Friday, August 24, 2012

Isaac might impact both conventions

The latest track of Tropical Storm Isaac and the computer models predicting its future path are pointing toward the possibility that the storm could have an impact on both upcoming political conventions.

Isaac, which had 65 mph top winds early Friday evening and was south of Haiti, is still forecast to cross Cuba this weekend as a tropical storm, then emerge into the Florida Straits and the Gulf of Mexico, strengthening to hurricane status.

Late Friday afternoon, a tropical storm watch was issued for the Florida Keys and the southern Atlantic and Gulf coasts of Florida. On the Gulf coast, the watch extends from just south of Fort Myers southward.

We've heard a lot about how Isaac could affect the Republican National Convention next week in Tampa. As of now, it appears as if the hurricane will be 150 miles off the Florida Gulf Coast -- far enough to prevent the need for wholesale evacuations in Tampa, but close enough to deliver gusty winds, heavy rain and a chance of tornadoes.

But the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte?  It's the week after next.

Alex Sosnowski, a meteorologist with Accu-Weather, says forecasters expect Isaac to be a big rain-maker when it moves inland next week. Landfall is expected on the upper Gulf coast of Florida, perhaps near Pensacola, sometime late Monday.

Andrew Kimball, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Greer, S.C., noted that the computer models have varying predictions for what happens with Isaac when it moves inland.

Most of the models predict the storm will curve north and then a bit northeast, crossing Georgia and the Carolinas. The Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC), generally regarded as the "official" forecast, calls for the remnants to move northward through Alabama and central Tennessee.

Kimball notes that two computer models showing very heavy rain moving across the western Carolinas next Tuesday night and Wednesday. One model, the Global, calls for a swath of 8 to 12 inches of rain in some locales.

The predicted path for Isaac after landfall is in the general vicinity of dying tropical storms that have given Charlotte flooding rains in the past.

Sosnowski says it's too early to tell exactly where the heavy rain goes. But he noted the possible path of Charlotte for Isaac -- and the Democratic National Convention that starts Sept. 3, with some pre-convention events planned for next weekend.

"While Isaac will be long gone by that time (Sept. 3), any residual flooding and cleanup could cause some delays for last-minute preparations and travelers" to the DNC, Sosnowski says.


Anonymous said...

You are correct about the remnants of Hurricanes that make landfall in Florida or along the Gulf Coast. I remember 1997 when my yard flooded twice and now, due to construction,a ditch on a street behind my home has filled in and the County will not do anything about it, I guess I will have to stay home from work if the track brings us heavy rains. I do wish the County would dredge the creeks around Charlotte but they say Government regulations will not allow them to do so. I've checked with the EPA and was told that the County has it wrong. Going to follow up on that as many homes have been hit by flooding along McMullen Creek for a number of years. Would like to see the storm move into Texas or northern Mexico but it still looks to me like New Orleans might be a target.

Anonymous said...

Steve -
Without question you get the king of hype award. Congratulations.

Anonymous said...

Chicken Lyttle - the sky is always falling.

Chad Barker said...

Steve - please pay no attention to the hateful anonymous folks who never have anything positive to say about your blog - I for one appreciate your analysis and thoughts. Kind regards - Chad Barker, Gastonia.

Anonymous said...

Chad -
You are certainly entitled to your opinion - however I must agree that Steve does go overboard.
I often laugh when reading his column because it's usually doom and gloom on the horizon that usually never happens.

Anonymous said...

I am posting here as anonymous, but that's because I'm on a new computer and have not logged in with my handle "nothype". Just want to concur with Chad Barker--the kneejerk naysayers are tiresome and pointless. I appreciate your reports, Steve. Keep it up; pay no attention to the kneejerks.

Komodoman said...

For those of you complaining about the hype, I have two questions:

1) Exactly where are they 'hyping' anything? Is the simple fact they point out the chances of storms impacting the conventions. C'mon - you are all soooooo much smarter than the rest of the population. Please point it out.

2) Obviously, you're aware this is an article about the weather. What do you expect to read when you click on the article? Are you just plain dense, or just trying to impress your pals in the 8th grade?