While we were at 70mph last night with Tropical Storm Isaac…….we are back down to max sustained winds of 60mph with a forward motion of around 21mph moving NW. We expected this to happen as it made landfall and trudged over the mountainous terrain of Haiti last night. As of right now, Isaac is still churning off the Coast of Cuba and it appears that the center of circulation remains out over the opens waters of Cuba’s coast which only means that the center of circulation has nothing to stop or disrupt it and therefore aim to slow Isaac down. The NHC has now upgraded the Cone of Uncertainty to potentially a CAT 2 for Isaac before making landfall around the NE Gulf Coast Tues Morning. This would mean winds could be at or exceed 100mph or more. Not something to take lightly. See the latest track below.
There is still much uncertainty in the land of “model data” which seems to change every 6 to 12 hours. You can look at all the model data you so desire all you want but the fact of the matter is……there is no certain track for Isaac at this time. I would say the next twelve hours are the most crucial. Looks like we may def have a CAT 1 hurricane by tomorrow as more convection looks to be developing along the eastern portion of the center of circulation. When that happens…..it is a good indication that pressure will continue to drop, storm intensifies, and becomes better organized, etc not to mention, the favorable conditions that will help to fuel Isaac as it enters the Warm Waters of the Gulf in the next 24 hrs.
While the models are a good indication of what’s potentially to come, it is not smart to rely solely on them for the fate of you or your family who may live near the Gulf. The best thing to do is plan accordingly for a CAT 2 Hurricane Tues morning.
As stated before…….Isaac’s effect on the TN Valley LARGELY depends on it’s track. A westward track will mean we could see the worst from Isaac as the strongest convection almost always lies on the far eastern side of any Tropical Disturbance(see below for explanation graphic on this). East track could mean we are sparred the worst. Of course so much depends on the next 24 hours.
In general, the strongest winds in a hurricane are found on the right side of the storm because the motion of the hurricane also contributes to its swirling winds. A hurricane with a 90 mph [145 km/hr] winds while stationary would have winds up to 100 mph [160 km/hr] on the right side and only 80 mph [130 km/hr] on the left side if it began moving (any direction) at 10 mph [16 km/hr].