The Trouble With Isaac... aka 2 Faces of Isaac
Watch the Loop:
Link from the other day, GFS showing multiple centers slingshot style looping around each other and then.... it comes together:
What is funny here is one of the GFS models showed this happening the other day. It showed two weak vortexes which circled around each other.. moved west and did not intensify until the coast of Cuba. It looked whacky at the time, but models predict things we cannot see and it did see this. Note, just as easily the lead vortex can fall apart and it reforms between the two....
This is a very common problem with weak tropical storms and especially large storms. If he were to get into the Gulf of Mexico he would take up most of the Gulf.. probably. Nothing with this storm is for sure..
In 1965 Betsy had a similar problem, different but similar. An amazing meteorologist wrote a paper about the "incipent stages" of Betsy. He illustrated the different areas and how it "came together" in that paper. I have the paper somewhere stuffed away in a green paper binder that the Librarian at the NHC years back was nice enough to give me so it would look like a "book" not a bunch of papers.
|Title||A Synoptic Case Study of the Incipient Stages of Hurricane Betsy, 1965|
|Author||José J. Fernández-Partagás|
And, you thought they have problems with Isaac?
This is how we learn, we study, we compare and then we contrast. The models have many things put into them... tracks of other hurricanes is only one component. Betsy was a messy storm until she wasn't... much like Andrew. It's often the ones like this you have to worry about the most.
The old Cuban mets looked at storms as people... with personalities. The American way (after the Weather Service was formed) was to treat them more scientific. In truth you have to blend the two as they do from the start have their own unique personality.
Hurricane Georges was supposed to start turning towards the WNW... NW maybe for days, yet he kept going in the same direction hitting every piece of land in the Caribbean before making his way to Key West.
"Its 17 day journey resulted in seven landfalls, extending from the northeastern Caribbean to the coast of Mississippi, and 602 fatalities -- mainly in the Dominican Republic and Haiti."
I distinctly remember my daughter Dina telling me as she stared at TWC on TV... "there is no way he is turning, he's going to keep going until he is over Cuba" ...which made no sense logically at the time but it did just that... 7 landfalls. ...
Now, I'm not saying this storm is Georges reborn.. an saying sometimes storms do what they want to do as if they have not seen the models.
There are a lot of models.
It is possible the multiple centers of Isaac is the discrepancy between the two schools of thought that have gone on with this storm since day one.
One set keeps seeing it moving more towards Florida and up the East Coast. The other set of models and forecasters see it moving WNW and up into the Gulf. They both see the storm getting to the Eastern tip of Cuba... from there they disagree.
It's like the old story of 7 blind men and the elephant... each one latches onto one part and thinks that is the whole animal.
These are the models currently:
However.................there are many models and the NHC looks at all of them:
AND....................the NHC blends them together and draws a line down the middle, unless it gives special weight to one in particular.
I'm not saying this is a crap shoot, but I am saying until Isaac figures out who he is and what he wants and one center wins out over the other... he's not going home with Paul Newman any time soon.
It really is that simple.
The hurricane hunters aka recon noticed this problem yesterday, it was obvious on some visible loops however... they do not give weight to a problem until it persists and can be monitored. It was not mentioned then, but was mentioned today in the discussion.
www.spaghettimodels.com has a wealth of information, graphics, discussion and loops to loop. Sit a spell, watch Isaac... at some point he is forecast to intensify. If he does ... as he is projected to do he can and will be a BIG, HUGE Cane to reckon with...
People keep asking me where I think he is going.
I can't say for sure and I think the important thing is to look for indications.
1. If he slows down. Forward motion is a big indicator ... they slow before they turn, usually.
2. If one center gets strong on funktop and stays strong.
3. Overall banding improves of collapses.
4. Where he is located at 11 ... what does the NHC do?
5. Frontal boundary in the Gulf Of Mexico is getting stronger and the whole axis is tilted.
6. Pressures out ahead of him... they like low pressure. Like likes like........
Keep watching and waiting because right now... I can only say that he is going generally West..
Jack Beven wrote a good discussion today at 5.. worth reading in it's entirety but this is the more important part as far as I am concerned. Note he ends it with saying "if" as to Florida. Jack Beven is from LSU land... his eyes are on Louisiana not just Florida and the NHC in general has to watch the whole basin, the whole coastline for any possible problems. They err on the side of caution and try to warn and make aware everyone in the storm's path is knowledgeable about potential dangers.
"THE INITIAL MOTION IS NOW A SOMEWHAT UNCERTAIN 280/19. OTHER THAN
THE CENTER POSITION ISSUES...THERE IS NO SIGNIFICANT CHANGE TO THE FORECAST REASONING DURING THE FIRST 48 HR OF THE TRACK FORECAST. THE EAST-WEST ORIENTED SUBTROPICAL RIDGE TO THE NORTH OF ISAAC ALONG 30N LATITUDE IS FORECAST BY ALL OF THE GLOBAL MODELS TO REMAIN INTACT ACROSS FLORIDA AND THE SOUTHEASTERN U.S. DURING THAT TIME. THIS EARLY PART OF THE FORECAST TRACK IS SHIFTED A LITTLE TO THE SOUTH OF THE PREVIOUS FORECAST BASED ON THE OBSERVED POSITION AND MOTION. AFTER 48 HR...THE RIDGE IS EXPECTED TO WEAKEN AS A MID/UPPER-LEVEL TROUGH MOVES ONTO THE EASTERN UNITED STATES. THE GLOBAL MODELS HAVE COME INTO BETTER AGREEMENT SINCE THE LAST ADVISORY...WITH THE NOGAPS AND CANADIAN MODELS SHIFTING TO THE WEST AND THE ECMWF TO THE NORTH. HOWEVER...THE ECMWF CONTINUES TO SHOW A STRONGER RIDGE...AND THUS SHOWS A MORE WESTERLY MOTION THAN THE OTHER MODELS. THE 72-120 HR PORTION OF THE FORECAST TRACK IS SIMILAR TO THE PREVIOUS FORECAST AND LIES NEAR THE CONSENSUS MODELS. THERE REMAINS CONSIDERABLE UNCERTAINTY AS TO WHICH PORTIONS OF FLORIDA...IF ANY...COULD BE AFFECTED BY ISAAC."
Lastly... it's worth noting that TD 10 may become Joyce soon and where Isaac goes will make a difference in Joyce's travel plans.
The graphic above shows Joyce following behind Isaac. ODDLY... one model today showed Isaac staying weak and Joyce becoming strong.
What can you do with models but loop, watch and review after the fact.
Keep watching.... if you live in Florida... prepare now for a storm and if Isaac doesn't hit you ... the next one might..or the one after that. You live there, it's part of our life in Florida.. like buying snow boots up north and then being upset that you didn't get a lot of snow...... you know?
I will post later tonight or tomorrow..........a few pics from Hurricane Andrew, my personal memories of what Miami Beach looked like after the storm...