Hurricane Isaac Strengthening As it closes in on Louisiana
Tomorrow August 29th, will mark the seven year anniversary of major Hurricane Katrina as it roared ashore southeast Louisiana. Katrina absolutely inundated New Orleans
and the surrounding communities of this low lying marshland hurricane vulnerable state. After a series of catastrophic levee failures on August, 30th 2005, a day after Katrina passed it led to mass pandemonium and 1,836 dead.
Later this evening Hurricane Isaac will test the resolve of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to see if the levees they worked on can stand up against the impending 6-12 foot storm surge forecasted by the National Hurricane Center.
A storm surge, is dome of water that is pushed onto the land where onshore flow
pushes the sea inland near the land falling tropical low pressure center. This aspect of Hurricanes is one of the most mortally threatening to humans and wildlife.
Winds have been increasing in Southeast Louisiana as Isaac approaches, up to 60 mph has been recorded by buoys close to the shore. Winds off Lake Pontchartrain have varied around 35 mph from the northwest this afternoon. So far New Orleans (KMSY) is seeing wind gusts up to 40 mph, with light rain.
Before Isaac was a threat to the northern Gulf Coast, it passed through the leeward islands just days ago as a tropical storm, from there it passed just south of Puerto Rico, then the Dominican Republic and eventually turned more northwesterly going over the western peninsula of Hati. Thereafter it hugged the northeastern coast of Cuba missing the mountainous terrain. Moving away from land the center of still Tropical Storm Isaac moved west northwesterly through the Straits of Florida to the south of Key West and into the Gulf of Mexico.
Though the storm never reached hurricane status until earlier today, rainfalls along its path were impressive and its affects were felt far away from the center. Issac dumped 10-20 inches of precipitation along and to the north of its path through the Caribbean, the Straits of Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico toward the North Gulf Coast.
Now continuing to strengthen at 6pm CDT, just hours away from landfall Isaac is looking more impressive on satellite. Winds are sustained at 80mph making Isaac a category one on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 60 miles and tropical storm force winds of 39-73mph reach 185 miles from the center. Air force Reserve Hurricane Reconnaissance Hunters
measured a recent central pressure of 970 millibars, or 28.64 inches of mercury. Storm surge flooding is already occurring in southeast Louisiana.
Hurricane Season lasts form June1st through November 30th, with the climatological peak on September 9th. Forecasters increased their prediction for the total number of named storms upward to 15-19 storms. If they are right we are only about half way done.
Make sure to monitor the latest tropical weather forecasts or news and be prepared before the storm is at your door. Have a Hurricane Preparedness plan in place for you and your family. The up two week supply of essentials are Canned Foods, Bottled Water, Weather Radio, Batteries, First Aid Kit, Multivitamins, Sunscreen,Extra Cash from ATM’s, Bug Repellant, Flashlights, Other non-perishable food items, extra gas for generators or vehicles as gas stations will not work after a storm passes due to power outages.