Hurricane Warnings from Morgan City, LA to Destin, FL

Warnings Include New Orleans, LA and Mobile, AL

Forecast Track for Tropical Storm Isaac valid 5PM EDT 8/26/12.

Hurricane warnings are in effect for the Gulf Coast in advance of Tropical Storm Isaac.  This hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions may start affecting the area in the next 24 hours.  At this time, Isaac is forecast to make landfall near the Louisiana-Mississippi border as a category two hurricane Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.  However, Isaac is a huge storm and the effects will be felt well away from the center.  So, the focus shouldn’t be on where the center makes landfall, but the overall area Isaac will cover as it comes ashore.

Isaac has never looked all that impressive during its’ life, but forecasts continue to call for strengthening over the Gulf of Mexico.  As far as where exactly is makes landfall, who knows?  The models have jumped around all over the past few days, although the overall trend has been taking Isaac westward.  You can see below just how spread the model solutions are at landfall:

Model solutions from 20 different model runs for the forecast track of Isaac. Valid 2PM EDT 8/26/12.

This is another reason why you’ll continue to hear that everyone along the Gulf Coast needs to be aware of Isaac’s location and path as it crosses the Gulf of Mexico.  There is still a lot of uncertainty on Isaac’s path.  This is partially due to Isaac’s lack of organization.  These models and the NHC are better at tracking traditional, strong hurricanes with a well-defined eye and symmetrical shape.  We still don’t have that with Isaac, although it may be coming in the next 24 hours.  Until that time, be skeptical of the exact track of Isaac and prepare for a hurricane landfall near you if you live along the Gulf Coast.

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