Hurricane Isaac tracking

After battling the “dry” tropical air along its route from Haiti, Cuba, Florida, to Louisiana, Isaac has finally become a hurricane with the required 64+ knots 1-minute sustained near-surface winds.  Numerical models finally expressed some certainty on a Louisiana coastal landfall, but diverged significantly on intensity.  There is also some question about the ability of Isaac to penetrate far inland away from the frictionally convergent swamps.  A major flood event is underway.

Click image to animate it over several hours

This tracking map is in high definition (updates every 3-4 hours, click to enlarge)

Now WeatherBell’s track map via Ryan Maue: (click to enlarge)

NHC:

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/overview_atl/refresh/atl_overview+gif/1314986244.gif

Track map in HiDef – click to enlarge:

http://www.intelliweather.net/imagery/intelliweather/hurrtrack-sat_atlantic_halfdisk_1280x960.jpg

More…plus signup for free hurricane bulletins.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/tropical-cyclone/

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RockyRoad

They say three moves is as good as a fire. I submit the same can be levied (no pun intended) at a hurricane, particularly those heading to New Orleans.

It will arrive as a tropical storm. Even if it’s a cat 1 it will be ho-hum. It is no Katrina, that’s for sure. Too much hype.

Leonard Weinstein

J. Philip Peterson,
Even as a strong tropical storm or cat 1, the large extent with moderately strong inward winds, and long extensive heavy rain could result in huge problems. Probably not like Katrina, but the main problem with Katrina was a levy breach, not rain or wind. The long exposure and direction could produce very large storm surge, and numbers like 1 to 1.5 feet of rain could produce serious flooding in low areas.

RACookPE1978

My preference is to also show the initial track as a comparison of “computer modeling” accuracy … Remember, the model projections that our “climate experts” forecast to run right up the west coast of FL. 8<)

littlepeaks

Actually, I am more interested in Typhoon Bolaven right now. My wife is Korean, and we’ve been watching the news on Korean TV (YTN). There seems to be a lot of conflicting information about the strength, and the expected effect on South Korea. I read one news item on the internet saying it’s supposed to come ashore near PyongYang (North Korea). If so, that’ll be a double whammy after the flooding North Korea had earlier this summer.

So I hear that the soil along the coast is quite wet from earlier weather and they worry about the wind and more water impacting power lines and such. Can anyone reveal what the estimated landfall times will correlate with as far as tides are concerned?

Tripod

I would love to see a ranking of how the different models have performed on path accuracy. Is there any sites that have ranked the different models?

u.k.(us)

I know I’m preaching to the choir, but a storm in the Gulf is a thing.
Get ready.

David L. Hagen

At Hurricane (?) Isaac
Judith Curry describes a new forecast system that

is used operationally by my company, Climate Forecast Applications Network (CFAN), which has been making extended range hurricane forecasts since 2007, in both the North Atlantic and North Indian Ocean. . . .
CFAN’s probabilistic forecasts of Atlantic tropical cyclone tracks show skill within 300 miles out to 7 days (even before the tropical cyclones actually form). CFAN’s unique tropical cyclogenesis model has demonstrated skill 3-10 days in advance for predicting the formation of tropical cyclone associated with African Easterly Waves, and skill 7-10 days in the North Indian Ocean.

See CFAN’s Forecast of 08/23/2012 for Isaac, showing landfall just east of New Orleans.
Curry compares the accuracy of CFAN vs the national hurricane forecast for Isaac.

David L. Hagen
dp

NO is in the 10-ring again. I wonder if evac has begun or if they’re going to wait a couple weeks and blame the government, again.

george e smith

Well at least we can be assured that this time the swimming pool walls are less likely to leak (or break), so whatever water Isaac storm dumps in New Orleans (in not on), will remain there for a while. Building cities underwater is a French / Maldivian failed idea.
Stay safe down there.

Tip, of the iceberg

Isaac Cline, head of the Weather Office in Galveston in 1905, would be surprised to be named as a Hurricane heading towards New Orleans in 2012: he ended up in New Orleans, as an artist, painting oils, after things washed out in Galveston, so to speak.

Jeff Norman

Here is a stupid question. As pointed out in a previous post about the reduced dead zone in the Gulf due to reduced Mississippi outflow resulting from the drought conditions upstream, does this mean that the Gulf is more saline making it more difficult for Isaac to draw energy in the form of water vapour thereby reducing the probability of significant growth in its trip across the Gulf?

