ISAAC FADING OVER THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY, WHAT ABOUT LESLIE?

Tonight’s enhanced water vapor loop shows a weakening tropical depression Isaac moving up the Mississippi river between Arkansas and Mississippi, and will continue to bring welcome rains to the middle of the country over the next few days. The storm will eventually make it to the east coast, but in a substantially weaker form of enhanced rain along an approaching frontal boundary.

wv2_tropic_anim.gif

Given Isaac’s impending demise, we will turn our attention to the two storms now located in the central Atlantic.

Hurricane Kirk, which has strengthen quite rapidly over the past 24 hours, and now packs 100 mph winds, is located in the center of the Atlantic ocean, about 900 miles east southeast of Bermuda. Although it’s a very pretty yet compact storm, with a well defined eye, it will pose no threat to the US mainland and it moves north then northeast over the next few days.

Tropical Storm Leslie, a much larger storm, and much farther to the south, is currently located about 1000 miles east of the Lesser Antilles. Leslie has significantly increased in strength in just the last 24 hours, with winds of 50 mph. She is currently moving west at 18 mph as it travels along the southern periphery of a subtropical ridge to the north. Most models forecast a break in that ridge in about 2-3 days, which would allow for a more northwesterly motion and eventually the storm re-curving north and then northeast to the east of the US east coast. This potential break in the ridge will be the first factor which will ultimately dictate Leslie’s final path. If this weakness is less pronounced, the storm could get much closer to the US mainland. The European model, which did well (in comparison to most of the other models) with Isaac and his eventual path into the Gulf of Mexico, is taking Leslie close enough to cause rough surf up and down the east coast, but no landfall, through late next week on it’s most recent run this afternoon (courtesy of Weatherbell Analytics, LLC, at http://www.weatherbell.com):

The first potential fork in the road doesn’t come for at least another 48 hours, so there’s time to watch it. Although the chance is rather small, Leslie can’t be written off for the US east coast – at least not yet.

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