Tropical Storm Isaac is bearing down on the Caribbean islands and will be affecting Puerto Rico, Haiti, and Cuba in the days ahead.
Isaac could briefly become a hurricane, but will not be able to sustain it due to the interaction with land over the next few days.
Even though there is high confidence in the forecast track through the end of the week, uncertainty starts to creep in by the time we head towards the weekend. The various computer models we use to help guide us in where a storm is going have shifted course quite a bit throughout the day.
A Look at the Possibilities
It still appears that Florida will be impacted by this tropical storm or hurricane early next week as the cone of uncertainty covers much of the sunshine state. Where the questions arise is to whether or not Isaac will take the northern track (western Atlantic and east coast of Florida), a central track (right into Miami and the southern part of the peninsula), or a southern track (taking it towards the west coast of Florida)? If the storm takes the southern route, that will take it into the eastern Gulf of Mexico and would be of great interest to us.
The forecast track and computer models have been trending further south with each run, leading me to believe that this may be a Gulf of Mexico storm by the end of the weekend and early next week.
Steering Currents at Play
One of the big factors that will determine where Isaac heads this weekend is whether or not an East coast trough will pick up the storm or miss it altogether. If Isaac remains weak (tropical storm status), then it has a chance to track more to the south and therefore, become a bigger threat to the Gulf. If the storm is stronger, then the trough will have a better chance to pick up Isaac and send it north into Florida.
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