The storm isn’t the threat, this time, the sinkhole into the salt cavern full of toxic waste next to the two caverns with 3.1 million barrels of butane and propane is:
http://enenews.com/governor-says-more-boom-being-deployed-in-sinkhole-winds-up-to-100-mph-expected-all-monitors-within-community-being-removed-texas-brine-in-hurricane-mode
http://enenews.com/latest-forecast-isaac-tracking-toward-sinkhole-now-under-hurricane-warning-storm-to-sit-over-area-for-days-map
3.1M bbl of liquified gas released would explode, they estimate, at 100 X Hiroshima. Oddly, the sinkhole into Texas Brine’s toxic waste dump next to them is on the SIDE of the dome, not the top.
The huge rainstorms dumping tons of water onto the sinkhole can’t be good. Gas is already bubbling waterways across the parish.

RACookPE1978 says:
August 27, 2012 at 7:11 pm
My preference is to also show the initial track as a comparison of “computer modeling” accuracy … Remember, the model projections that our “climate experts”
===========================================================================
The model all seem to show that in the next day or so it is likely to be somewhere close to where it is now. I could have told you that without a model. After that the models show that it will likely be somewhere else. Where exactly they aren’t sure, but kind somewhere close to where it is generally heading now, I could have told you that also.

According to Nightline Isaac pounded the coast of Florida, as some who lives on the coast of Florida, yes the gulf coast, I really don’t think it was that much of a pounding. Debbie, which got far less press did a lot more pounding.

u.k.(us)

george e smith says:
August 27, 2012 at 8:22 pm
Well at least we can be assured that this time the swimming pool walls are less likely to leak (or break), so whatever water Isaac storm dumps in New Orleans (in not on), will remain there for a while. Building cities underwater is a French / Maldivian failed idea.
Stay safe down there.
—————————————–
I think we built a storm surge barrier since the last time ?
Looks like it may get tested soon ?

Jeanette Collins

Dp, you have no idea what you are talking about, [snip -policy] In 2005, we had already evacuated once, for Hurricane David, which of course you don’t remember. It costs a lot of money to evacuate and plenty of people couldn’t afford it a second time when Katrina came. And if you don’t think the government left the people of New Orleans to rot in August 2005, then you were living on another planet. We know how to handle hurricanes here. Quit running your mouth off, [snip]

Caleb

Some have mentioned an upper air low over the Yucatan as the reason Isaac hasn’t yet exploded. I have been focused on the rainband left behind over Florida, which seems to have moved east and has a life of it’s own, (Name it!) Whatever the reason, the longer Isaac remains weak, the better off we are. A lot of our oil and refinery output can be screwed up if Isaac bombs out, our economy doesn’t need that sort of uppercut, New Orleans is still an important port, and Obama has made certain coal will not be a strong back-up, if oil gets hard hit.
Lacking any better reason, I’d say the reason Isaac has remained weak is due to sub-sub-sub-atomic particals. These particals are created by several million small objects you can’t see from outer space, despite the awesome pictures we marvel over. What are these small objects? They are little people praying.

The trees in the Ozark Mountains definitely need the soaking, hope like all heck they get a good drink. Looking at what happened along near the Red River at Oklahoma & Texas border from last year nearly half of the dry, totally brown trees likely will not emerge growth next spring. Could be a huge loss.
Northeast Oklahoma is so dry, they could sure use some, but the chances don’t look good. Travelling thru recently, I felt so sorry for the cattle huddled underneath half brown trees for shade. All the other vegetation is cooked. Hay price is skyrocketing.
Maybe some barges on the Mississippi can get unstuck and the rest can load up before we lose a lot of corn and beans that move by barge. Trains can only add so much, they are at capacity. It would take 7,000 trucks to take up the slack. We don’t have 7,000 trucks just sitting idle. They’re doing stuff. Lots of fuel and coal moves along this trade route to the heartland. With only a 9 ft deep channel which has also been narrowed the only thing to do is cut the numbers and lower the tonnage.

Don Worley

I’m about 120 miles West of New Orleans and have been through about 50 of these.
I still find them an exciting display of the power of nature. Like the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls, you really have to be there to understand the majesty. No photo or video can capture this.
Right now we have a nice dry Northerly breeze and the day has been pleasant. I expect some of this dry air will get sucked in and “lean the mixture” for this particular heat engine but we are preparing in case of a jog to the West. We always prepare regardless of the predictions or our expectations.
Hope no one gets hurt, but it’s good to be reminded occasionally of things which are greater than ourselves.

