RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Tropical Storm Isaac continues to slowly meander inland after wobbling Wednesday long the Louisiana Gulf Coast. Because of its slow movement, it has produced prolific rainfall totals and flooding, as well as a prolonged tornado threat from isolated tornadoes in landfalling spiral bands. Some rainfall totals are radar-estimated as high as a foot in southeast Louisiana! Surface observations coincide well with these totals, too.
For example, on Wednesday as Hurricane Isaac wobbled along the southern Louisiana coastline south of New Orleans, during that 24 hour period of August 29, the New Orleans Armstrong International Airport set a new rainfall record of 7.86″, which breaks the old record for August 29 of 4.50″ set in 2005 during the landfall of Hurricane Katrina!
In addition to the heavy rainfall, storm surge has been as high as ten to twelve feet in low-lying parts of southeast Louisiana. The levee system around New Orleans seems to have worked well, but one levee in Plaquemines Parish was no match for the high waves and surge as the water spilled over the top of the levee, flooding homes and stranding people who remained behind in their homes after mandatory evacuation orders were issued the day before the storm arrived.
As of early Thursday, Isaac is now a low-end Tropical Storm with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph. It is still a painfully slow-moving system, with a forward speed of only 9 mph to the northwest.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic Basin, there is Tropical Storm Kirk, which will pose no threat to land as it remains in the open Atlantic Ocean. There is also another disturbance in the Atlantic that looks like it will become our next Depression or Tropical Storm Leslie in the coming days. However, based on mid-range tropical forecast scenarios, this system will also remain at sea away from the U.S. East Coast. We will closely monitor its development and progress, though!
Here is a big picture from GOES East of the three areas of interest, “I” for Tropical Storm Isaac, “K” for Tropical Storm Kirk, and “L?” for potential Leslie in the coming days.
Stay with CBS 6, we’ll keep you ahead of the storm.