Update 2:24 a.m. Aug. 23: The 2 a.m. advisory from the National Weather Service still has Tampa Bay within the five-day cone of uncertainty for Tropical Storm Isaac. The latest forecast map shows the storm, projected to be a hurricane, southwest of Tampa Bay by 8 p.m. Monday.
While it’s still too early to tell for sure where Tropical Storm Isaac will eventually strike, the entire Tampa Bay area remains in the five-day cone of uncertainty.
According to the National Hurricane Center’s 11 p.m. Aug. 22 advisory, Isaac remains southeast of Puerto Rico right now. It has maximum sustained winds of 45 mph at the moment. The storm is expected to strengthen into a hurricane sometime between Thursday and Friday.
A brush with the Dominican Republic and Haiti will likely weaken Isaac, but the storm is anticipated to once again reach hurricane strength before it nears Florida.
The current projection has Isaac in the Sarasota area around 2 p.m. on Monday.
As Isaac continues on a potential collision course with Florida, Bay area emergency managers are urging residents to prepare for the worst. With the Republican National Convention scheduled to start in downtown Tampa next week, planners in Hillsborough County are on high alert for developments in the storm’s track, as well.
National Weather Service meteorologist Nicole Carlisle said earlier today that now is the time to prepare for a storm. She also warns that even if Isaac misses the Bay area with a strike, additional rains in the area could be a concern.
“Don’t focus too much on the skinny black line” in the hurricane track, she said. “Do focus on preparing yourself in the case a hurricane does come barreling our way. It won’t necessarily take a direct impact to cause a problem.”
Stay with Patch for updates about Tropical Storm Isaac as they become available.