Don Worley

Unlike climate models, I do find hurricane and weather models to be useful. They are useful for planning in the short term, and also a good lesson on why models fail long term tests.

Tom in Worc.(usa)

How many times are we going to rebuild a city that is in a hurricane zone and is below sea level?
Sorry if that is a bit cold.
Best of luck to everyone down that way. Get the hell out of dodge.

Steve R

They aren’t going to evacuate New Orleans for this storm. No way.

Has anyone put together a mosaic of Isaac track projections over the last 3 days? It might be exceptionally eye opening to many who believe model based “science” to be infalable….

Ben

Map label comment:
Many American viewers understand wind speeds in mph. Guessing they want that shown.
Guessing many do not know knots or would want those speeds converted to mph so they would understand them.

GeoLurking

Tom in Worc.(usa) says:
August 27, 2012 at 8:53 pm

How many times are we going to rebuild a city that is in a hurricane zone and is below sea level?

My thought was that since you had an area already destroyed, might as well let whoever owns it get out what they could recover, then fill it by with dredging material from Lake Ponchatrain until it was no longer a bowl.
On one hand, you would have one hell of a sheltered deep water port, and whoever opted to rebuild in the filled area would have less to sweat when the next big storm came along.

GeoLurking

Ben says:
August 27, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Many American viewers understand wind speeds in mph.

I’m American, I understand knots just fine. It’s over water, it’s nautical, most of the reports are from vessels that operate over water (Ships, C-130, Bouys etc.) Why juxtapose units back and forth when comparing various data feeds?

u.k.(us)

Ben says:
August 27, 2012 at 9:38 pm
Map label comment:
Many American viewers understand wind speeds in mph. Guessing they want that shown.
Guessing many do not know knots or would want those speeds converted to mph so they would understand them.
============================
Being the bastion of freedom, has its faults 🙂

Steve R

Ben says:
“Many American viewers understand wind speeds in mph. Guessing they want that shown.”
Just add 15%. Like figuring a tip at a restaurant

All I can say, is be safe.

Jeanette Collins

[snip – tone it down please ~moderator]

Jeanette Collins

And who are “we'” Tom? Not any of your tax dollars, I bet.

D Johnson

Hoping for a positive outcome, perhaps Isaac can bring some much needed rain to those of us in the drought plagued midwest. I just hop it isn’t at the expense of those in the coastal regions.

GeoLurking

D Johnson says:
August 27, 2012 at 10:43 pm
“… I just hop it isn’t at the expense of those in the coastal regions.”
We’ll get over it, we always do. The insurance companies will pay for the rebuilding of the houses, and condos on the perpetually shifting sandbar known as the barrier islands and the rest of us will pay higher premiums because it cost so flipping much to keep rebuilding houses and condos on overgrown sandbars known as barrier islands and …
You get the picture.

Miss Grundy

GeoLurking says:
August 27, 2012 at 9:50 pm
Ben says:
August 27, 2012 at 9:38 pm
Many American viewers understand wind speeds in mph.
I’m American, I understand knots just fine. It’s over water, it’s nautical, most of the reports are from vessels that operate over water (Ships, C-130, Bouys etc.) Why juxtapose units back and forth when comparing various data feed
*****************
Not to belabor the obvious, but why not display units with slashes, so us dumb Yanks can immediately glom onto terms we can immediately relate to?
That YOU understand knots is meaningless. The question is, do most Americans understand them?

GeoLurking

Miss Grundy says some trivial stuff intended to incite.
Perhaps you missed the original inference that Americans are too [lacking] to be able to comprehend something such as “knots.”
I reiterate, knots is the standard measure of many things nautical (having to do with the sea). Since so many products dealing with tropical systems are stated in knots, it would be a bit cumbersome jumping back and forth from one unit to another. In products dumbed down for the general public, such as the Weather Channel (in it’s current incarnation) or your local “news” head, sure, it make sense. But a reference product such as this, no. Pick a scale and stick with it. Consistency of presentation goes a long way in the usefulness of a product.
Whether or disagree or not doesn’t matter. It’s not your product. If you need a different scale, convert it. Simple.

