Southeastern Louisiana and the Mississippi gulf coast – I have my “eye” on you
While all but the furthest outer bands of Isaac have left the Tampa region, the heavy rainfall from the hurricane has resulted in Flood Warnings for multiple rivers in the area that may take a few days to subside. All eyes are now on southeastern Louisiana and the Mississippi gulf coast as the cyclone approaches landfall overnight tonight, likely as a Category 1 hurricane. While the winds are not as high as previously forecast, currently at 75 mph, Isaac remains a threat with storm surge along the direct shoreline and potential for substantial inland flooding. Between the large size and decreased forward speed of Isaac, isolated areas in Louisiana could see rainfall totals in excess of 15 inches over the next two days. After landfall Isaac will weaken back to tropical storm and then tropical depression status, but is forecast to bring less heavy and very much welcome rainfall to drought stricken areas in Arkansas, Missouri and Illinois.
Today’s assessment comes from USF’s PhD student David Roache who studies tropical weather with USF hurricane expert Jennifer Collins. Roache is co-author on two papers with Dr. Collins and award recipient of two Association of American Geographers Climate Specialty Group Student Paper Awards, 2010 and 2011, 1st place for the Graduate Student Paper of the Florida Society of Geographers’ Conference 2011 and the West Central Florida Chapter of the AMS Dewey Stowers Award, 2011.