Deputy Director of the Florida Institute of Oceanography Jyotika Virmani at 1:03 p.m. released four possible scenarios for Tropical Storm Isaac’s path as it bears down on the Gulf of Mexico. The good news: newly formed Tropical Storm Joyce has collapsed into a low-pressure system. The bad news: the rosy forecasts of a western track may be premature.
Tropical Storm Isaac has intensified to have 60-mile-per-hour winds, prompting the Jamaican government to issue a tropical storm watch. And a high-pressure ridge that was pushing the storm south, pushing its path away from Florida, is breaking, Virmani said in an email.
The first scenario has the storm losing steam over Cuba, and surviving as a weak hurricane or tropical storm by the time it makes landfall in the Florida panhandle. In two other alternative paths, Virmani predicts Isaac will cut across the state, or hit the southern tip before returning to the Atlantic Ocean.
Sarasota County would still face high winds and above-average storm surge next week, predicted by county emergency operations officials yesterday, in Virmani’s scenarios.
To see more commentary from Virmani, go to http://jyotikastorms.blogspot.com.