane. First I found The Weather Channel and then WU, which has become my family and their passion for weather was instantly contagious. Some of us have met in person and some are waiting anxiously to meet after so many years "seeing" each other here. When I found WU, I fell in love with weather in all its gloom and glory.

When this mess is over, we have to teach you some "bad" manners (lol) to become part of WUBA (WUnderground Bloggers Anonymous). Like I said, we are a family, with all the hugs and punches it involves... Some old WUBAs are called "The Wild Bunch" and I'm proudly one of them. We used to have great parties way back in 2005, when the canes were just too much emotional stress to handle, and lean on each other for friendship, humor and a break from the horrors of Katrina etc. At that time Portlight was born, so it wasn't all THAT bad... ;-)

I was in a hurry the other day on your earlier blog when I posted a quick thanks, so now I want to WELCOME YOU TO WU, GREAT TO HAVE YOU!

Single Rose

MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYER ARE WITH EVERYBODY ON ISAAC'S PATH (sorry for shouting, but it's windy and rainy here in SEFL and I wanna be heard:)

PS. The {{{ }}} are hugs...
Member Since: October 6, 2005 Posts: 68 Comments: 7567
7. Beachfoxx
4:05 PM GMT on August 26, 2012
Not thrilled with the idea of a CAT 3, but we are prepared & the models continue to move west....
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 157 Comments: 29391
6. Beachfoxx
4:04 PM GMT on August 26, 2012
Thanks for the update!
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 157 Comments: 29391
5. Smokingator
3:56 PM GMT on August 26, 2012
I have a question about predictions, watches, and warnings. I have tried to glean information on the difference between a watch and a warning and all sources appear to just quote from the NWS that a watch is when the event is POSSIBLE and a warning is when the event is EXPECTED. These are the very terms that I am trying to get defined. First, what does POSSIBLE mean? Greater than 5%? 10%? 50%? 60%? And what does EXPECTED mean? Greater than 50%? 75%? In statistics, any number is possible. One in 100 trillion is POSSIBLE. EXPECTED for a series of events greater than 30 events is close to the same as that for possible. For less than 30 events it is greater than 50%. EXPECTED for a specific event is left to interpretation, depending on the required accuracy (depending on how much "chance" you will allow in the prediction), but is always greater than 75 and usually 95%. So can anyone shed any light on this? The terms "possible" and "expected" as used by the NWS are not math terms, otherwise there would be a warning out every single place every single day. What is the cut off?
Member Since: August 26, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 0
2. XXBIGBADWOLFXX
1:34 PM GMT on August 26, 2012
Mr. Bryan as of the 8am advisory... Do you think the models are a bit far westward and feel the need to make a slight eastward adjustment ? I just cant buy that far westward solution at this time lol..
Member Since: July 8, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 20
1. originalLT
1:22 PM GMT on August 26, 2012
Thank you Mr. Norcross. One can really see in the Vis. Sat. this morning the storm getting better organized. I fear a pretty big hit coming in the Ms./Al area in a couple of days.
Member Since: January 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 8011

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

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