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
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).
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11:00pm: Sustained winds are still at 80 miles per hour. Heavy rain and wind is battering the Central Gulf Coast with flooding continuing in coastal Lousiana. The center of Isaac is meandering just barely off the coast of Lousiana and is expected to do so for the next few hours.
8:01pm: National Hurricane Center reports that Isaac made landfall on the Southeast Lousiana coast at 645pm CDT.
7:00pm: Isaac is a Category 1 Hurricane with 80mph winds. Gusts to 58 mph are already being observed in New Orleans. There is also a significant amount of flooding being reported along the Gulf Coast.
4:00pm: Isaac’s visual presentation and overall organization continues to improve. Relatively impressive winds are being observed, even inland away from the strongest part of the circulation, with 70mph gusts at Buras, Louisiana.
3:30pm: The hazardous weather as a result of Isaac extends as far northeast as Charleston, South Carolina where heavy tropical rains along a frontal boundary provided significant flooding of downtown streets and businesses. Watch: Video of Charleston, SC Flooding.