The Tampa Bay area won’t likely see a direct hit from Tropical Storm Isaac, but that doesn’t mean the storm won’t wreak havoc on the region’s weather.
“(We’re) expecting Isaac to stay well out to the west,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Roger Gass. However, “rain bands will continue to move across the area.”
There’s also a threat for isolated tornadoes today and a possible storm surge of 1 to 3 feet above normal in the coastal areas at high tide, Gass added. Strong wind gusts are also possible.
Isaac was located about 180 miles southwest of Ft. Myers at 5 a.m. today, Aug. 27, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm is heading west northwest at 14 mph and has maximum sustained winds of 65 mph. It is anticipated to strengthen into a hurricane sometime tomorrow and may make landfall somewhere along the Louisiana coastline.
While a direct hit isn’t expected, Gass said Tampa Bay area residents should keep their eyes open for tornado watches and warnings today. Residents should also be mindful of heavy rains as bands from the storm move through the area. Most Bay area counties remain under a tropical storm warning today, including Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota.
“The main threat for Tuesday and Wednesday is the threat of rip currents,” Gass warned. “Residents are urged to stay away from the water for the next few days.”
Stay with Patch for updates on Tropical Storm Isaac as they become available.