Tropical Storm Isaac strengthened slightly on Friday morning as it continued to churn towards the southern coast of Hispaniola. Maximum sustained winds were at 60 miles per hour, with a continued west-northwest movement around 15 miles per hour. The official forecast from the National Hurricane Center takes the center of Isaac towards Cuba by this weekend, with a prolonged northwest path over the Island. Some weakening and disorganization of the storm is almost guaranteed.
Beyond this, forecast model spread widens a bit as Isaac is expected to make an approach towards the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. Interests from the coast of New Orleans and points east, including Florida, are urged to remain abreast of the situation and to check the latest forecast tracks and information on Isaac. It remains a significant uncertainty how much disorganization and weakening the storm will undergo over Cuba. And although the waters over the Gulf of Mexico are very warm and favorable for storm organizatino, it also remains uncertain if Isaac will have enough time to reorganize to pose a significant hurricane threat to the Gulf Coast states. Still, at this time, the percentage of Tropical Storm impacts somewhere on the Central or Eastern Gulf Coast states is increasing.
For our area, it appears the only impact Isaac may possibly have is in the form of remnant rains, which could ride north and east along a frontal zone during the middle of the week. No direct impacts are forecast in our area from the tropical system. Remember to stay tuned to the National Hurricane Center for updates on the storm this weekend and into next week.