The track models have all been pointing to the Gulf coast rather than central Florida, this plot of 10 meter wind velocity through August 31st is from WeatherBell’s newly setup HWRF model website by hurricane expert Dr. Ryan Maue:
The brown colors near the eye indicate sustained wind speeds of 100 to 130 knots (115 to 150 mph). That would make Isaac likely a category 4 hurricane when it makes landfall, with likely higher gusts. The track takes it across the Florida keys, near Ft. Meyers, FL, and onto the Gulf Coast. It is expected to intensify in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico once it clears the west coast of Florida. The turn towards the NNE isn’t forecast to happen until after landfall in the model.
UPDATE: The new forecast for today has lower wind speeds and the track has shifted west to the delta of the Mississippi river:
Here’s a more detailed closeup 4 panel model view for the time Isaac is forecast to make landfall:
And here is the update for today:
Obviously a lot can change, but this bears watching and getting out of the way of. I’ll have updates to this page soon, and an Isaac reference page will be setup on WUWT for keeping track of it.
Rainfall from Isaac looks to be between 10 and 20 inches along its path:
here’s the update for Sunday, about the same, but in the worst place possible:
Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. has been looking at some damage model estimates earlier today and writes:
The median historical damage from this set of analogue storms is $1.6 billion, with an incredibly wide range. Currently the NHC projects Issac to make landfall along the Gulf coast as a category 2 storm. There are 5 historical analogues in the set above with normalized damage ranging $1 billion (Georges, 1998) to $4.4 billion (Gustav, 2008). Category 3 and 4 storms have resulted in much higher damage. I’ll update these numbers as Issac gets closer to the Gulf Coast.