FOLLOW ON FACEBOOK: TODD YAKOUBIAN
7AM Tuesday Update... I will update the blog a little later this AM with more in depth information. A quick glance continues to thankfully show Isaac is struggling and not reaching hurricane status. However, I do think it will achieve that before landfall. The current forecast track takes him right through central Arkansas early Friday morning. This puts eastern Arkansas in line for the worst weather. Western areas will still likely to get rain, but it's eastern areas which could see several inches. I still think there is a good chance it's out of here by game day!! More later and check out the video below.
9:55 PM Monday Update.... It was almost 5 years ago I had the privilege of flying with the Air Force Hurricane Hunters through Hurricane Ike. These men and women work extra long hours to stay on top of developing tropical systems with flights around the clock. They play a vital role in helping us forecast. Right now, they're working non stop flying through Isaac.
Here's a story about the trip which aired shortly after I got back.
2:20 PM Monday Update... Isaac is strengthening slower than anyone expected. With that said, I still think this will become a hurricane and make landfall as a cat 1... maybe a cat 2. The central pressure this Monday afternoon is down to about 984 mb and it's just a matter of time before the NHC increases the sustained wind speed and officially makes this a hurricane.
How about the impact on Arkansas? In terms of wind energy, the weaker this is at landfall, the better for us. The wind energy will dissipate and this will become a depression faster. This means heavy rainfall will be the primary concern. There's also the risk for isolated tornadoes for any location east of center. The exact track of the center is NOT set in stone.
Yes, we need rain and this COULD put a huge dent in the drought. However, I want to caution you, too much at one time isn't a good thing either. Here are the latest computer models. Scroll down further to find more in depth info from this AM.
|The Monday morning run of the European shows the center of low pressure in far SE Arkansas. This would bring the heaviest rain to far eastern areas into Mississippi.|
|The Canadian is similar and with a weakened area of low pressure bringing the worst to areas east of Arkansas.|
|This is the GFS early Friday morning. The center of the low is over western Arkansas. This would bring areas of heavy rain for much of the state. Isolated tornadoes would also be possible.|
As of Monday morning, Isaac is maintaining its strength as a formidable tropical storm with sustained winds around 65 mph. At this time, many models and meteorologists with the Hurricane Center thought this would be a hurricane. While the chances are still likely this will become a hurricane, the forecast intensity has come down some. That's one of the hardest things about forecasting tropical systems... the intensity and Isaac is proving that to be true. Nevertheless, it may become a category 1 or 2 at landfall and hopefully nothing higher.
Have you noticed that with each update from the Hurricane Center, the track shifts to the west? Just a few days ago, this was forecast to hit Tampa and now it's going to be nowhere close! With landfall only a couple days away, I can't help but ask, how much to the west will the corrections continue?
With that said, we need to look at the computer model guidance to help with that answer. But before I do that, let's talk about the center of the circulation and what we're watching at Channel 7 as he comes ashore. First, remnant tropical systems are no stranger to Arkansas and no 2 storms are alike! In 2005, we had Rita and Katrina. Rita brought tornadoes and some flooding. Katrina went east of Arkansas, but did manage to spiral a few rain bands into the state. in 2008, Gustav hit Arkansas with flooding rainfall, but no tornadoes. Shortly after, Ike hit Arkansas with high winds, flooding, and tornadoes.
The tornadoes in a tropical system are NOT like the typical ones we experience, but are still a threat to life and property. They are usually on the lower end of the EF scale and are short lived. They also move very, very rapidly.
The worst weather from a tropical system can be found on what's called the "right front quadrant." The area east of the center of circulation usually experiences heavy rainfall bands and storms embedded within those bands can rotate and spin up those tornadoes. West of the circulation, rainfall still occurs, but it's usually not as heavy and the threat for severe weather is lower. So as we watch the adjustment to the track further to the west, that's what raises alarm bells. If this tracks up through the ArkLaTex and into eastern OK or western AR, that can bring problems as mentioned above.
Here are the latest computer models.
|The UKMET valid late Wednesday shows the storm near the MS/AL border. This falls into the "eastern solution" camp and would have minimal impact on Arkansas.|
|This shows the forecast rain amounts from the HPC and really illistrates|