7:00 AM | Isaac to strengthen to hurricane status as it approaches the central Gulf coast - possibly even major hurricane status; heavy downpours locally this morning with unsettled weather continuing here through tomorrow
Cloudy with heavy showers this morning along with an embedded thunderstorm or two, partly sunny this afternoon with a continued chance for scattered showers and thunderstorms, warm, humid, highs in the low 80’s
Mostly cloudy, showers and thunderstorms still possible, muggy, lows in the upper 60’s
Partly sunny, warm, chance for a shower or thunderstorm, low-to-mid 80’s
Mostly clear, turning cooler late, near 60
Mostly sunny, warm, low 80’s
Mostly sunny, warm, mid 80’s
Mostly sunny, warm, mid-to-upper 80’s
Mostly sunny, warm, upper 80’s
Tropical Storm Isaac is now located over the eastern Gulf of Mexico with sustained winds of 65 mph and it is moving WNW at 13 mph. Isaac will strengthen over the next 24-48 as it heads on a course that takes it towards the central Gulf coast states of Louisiana and Mississippi with landfall possible on Wednesday. Intensification should bring about hurricane status for Isaac over the next 24 hours and there is the chance for it to strengthen enough to reach major hurricane status (category 3 or higher) as it approaches the central Gulf coast. Warm waters and better atmospheric conditions (less wind shear, less dry air) will lead to the strengthening over the next 24-48 hours. There has not been a major hurricane hit on the US since Hurricane Wilma in October 2005 and that is a record amount of time between major hurricane hits in the US. One other note, while Hurricane Katrina was of course devastating for the New Orleans metro region, it was actually weakening from category 5 status to 4 and then 3 upon making landfall whereas the potential problem here with Isaac is that it very well could be strengthening from a category 1 to 2 and possibly even a 3 right before landfall.
Closer to home, our Mid-Atlantic weather pattern remains quite unsettled with heavy downpours this morning in SE PA and an occasional shower or thunderstorm is likely this afternoon, tonight and tomorrow. All of this instability is being caused by a stubborn disturbance near the Mid-Atlantic coast that will finally be swept away late Tuesday by a frontal system. Once that front passes through the region, dry and warm weather will develop for the second half of the week.