Live Blog: Isaac hammering the Gulf Coast after landfall

Hurricane Isaac made landfall last night, early in the evening in far Southeast Louisiana and had been meandering off the coast before making landfall once again overnight. The storm, now inland over parts of the immediate Gulf Coast in Louisiana, has actually seen markedly improved appearance with increasingly strong and organized rain bands. Heavy rain, tropical storm to hurricane force winds, and impressive storm surge has been hammering parts of southern Louisiana since last night and is expected to continue through today as Isaac moves very slowly. In today’s live blog, we will continue to provide updates on Isaac and reports of damage including flooding, wind reports, and pictures and video. As of the morning advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Isaac continues at Category 1 Hurricane status with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour and is moving Northwest at 6 miles per hour.

Click “read more” below to enter our live blog, which will be updated as we receive more news and updates on the storm.


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Live Blog: Isaac now a hurricane, approaching Lousiana landfall

Hurricane Isaac officially strengthened to Category 1 Hurricane strength earlier this afternoon with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour (just barely reaching the threshold for hurricane status). The system continues to organize in the

Visible satellite imagery of Isaac around 3pm on Tuesday, August 28th 2012

north-central Gulf of Mexico, and although the winds may not be overly strong (75 miles per hour is still nothing to laugh at), the system is expected to provide a plethora of potential weather hazards to several areas from the Gulf Coast to the Southeast States. Continuing on a northwest heading, the storm is expected to slow down before making landfall in Louisiana on Wednesday.  The slow moving nature of the tropical system will provide a threat for unusually high amounts of rain, which is concerning considering the fact that tropical systems produce very heavy rain amounts as it is.  Heavy rain, resulting flooding, high winds, storm surge, and beach erosion all top the list of potential hazards with the additional threat of isolated tornadoes (see the latest Tornado Watch from the Storm Prediction Center).

Click “read more” below to enter our live blog, which will be updated as we receive more news and updates on the storm.

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A year later, memory of Irene still fresh

Hurricane Irene moving up the East Coast, August 2011.

23 deaths, more than 2 billion dollars in damage, and over 4 million without power. Those are just some brief numbers which remain eye-popping more than a year after Hurricane Irene made its move up the East Coast of the  United States. Although the storm made its second landfall near Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey as only a Tropical Storm, the winds and heavy rain the storm packed with it brought some of the most fierce tropical-conditions that the area has seen in several years. 69 miles per hour were the recorded sustained winds at Irenes second landfall in New Jersey. The storm would make a third landfall near Brooklyn after it re-emerged into the waters off the New Jersey coast, and a fourth in Connecticut after crossing over Long Island.

New York City was prepared in advance of Irene, after evacuating thousands of coastal residences and shutting down the subway transportation system in advance of expected flooding and high winds. But the torrential rains and high winds still caused damage to thousands of trees throughout the area and led to power outages for millions of people throughout the area. Forecasting the hurricane was not an easy task either, with the storm providing a ton of uncertainty as she approached the east coast. Initial forecasts took the storm into the Southeast United States, but as it drew closer it become apparent that the storm would turn northeast towards New Jersey and New York City.

A few days prior to the storms impact, we published an article on our old blog (which you can see a screenshot of here). Forecasting such a prolific event, and using strong wording, isn’t something we like to practice. But in this situatino, it was warranted. Irene will be remembered as one of the more memorable and difficult events to forecast in many of our careers — seeing an expansive and developed Tropical System impact the area is rare enough as it is. Luckily, the storm weakened slightly compared to forecast models were hinting at a few days in advance. Still, the billions of dollars in damage, more than 20 deaths, and duration and expansive coverage of power outages are a testament to the power of the storm.

Isaac passing near Key West, headed towards Gulf

Tropical Storm Isaac continues to churn south of Florida this Sunday afternoon, with maximum sustained winds at 60 miles per hour as of the 200pm intermediate advisory. The West-Northwest movement continues as Isaac shifts north of Cuba and towards the Gulf of Mexico. Tropical Storm Force winds extend outward from the center of the storm, with widespread heavy rain and tropical winsd affecting parts of South Florida this afternoon and continuing into this evening. The latest radar imagery shows the center of circulation passing very near to Key West at 400pm EDT with at least a brief landfall expected along the Florida Keys this evening by the National Hurricane Center. Isaac weakened slightly from Sunday morning through Sunday afternoon, but the improved organization on both radar and satellite suggests the storm will begin to organize as it enters the Gulf.


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