Another afternoon of storms brought more heavy rain & storm photos. Rain amounts were generally less than Tue. but still reached 1" in Oceanway...0.7" at Fleming Island...0.44" at JIA. Rainfall for the week now exceeds 5" in some spots & 2-4" in many areas. Thu. will be another day of afternoon showers & heavy storms but with a tendency to move more northwest & mostly inland by later in the day. Fri. will be the start of a much needed drying trend that will continue into the weekend with most afternoon convection well inland until perhaps late Labor Day. Photos below are from Jason, Yulee...Tess, from the Fuller Warren Bridge looking N/NE over Jax...Jonathan Hutson, Ortega...Mark D'Amico, Buckman Bridge...Natasha, Jacksonville..."lmjenkins", St. Johns Co.
Following the photos are snapshots of a roll cloud from The Landing skycam then from the Jax Beach skycam looking west. The next 2 photos are from traffic cams at the Buckman Bridge looking west & from US 17 near the Buckman.
So "Isaac" made its final landfall on the La. coast at 3:15am EDT Wed. Water -- both fresh water (rain) & salt water (surge) -- is the big problem along with isolated tornadoes. The storm should manage to produce significant rain far to the north & east -- into the Missouri & Ohio Valley's -- areas hard hit by this year's drought.
As most know, "Isaac" was a tough forecast with forecast models stuggling with the storm's track as late as up to 48 hours before landfall.
** the NAM (American mesoscale) had the storm last Wed. & Thu. moving east of the Bahamas over the weekend before correcting by Fri. to near the Keys on Mon.
** the GFS (American) ranged from the Fl. west coast Mon.-Tue. last Wed....to Pensacola Tue. night on Thu.....to Miami by Sun. night then Panama City early Tue. in its Fri. run. Over the weekend, the model quite radically corrected to the west (near & west of New Orleans).
** The European model had a hard time finding the storm early last week but then caught on Wed. with a forecast landfall west of New Orleans early Fri. (31st). The model then trended east (swapping with the GFS) Thu. & Fri. taking landfall to near Mobile Wed. of this week.
** The NOGAPS did not pick up on the storm early but by Wed. had landfall near Cape Canaveral early Mon....then trended west Thu. & Fri. but still hitting the Panhandle by Mon./Tue.
Many of the forecast models did a good job with the strength early on through the weekend but were too strong across the Gulf of Mexico. So....in general...the NAM was not very good. The GFS did a good job of showing the storm developing well in advance but did become "jumpy". The model did seem to generally figure things out by late Sun. The European did not do well at all on showing genesis & was better on track at 7 days then in the short range(!) but was way too slow until early this week. The NOGAPS just wasn't very good. The GFDL lacked some consistency but did trend west earlier than other models. Overall...models were too far east & too strong (on the track through the Gulf). Models did not seem to strengthen the upper level ridge enough to the north across the U.S. to allow for the more westward track. Given the drought conditions over the middle of the country, it's not surprising that the ridge was more stout & expansive in the end than models indicated.
Nor did I as I expected a Pascagoula to Fl. Panhandle landfall until Sunday.
The 3D images below are from NOAA, the TRMM satellite showing Isaac's structure. The last image is a night view from the NPP Suomi satellite -- click here for more info.
Cruel irony - Isaac's (second & primary) landfall was 7 years to the day of Katrina's landfall. Of course, "Katrina" was in a league of its own & there really are not a lot of similarities other than some of the northern track through the Gulf. Landfall was close to the same but "Isaac" was moving W/NW while "Katrina" was moving north. Both storms were roughly 400 miles across upon reaching the coast but "Isaac" a good deal weaker. Deep oceanic heat content was more pronounced in the Gulf in '05 & "Katrina" managed to cross a very warm loop current helping the storm on its way to a Cat. 5 (3 upon landfall but with a Cat. 5 storm surge). We were pretty lucky in that "Isaac" was not a lot stronger. Click here for a comparison from "Discovery News".