Hurricane Isaac, who had threatened the Tampa Bay Area much of last week, made his final landfall near Grand Isle, Louisiana on Tuesday evening as a Category One Hurricane. At landfall, Isaac’s maximum sustained winds were estimated at 80 miles per hour. Due to the swamp-laden lands along the Louisiana coastline, the National Hurricane Center expected little change in strength through much of the morning on Wednesday as the storm moved slowly along the bayous and swamps of southern Louisiana.
Latest update from the National Hurricane Center
As of 1 a.m. Wednesday morning, the center of Hurricane Isaac was located near latitude 29.0 degrees north and longitude 90.0 degrees west. This placed the system about 60 miles southeast of Houma, Louisiana, and 70 miles south of New Orleans, Louisiana. Maximum sustained winds remained near 80 miles per hour, with a minimum central pressure of 969 millibars, or 28.61” of mercury. Movement was to the west-northwest at seven miles per hour.
A slow drift to the northwest is expected over 36 hours, with a gradual weakening trend setting in by Wednesday afternoon. A storm surge of six to twelve feet occurred along the Mississippi and southeastern Louisiana coastline. Rainfall amounts of seven to fourteen inches, and isolated amounts of twenty inches, are expected along the path of Isaac. For further details on Isaac, visit the National Hurricane Center’s website.
Isaac’s locally limited legacy in Tampa Bay
While the spiral bands of Isaac did lead to the development of a few tornadoes across Tampa Bay, overall Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaac will not be one of the more memorable storms to affect the Tampa Bay Area by any means. Overall rain totals ranged from two to just over four inches, with the top wind gusts in the Tampa Bay Area ranging from 35 to 50 miles per hour. Considering what had been predicted to occur, the effects were of Isaac locally quite limited in nature.
Tampa Bay weather for Wednesday through Friday
Despite the system being hundreds of miles away, a few of Isaac’s effects will still be felt along Tampa Bay on Wednesday, with very high humidity and an estimated 50% coverage of thunderstorms across the area. After morning lows of 75 to 82, highs will climb up to between 87 and 93 degrees under partly sunny skies. Heat index values will continue to approach 105 degrees across Tampa Bay as dew point temperatures range in the upper 70s and lower 80s.
A transition to a somewhat more typical end-of summer forecast is expected for Thursday and Friday. Skies will be partly cloudy, with the coverage of precipitation falling to between 30% and 40%. After morning lows of 75 to 82 degrees, highs will climb to between 90 and 95 degrees. As the higher humidity will linger around the area, heat index values will again approach 105 degrees in a few areas through the end of the work week. For further forecast details, visit the local National Weather Service website, the Storm Team 8 Facebook page, and Meteorologist Denis Phillips Facebook page.