Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tropical Storm Isaac – Update

This could be interesting.

TS Isaac, 5 a.m.

Forecasters aren’t certain of the path, but the yellow dot means it’s going to be a Category 1 (hurricane) when it makes landfall.

Isaac was moving west at 18 mph with maximum winds of 40 mph. Forecasters expect the storm to reach hurricane strength by Thursday as it approaches Puerto Rico and continue west until Friday, when Isaac would be off the coast of Hispaniola. Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti could see heavy rains, flooding and mud slides.

Isaac’s direction from there will be determined by the timing and strength of a high-pressure ridge to its north and a trough digging down from the southeastern U.S. that could steer it more north, Berg said. Conditions favor Isaac’s development and a stronger storm would be more likely to push north, he said. But interaction with the mountains of Haiti or Cuba also could weaken the system or even rip it apart.

If it stays on the projected path, it would head for the west coast of Florida by Wednesday. That includes Tampa, where the Republicans will be gathered for their convention. Dana Milbank wonders if it could be seen as divine retribution; after all, didn’t Pat Robertson and Michele Bachmann warn us about God smiting us with hurricanes for bad behavior ?

I’ve lived through a couple of hurricanes, so I don’t seriously wish bad things like that on anyone, but it does seem like a karmic convergence along with a low pressure system.

Update: Here’s the 5 p.m. tracking map.

It looks like Isaac is projected to cross the Keys and run up the west coast of Florida, passing within hailing distance of Tampa. The mayor of Tampa is talking about making contingency plans for the GOP convention.