Isaac now heading for the Gulf Coast

Posted at 5:23 AM, Aug 26, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-26 23:43:49-04

Issac remained a strong tropical storm while moving through the Florida Keys.  Maximum sustained winds stayed in the 60 to 65 m.p.h. range much of Sunday.

Isaac should strengthen into a hurricane (winds 74 mp.h. or higher) Monday as it heads into the northeastern Gulf of Mexico.  Hurricane warnings have been issued for the central Gulf coast.

The updated forecast track from the National Hurricane Center now brings landfall near the Louisiana/Mississippi border Wednesday, possibly as a category two storm.

The forecast track can still change, and it looks like anywhere from Louisiana to the Florida panhandle could be the landfall destination.  One thing to remember is that the “landfall location” is where the center of the storm will cross the coastline.  In hurricanes, the front-right quadrant of the storm produces the most damage.  This is because as counter-clockwise winds spin in off the ocean, they encounter no impediment, like land or trees.  So, the winds come at full force at the coast.  As the winds spin around, they decrease slightly as they move over land.

Once the storm makes landfall along the Gulf coast, the progress of the storm inland will slow down, producing heavy rainfall.  In the Tuesday through Thursday time period, sections of the deep south and Gulf coast may receive in excess of 10″ of rainfall.

NASA continues to produce high-resolution satellite pictures and rainfall estimates from Issac.  Their updates can be found here.

We will continue to watch Isaac over the next few days.  The exact location of landfall, and the path afterwards, will dictate how much (if any) rainfall we will receive.

For more information, check out the CBS 6 Hurricane Tracker.