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Why Is Isaac Being Such A PITA

This one will be studied because it has so many quirks that it may help forecasters in the future make better judgements.

There is a phenomenon called the Fujiwhara Effect that occurs when two tropical cyclones move close to each other. They essentially begin to move in a counterclockwise motion around a central point between them. Something like that is happening with Isaac and a low pressure center around the Cayman Islands. It isn’t the full effect because the Cayman Island low doesn’t have the strength, but it is impacting on Isaac’s motion.

The other major problem are the steering factors for the storm. Currently it is being directed by a ridge, but that ridge ends in the Gulf. Some of the models think that the storm will be attracted by trough that is coming down and curve to the East, while others a second ridge building in and taking the storm to the West. Both are reasonable solutions to steering. The NHC is splitting the difference between the solutions. They can’t be sure which scenario is actually going to be in control, so we have to wait.

The current spread is from Apalachicola [the tip of the ‘elbow’ on the Panhandle] to New Orleans for landfall. If I had a vote it would be Apalachicola, because this is a big storm and New Orleans isn’t far enough away. The worse of the storm is the Northeast Quadrant, so I would just as soon not see it head West. The other problem with heading West is that the storm would have more time to intensify.

OTOH, the West track would dump water in the Mississippi Valley which needs all the help it can get with rain. It might reduce the effects of the current drought.

August 25, 2012   2 Comments

Neil Armstrong 1930-2012

The BBC reports that the first man to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong, has died of complications following heart surgery earlier this month. They also provide a decent obituary.

For those of us who lived through the turmoil of 1968-1969, the Apollo 11 landing was the first bright spot following a long period of darkness, violence, and hate.

Neil Armstrong was not interested in the glory, only in the science and technology that made it possible. He was a good man, and will be missed.

August 25, 2012   7 Comments

Tropical Storm Isaac – Day 5

Tropical Storm IsaacPosition: 22.1N 77.2W [10PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: Northwest [305°] near 17 mph [28 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 60 mph [ 95 kph].
Wind Gusts: 75 mph [120 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 205 Miles [335 km].
Minimum central pressure: 997 mb.

Currently about 65 miles [ 105 km] Northeast of Camaguey, Cuba.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the Florida Keys including the Dry Tortugas, the Florida West Coast south of Bonita Beach to Ocean Reef, Florida Bay.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Haiti; the Cuban provinces of Ciego de Avila, Santi Spiritus, Villa Clara, Camaguey, Las Tunas, Granma, Holguin, Santiago de Cuba, and Guantanamo; the Bahamas; the Turks and Caicos Islands; the Florida East Coast south of Sebastion Inlet to Ocean Reef, Lake Okeechobee, and the Florida West Coast from north of Bonita Beach to Tarpon Springs including Tampa Bay.

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the Florida East Coast south of Golden Beach to Ocean Reef; Andros Island in the Bahamas.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the Cuban provinces of Matanzas and Cienfuegos; the Florida East Coast north of Sebastian Inlet to Flager Beach; the Florida West Coast north of Tarpon Springs to Indian Pass on the Panhandle.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

August 25, 2012   Comments Off on Tropical Storm Isaac – Day 5

Busy With Real Life

Since Isaac can’t make up it’s mind where to go, I’m running around and ensuring that I have all of the standard procedures for these storms covered.

Just remember that your last purchase should be at least a gallon of your favorite outrageously expensive ice cream. Since it is too expensive to waste, and the power could go out at any time, you obviously have to eat all of it as quickly as possible.

It has been a few years since we have had one in the area, so people have let things go, which has resulted in a lot of crowds out and about.

They haven’t raised the price of gas yet, but they will. Now that they have ethanol in it you can’t store it for extended periods or it will absorb water, especially with all the rain we’ve had. You can just add a preservative to regular gas and it is good for the entire season, but you have to use the new stuff within a month.

I’ll be by for the updates, but little else for the next few days.

August 25, 2012   7 Comments