Weather News: Isaac gaining strength in the Gulf of Mexico

Isaac over Florida (credit: NOAA)

Isaac over Florida (credit: NOAA)

Florida News: Isaac expected to become a Category 2 hurricane

Yesterday, Tropical Storm Isaac was responsible for the cancellation of 555 flights from the Miami International Airport and for disrupting power for approximately 16,000 residents in Southern Florida. Areas of the Florida Keys experienced some flooding and downed palm fronds and branches littered some roadways. Damage in Florida, however, has appeared to be minimal thus far.

It’s expected that Isaac will become a hurricane today or tomorrow and will hit the Gulf Coast between Louisiana and Florida by the middle of the week. Isaac is following the same track Katrina did and it’s happening eerily close to the 7th anniversary of that storm system making landfall. Forecasters are saying that conditions are right for Isaac to strengthen and intensify beyond a Category 2 hurricane as it makes its way over the warm waters of the Gulf.

States of emergency have been declared by governors of Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama with hurricane warnings in effect for northern parts of the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle to Louisiana.

Isaac in Haiti and the Dominican

So far, Florida is faring out much better than its neighbors. Two deaths have been reported in the Dominican Republic and eight people have died in Haiti.

Isaac’s track

Forecasts show Isaac following a westward path taking the worst of the storm away from Tampa where the Republican National Convention is taking place, and over the U.S. offshore oil patch. Tampa, however, will likely face heavy rain, strong winds and storm surge.

Tell us…

Are you prepared for if a hurricane strikes while you’re on vacation?