Quote: I can find no definitive data to indicate what Issac is to do once in the Gulf of Mexico nor am I going to speculate where and when. ... I see no evidence on satellite imagery this evening that Isaac will undergo rapid intensification soon; the southern half of the cyclone is void of convection and over land ... - by Berrywr on Saturday Night
My, what a difference a day can make with regard to ongoing storm developments !!
Tropical Storm Isaac has exhibited increasing signs of consolidation and organization today. As the day began, the issue of multiple vorticies remained in evidence, with at least 2 of them, near and over Cuba and another possibly lurking to the NE.
Additionally, and more significantly, Isaac was essentially roughly half a storm, with all it's (meager at best) deep convection and associated cloud and shower envelope largely confined to the NE SemiCircle, with it's north-westernmost extent of this "half pie" arcing back across Florida, providing intermittent bursts of frenzied winds and driving rains across the southern half of the peninsula.
But from the 5 1/2 hour time lapse visible satellite loop shown below, you can clearly see that Isaac rapidly attained a much more symmetrical appearance as the ancillary vorticies weakened and spun down over Cuba and deep, sustained convection formed near a still sloppy and rather elongated center of circulation.
Then, slowly but surely, the innermost structure began contracting down and intensifying and a steadily improving long range Doppler signature out of Key West began to confirm, finally, what has been a long time coming: A solid trend towards intensification.
In the final few frames of the satellite loop, you can certainly notice the flareup of deep convection on BOTH sides of the 'developing eyewall', which is also borne out on Doppler. The deepest convection has formed a 'partial eyewall' in Isaac's NW quad and has, within the hour, just lashed the southern Keys and Key West.
With a steadily improving and developing eyewall structure, and with the approaching overnight convective maxima cycle, I can reasonably assume that Isaac may finally attain that which has eluded him thus far: A well developed eyewall and it's attendant Hurricane status.
Here's my question: With plenty of high oceanic heat content ahead of the storm, and assuming ongoing and increasing organization, and (presumably) lessening shear in the Gulf, and a good, long track run up the gulf to the MS delta region (or points eastwards), WHAT is to prevent Isaac from rapid intensification, perhaps to Major proportions?
It's already HUGE. If it were to also attain high end Cat 2 or even Cat 3 strength, we'd have a real problem to deal with, especially N.O., should Isaac ultimately track near or over that city, considering the coincident near-full moon tidal issues with the flooding of surrounding canals, lakes, etc., as has been discussed. Your thoughts?
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