So far, so good. I have made it to Lake City, Florida where I will meet up with Mike Watkins on Sunday. We will decide our next course of action once the overnight models are complete and the new track forecast comes out from the NHC tomorrow morning. We could be setting up along the coast anywhere from Mississippi to the Florida panhandle. We simply have to wait and see like everyone else. However, there is one key difference.
We are ready. We have all the gear and supplies we need to survive on our own for a week or more. While we wait for Isaac, you shouldn’t be. If you can make some early preparations now along the Gulf Coast, that will help should Isaac in fact make landfall near you. The NHC forecast now calls for a category two hurricane and it will be a large one at that. This means a lot of people will be affected. Use THIS time to do what you can to make things easier later on.
I will be very interested to see how fast, if at all, Isaac develops an inner core. This, I think, is the key to how strong it gets and how fast. If it can align itself vertically and develop that strong inner core, with a ring of deep convection surrounding the eye, then Isaac will be poised to become an intense hurricane. The longer this takes, the better the news will be at landfall. We can only watch and take note of what the Hurricane Hunters find when they fly in and around Isaac.
The blog posts will be less frequent now since I am out in the field. In their place, I will upload video blogs, several per day, with new information about Isaac. These video blogs will play under the “Field Mission” tab inside the HurricaneTrack app. As much of a pain in the butt as it may be, you have to completely close the app and then re-start it to get the video page to refresh. We will have this fixed in the first update pending with Apple. So anytime you see a post from @hurricanetrack on Twitter about a new video blog being added to the app, close it, open it back and it should be there under the “field mission” tab. I plan to post several such blogs each day throughout the mission.
I have brought one complete wind tower set up for use during this mission. It will send wind and pressure data, plus a web cam image, to the app every minute once we deploy it in a place yet to be determined. This page DOES refresh itself automatically- all you have to do is watch the data pour in. It will be really great to see this work. Once I know that the equipment works under the stress of field conditions, then we will roll out the other two towers for future missions down the road. For now, only Tower 1 will have data feeding in to it and if all goes well, it will be a monumental victory for weather fans who own the app!
The westward trend in the models is a bit concerning for Alabama and Mississippi. We will have to wait and see if this trend continues. Remember, it is not just about where the center makes landfall. Isaac is and will be a large system and its effects will impact a wide swath of coast and points inland from landfall.
It’s time for some rest and then on to day two tomorrow as we await the next move by Isaac.