August 22, 2012

All eyes in the Florida Keys are on Tropical Storm Isaac


This time of year, it's not unusual for locals to be tuning into The Weather Channel or browsing the NOAA webpage for the latest in the tropics.

Right now we're watching Tropical Storm Isaac.  This comes from William Wagner, Fire Chief for Islamorada Fire & Rescue:


"As the entire error cone includes the large landmasses of Hispaniola and Cuba, the intensity forecast is low confidence than the track forecast. The more time Isaac spends over those large, mountainous islands, the weaker Isaac will be. The more time Isaac spends over the water, the stronger Isaac may be. By Sunday night when Isaac may be in our neighborhood, there is a 46% chance that Isaac will be a hurricane at that time. However, due to some interaction with Hispaniola and Cuba as implied in the official NHC forecast, there is currently only a 4% chance that Isaac will be a major hurricane (category 3 or more) at that time.

Since the forecast track has not changed significantly since yesterday, the chance for wind impacts in the Keys has been increasing steadily.

For Key West:
19% chance for tropical storm force winds (34 knots - 39 mph) 6% chance for 50-knot (58 mph) winds 2% chance for hurricane force winds (64 knots - 74 mph)

For Marathon:
22% chance for tropical storm force winds (34 knots - 39 mph) 2% chance for hurricane force winds (64 knots - 74 mph)

Bottom Line: Isaac is a threat to the Florida Keys. If there are no significant changes to the forecast, at a minimum, tropical storm force winds are possible in the Florida Keys Saturday and Sunday night. It is too early to predict whether Isaac will pass over the Keys, east of the Keys, or even south and west of the Keys."






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