Sunday, August 26, 2012

Isaac: Is the Long-Awaited Organization Occurring?

Update 2:18pm CDT:

Hurricane hunter aircraft measured a central pressure of 992 millibars at 2:06pm. That is down three millibars since 10am. The system is clearly organizing.

Original Posting:

Throughout its life, Isaac has never been well-organized. Since hurricanes generally do not stay at extreme (cat. 4 or 5) for days at a time, I have thought lack of organization is a bad sign for the U.S. in that it would tend to allow Isaac to hit the U.S. at major hurricane strength. Important note: "Allow" ≠ "will."

Trends on both satellite (not shown) and the Key West radar the last two hours have been interesting to say the least. One of the things meteorologists look for when we look for hurricane development is for the eye to be in the center of the circulation. That has rarely been the case with Isaac up to this point. When I wrote my last full update (scroll down) the circulation center was well away from the larger spiral of the echoes.
Now, there is a closed off area that is more or less in the middle of the general circulation area. If so, that would allow the storm to intensify into a hurricane. Based on the current area of swirling clouds, Isaac could turn into a large hurricane. 

Other factors equal, large hurricane = bigger storm surge. 

The newer models that have come in so far from the 8am weather balloon release continue the westward trend for landfall. We still do not have all of them, as yet. Based on what I have seen so far, I believe the entire coast of Louisiana should pay close attention to the storm. 

Update 1:24pm EDT. Radar image from 1:14pm EDT shows the process outlined above is well underway. Isaac is becoming better organized. I've widened the radar image for perspective with Miami at upper right.

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