crosspatch

Knots is the maritime unit for speed. It is how ships record their speed, it is used for currents and winds over the ocean and for aircraft. The reason the forecasts use knots is that when the storm is at sea, it is described in nautical units. Once it makes landfall, winds are described in either MPH or KPH. It isn’t a metric thing or a foreign unit, it is nautical miles per hour. Once it crosses over to land, it uses statute miles per hour (the ones you are used to driving). A nautical mile at sea is a little longer than a statute mile on land.
They use these units so navigators of vessels at sea can calculate the storm’s course and their own course and make sure they stay out of the way. A ship moving at 20 kts in a certain direction wants to know how fast the storm is moving in knots and in which direction. It is so they don’t have to convert units and possibly put themselves in harm’s way.

Paul Coppin

Isaac will barely be a hurricane at landfall, and nothing NOLA shouldn’t be able to handle. This is a big wet storm, but its nothing like Katrina. Frequency of storms of this scale is much higher than the Katrinas and should be be considered a frequent, if not common occurrence, along the gulf. If NOLA and the adjacent areas can’t handle this one, it IS time to relocate the area, finally, and let the delta be.
NHC has been almost desparate in its advisories to get to call this one a hurricane, as if there is any real difference between 74 and 75 mph. max wind speed. I expect it to break up and dissipate quite quickly once its low pressure centre hits land and the dangerous semi-circle runs out of fuel. Isaac dried out quite quickly when the DS crossed Florida, and I’m betting it’ll do the same when it gets to Louisiana. For the amount of money they keep pouring into NOLA, they could have built a more robust seaport many times over out of the flood plain of the delta.

Paul Coppin

As of 6:30 this morning the centre of rotation is 100 mi from the outer barrier sand and 178mii from downtown New Orleans. Radar is not picking up a lot of rain in the leading edge. If it behaves like it did over Fla, most of the cloud over the SW quadrant will dry out as it rotates into the gulf coast. Still just a big sloppy storm.

New Orleans is older than the United States and I’m pretty confident it will survive this storm. I’ve lived in hurricane areas for two-thirds of my life, including New Orleans. The first one I remember was Hazel, I walked home from school during the eye of the storm. You get strong winds, lots of rain and some flooding. If you choose to live in these areas you prepare, evacuate as necessary and then rebuild. Katrina was a bad storm compounded by bad decisions by government at all levels, starting with the first responders (local and state). New Orleans wasn’t the only place hit by the storm, but you would hardly know that from the news.
If you want massive flooding from a hurricane, try Floyd. My home town was a 100 miles inland and had water 10-15′ deep. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Floyd
Hyping big storms makes great news sales and politics.

R.S.Brown

Good sequential imagery of U.S. cloud cover with a less-than four hour
lag for the last frame can be found at:
http://www.ssec.wisc.edu/data/us_comp/us_comp.html

Computer models are only as good as their initial conditions.
And yes that goes for the GW Models double.

Merrick

Does anyone know where I can collect all of the 4 hour updates to the NOAA NHC Track Map since Issac became a Tropical Storm? Thanks…

Julian Flood

I would love to see the storm track right and weaken, ending at the edge of the predictions. The water coming from the Mississippi is very polluted and it would be good to watch it gut a major weather feature.
JF

I have been observing several models – the Weather Channel, and one at WeatherBell, since before crossing the Keys. The Weather bell model always showed Isaac headed straight for New Orleans after crossing the Keys.
Meanwhile, Weather Channel model showed a right turn and movement paralleling the Gulf Coast
of Florida. Over the next days and nights, Weather Channel model kept readjusting the proposed path, resulting in more closely mirroring Weatherbell’s, but still predicted a right turn before landfall. Never happened. The Weatherbell model nailed it from day one – Weather Channel was days behind.
A very poor performance by the Weather Channel model. Hurricane Center’s predicted path was also expecting a right turn before landfall – one that never came.

thsi technology is cool

J Solters

Paul Coppin is correct that NHC is desperately trying to squeeze a Hurrican out of Isaac. I pay very close attention to them and they always overstimate wind speed even when they have actual measurements. It’s simply the NHC culture.

beng

This forecast:
http://vortex.plymouth.edu/hur_dir/hur_pos_nt4.html
shows max wind-speed 85 mph — cat1. A big rainmaker, but not a Katrina.