Senior meteorologist at The Weather Channel. Proud to be a weather-obsessed weather geek. Would be a DJ if not a meteorologist.
By: Stu Ostro , 1:24 AM GMT on August 27, 2012
For my top "Weather images of 2008" blog, I chose the bottom half of the set below as #1 for the year. I'll never forget the feeling I had when looking at that GFS model forecast for the wind field of Ike.
Looking at the current GFS model forecast for the wind field of Isaac (for Tuesday morning, top image) over the Gulf brought a feeling of deja vu. [Yes, I know, the ECMWF forecast track is different, but it also predicts a large wind field for Isaac, and with the GFS I can do an apples-to-apples graphical comparison.]
It remains to be seen how strong Isaac's maximum sustained winds get, and the diameter of tropical storm force winds (yellow line) is not forecast by the model to be quite as extreme as Ike's, but it's big, and Isaac has always been large even when disorganized, and its wind field is going to be quite large over the Gulf and when it makes landfall. (The white line is the diameter of sustained winds of ~25 mph.)
Isaac is in the same Big Tropical Cyclone species as was Ike, in contrast to, say, 2007's Humberto.
The size matters for wave heights, surge height, geographical expanse of coastal flooding and wind impact, duration of the effects in any given place, and depending on the situation it can matter for rainfall too.
Image credit: wright-weather.com
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