August 27, 2012

Isaac's Current Impact on Florida

Despite pushing away from Florida's peninsula Sunday night, Isaac will continue to pose hazards through Monday. Isaac will spend Monday tracking northwestward through the eastern Gulf of Mexico. While Isaac remained a tropical storm to close out the weekend, the waters of the eastern Gulf of Mexico are more than warm enough to allow Isaac to strengthen into a hurricane. The good news for those across the Florida Peninsula is that Isaac will be pushing away as it undergoes strengthening. That does not mean a quiet Monday is shaping up for Miami, Naples, Tampa and Orlando. Instead, the peninsula will remain on Isaac's extremely active side.
Squally bands of rain and thunderstorms will continue to stream across central and southern Florida tonight into Monday. Such squalls will be capable of producing blinding downpours and strong, gusty winds. The squalls will be most numerous from Naples to Tampa on Monday. Enough twisting motion will be present in the atmosphere for the squalls to spawn isolated tornadoes throughout central and southern Florida on Monday. Gusts should top out at around 50 mph in Tampa into Monday with locally higher gusts at the coast. Winds of this speed can down tree branches and cause power outages. Strong tropical storm-force winds, capable of causing more significant tree damage, will buffet southwestern Florida, including Naples.
The danger of coastal flooding will also shift across the peninsula for Monday. While winds spent Sunday driving ocean water onto Florida's southeastern coast, the opposite happened on the other side of the peninsula with winds blowing offshore. "As Isaac moves up over the eastern Gulf, a return flow from the west and southwest in the wake of the storm can bring a storm surge along the Florida west coast," stated Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski. The Hurricane Center is expecting a storm surge as high as six feet at Fort Myers and Naples on Monday. A couple of showers and thunderstorms will follow throughout the Florida Peninsula on Tuesday, when a strengthening Isaac will be taking aim at the northern Gulf Coast.
By Kristina Pydynowski, Senior Meteorologist –

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