ISAAC WINDING DOWN, WILL BRING WELCOME RAINS TO DROUGHT STRICKEN AREAS WHILE LOUISIANA CLEANS UP

Tropical storm Isaac continues to gradually weaken as it crawls off to the northwest, currently about 50 miles west of New Orleans with 60 mph winds:

Rainfall amounts are approaching 20 inches around parts of New Orleans, and the earthen levees to the south in Plaquemines Parish have given way with severe flooding in that part of the state. Winds gusted over 100 mph as it roared ashore last night, and the storm surge in some areas topped 12 feet. Despite all of that, fortunately, New Orleans itself has been able to dodge the bullet with the new levee system holding thus far.

Isaac will continue to weaken and slowly move off to the northwest and then north over the next few days, and bring welcome rains to the Mississippi valley and Midwest through the upcoming weekend:

As Isaac winds down, it’s time to once again look to the rest of the Atlantic for any future threats:

Tropical storm Kirk, with 50 mph winds, is located in the central Atlantic and currently moving west-northwest. This storm will gradually turn north and then northeast and move into the north central Atlantic. While it may reach hurricane status, it will pose no threat to North America and disrupt only the shipping lanes within this region.

A broad area of low pressure (Invest 98L), or the big red blob on the map above, is about 925 miles west of the Cape Verde islands farther south in the central Atlantic. This is beginning to show signs of organization and has a high chance (70%) of tropical depression formation in the next 1-2 days. Most models also recurve this storm into the north Atlantic as well, but it will need to be watched over the next 3-5 days given its southern latitude. Regardless, it is at least 7 days away from the US, so there’s plenty of time to watch it.

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