Tropical Storm Isaac Lashing South Florida and the Keys, Aug. 26, 2012 UPDATE 11 AM EDT

Tropical Storm Isaac Surface Wind Field

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Miami, Florida—(ENEWSPF)—August 26, 2012 – UPDATE 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC).  The National Hurricane Center is reporting that Tropical Storm Isaac is lashing out in south Florida and the Florida Keys.  Isaac is located 23.9n, 80.8w, about 80 miles (130 km) se of Key West Florida, about 110 miles (180 km) ene of Havana, Cuba. 

Changes in Watches and Warnings with this Advisory

The Hurricane Watch for the Florida east coast from Golden Beach southward to Ocean Reef is discontinued.

The Hurricane Watch is extended westward along the Louisiana coast to just east of Morgan City, including metropolitan New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain.

The government of Cuba has discontinued the Tropical Storm Warning for the Cuban provinces of Sancti Spiritus, Ciego de Avila, Camaguey, Las Tunas, Holguin, Granma, Santiago de Cuba, and Guantanamo.

Summary of Watches and Warnings in Effect

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:

  • the Florida Keys including the Dry Tortugas,
  • the west coast of Florida from Bonita Beach southward to Ocean Reef, and
  • Florida Bay.

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for:

  • east of Morgan City, Louisiana to Indian Pass, Florida, including metropolitan New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • the Cuban province of Villa Clara,  
  • the northwestern Bahamas,  
  • the Florida east coast from Sebastian inlet southward to Ocean Reef,
  • Lake Okeechobee, and
  • the Florida west coast and the Florida Panhandle from north of Bonita Beach to Indian Pass, including Tampa Bay.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:

  • the Cuban provinces of Matanzas and Cienfuegos, and
  • the Florida east coast north of Sebastian Inlet to Flagler Beach.

A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area, in this case within the next 24 hours. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.

A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. a watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that Tropical Storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.

A Tropical Storm Watch means that Tropical Storm Conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

Interests in the remainder of Cuba, the remainder of Florida, and the remainder of the northern gulf coast should monitor the progress of Isaac.

For storm information specific to your area in the United States, including possible inland watches and warnings, please monitor products issued by your local National Weather Service Forecast Office. For storm information specific to your area outside the United States, please monitor products issued by your National Meteorological Service.

Discussion and 48-hour Outlook

At 1100 am EDT (1500 UTC) the center of Tropical Storm Isaac was located near latitude 23. North, longitude 80.8 west. Isaac is moving toward the west-northwest near 18 mph (30 km/h).  A west-northwestward to northwestward motion is expected during the next 48 hours with a gradual decrease in forward speed.  On the forecast track, the center of Isaac is expected to move near or over the lower Florida Keys later today and tonight, and move into the eastern gulf of Mexico on Monday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph (100 km/h) with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Isaac is expected to be at or near hurricane strength when it reaches the Florida Keys.

Tropical Storm force winds extend outward up to 205 miles (335 km) from the center.  A wind gust to 60 mph (97 km/h) was reported in Pompano Beach, and a wind gust to 59 mph (95 km/h) was reported in Kendall.

Estimated minimum central pressure is 995 mb (29.38 inches).

Hazards Affecting Land

Rainfall. Total rainfall accumulations of 4 to 8 inches, with maximum amounts of 12 inches, are possible across the Florida Keys, the southern peninsula of Florida and portions of central and eastern Cuba. Total rain accumulations of 3 to 6 inches are possible over the central and southern Bahamas.

Wind. Tropical Storm conditions are occurring over portions of eastern and central Cuba and the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Tropical Storm conditions are possible in portions of northwestern Cuba by late today. Hurricane conditions are expected in the hurricane warning area in southwest Florida and the Florida Keys today. Tropical Storm conditions are occurring in the Tropical Storm warning area along the Florida east coast. Tropical Storm conditions are expected to spread northward along the west coast of Florida and into the eastern Florida Panhandle in the Tropical Storm warning area tonight and Monday. Hurricane conditions are possible in the hurricane watch area along the northern gulf coast on Tuesday, with Tropical Storm conditions possible by Monday night.

Storm Surge. The combination of a storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters. The water could reach the following depths above ground if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide:

  • Crystal River through the Big Vend of Florida…4 to 7 ft.,  
  • southwest Florida coast within hurricane warning area…4 to 6 ft.,  
  • Florida west coast from Bonita Beach to south of Crystal River including Tampa Bay…3 to 5 ft.,  
  • southeast Florida coast and the Florida keys…1 to 3 ft.,  
  • central and eastern Cuba…1 to 3 ft.,  and
  • the Bahamas…1 to 3 ft.

The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore flow. Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances. For information specific to your area, please see products issued by your local Weather Service Office. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by dangerous waves.

Tornadoes. Tornadoes are possible today over central and southern Florida, with the greatest threat over southern Florida and the Keys.

Surf. Dangerous surf and rip current conditions will continue to affect the central and northwestern Bahamas, eastern and central Cuba, the Florida Peninsula and the Florida Keys during the next couple of days.  Please consult products from your local Weather Office for more information.

Source: nhc.noaa.gov