Tropical Depression #9 has been upgraded to Tropical Storm Issac as of 2 PM MDT. Issac was located about 500 miles east of the island of Guadeloupe, or near 15.4 N and 53.9 W.
He is moving to the west at 17 mph, and his central pressure is slowly falling, now down to 29.71 inches of mercury, or 1006 millibars. Issac has sustained winds of 40 mph with gusts near 50 mph.
Tropical Storm Issac is forecast to continue moving westward for the next couple of days, with a possible track more to the west-northwest by the weekend. An upper-level trough of low pressure is forecast to move into the northern Gulf of Mexico by this time, and weaken the strong ridge of high pressure, that is currently steering Issac to the west.
Issac is moving over the warm waters of the Western Atlantic, and in a few days, when he enters the Caribbean, he will encounter even warmer waters. This will help Issac to strengthen. Wind shear and dry air are forecast to be at a minimum by the time this happens, so Issac may very well become a Hurricane by as early as Thursday.
Tropical Storm Issac is already generating a lot of attention across the nation, and for good reason. Not only does he have the potential to become a strong Hurricane, his future track and strength could impact people living anywhere along the Gulf Coast, to the Eastern Coast of the USA.
This far out in time, the various forecast models are offering just about as many different forecasts concerning his future track and strength, as there are computer forecast models. My best advice for now is for folks living along the Gulf Coast to the East Coast, to be on guard and monitor this storm this week. We may not have a clear picture of Issac's future track and strength until this weekend or perhaps the first of next week. Remember, Hurricanes are notorious for doing things like not following computer model forecasts.
The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!
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