The 5-day forecast for Tropical Storm Isaac now includes south Louisiana among the system’s possible eventual destinations next week, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The forecast path, most recently updated at 10 p.m. Thursday, shows the storm passing over Cuba this weekend and nearing the southern tip of Florida by late Sunday. From there, the forecast currently shows a wide range of possibilities for a hurricane-strength landfall along the Gulf Coast, from central Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle.
The local advisory from the National Weather Service issued at 7 p.m. Thursday discusses these possibilities in more detail:
The latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center calls for Tropical Storm Isaac to move across the Florida straits late Sunday. Isaac is expected to continue northwest across the Eastern Gulf of Mexico on Monday into Tuesday and strengthen into a hurricane. On this track…increasing…strong offshore winds and building seas will create hazardous conditions for boating interests Monday night through Wednesday…especially over the offshore waters east of Southwest Pass. However…the forecast from the Hurricane Center and models continues to trend to the west closer to our outlook area so please stay tuned to the latest forecasts and advisories issued by the National Hurricane Center on Tropical Storm Isaac.
Lt. Col. Jerry Sneed, deputy mayor of public safety in New Orleans, told our partners at WWL-TV that the city is monitoring Isaac and is now prepared for up to a Category 3 storm:
While officials urge residents to begin watching the storm and making preparations, the National Hurricane Center also notes that “there is significant uncertainty in tropical cyclone intensity predictions at 3-5 days.”