Tropical storm Isaac forms, forecast to become hurricane; could strike Florida or Gulf Coast


The latest runs of the Euro and GFS models have very different solutions for Isaac. The Euro tracks Isaac south of Cuba through the Yucatan channel and into the central Gulf of Mexico over the course of much of next week. The GFS models tracks Isaac along and just north of Cuba this weekend, making landfall in south Florida Monday before moving up its west coast into Tuesday. These are just two of many possible solutions. Track errors are large at this range.

Link: Hurricane Tracker

Tropical storm warnings remain in effect for the northern two-thirds of the Lesser Antilles and tropical storm watches are posted for the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico according to the National Hurricane Center.

Since this morning, track guidance hasn’t changed substantially, but more models tend to suggest a Florida (or Gulf Coast) hit early next week compared to a landfall north of Florida along the East Coast. But this far out all options remain on the table including a track up the East Coast or even out to sea.

Link: Detailed analysis of tropics from Brian McNoldy

Other than a near-term expectation for steady strengthening, the storm’s ultimate intensity - should it make landfall in the U.S. - is unknowable at this time. Large fluctuations in strength are possible, especially as the storm may well interact with Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Cuba.

Stay tuned for the next update tomorrow.

Jason is currently the Washington Post’s weather editor. A native Washingtonian, Jason has been a weather enthusiast since age 10.
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