Hurricane Isaac’s Path Still Uncertain As Evacuations Begin

Hurricane Isaac is expected to make landfall in the Gulf Coast sometime Tuesday or Wednesday, but where it will hit and whether what is still a tropical storm will actually reach hurricane status is still in question.

What is now tropical storm Isaac has already lashed the Florida Keys and South Florida with rain and wind and is now headed toward the Gulf Coast, the New York Post reported. When it actually reaches land, it will do so on the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and meteorologists are still trying to figure out if Isaac will bring the same kind of flooding and damage that 2005’s destructive hurricane did.

Forecasting the exact path of Isaac will be difficult, meteorologists say. A forecast map put out by the US National Hurricane Center shows a wide range of possibilities from southern Louisiana to the far western edge of the Florida panhandle.

Part of the confusion over Hurricane Isaac’s path comes from meteorologists’ computer models. The two best and most reliable computer models have the storm traveling in opposite ends of the cone, with one putting Isaac well off to the west while the other predicts it will hit closer to Florida.

Because of the uncertainty of the Hurricane’s path, all of those areas along the Gulf Coast are under hurricane warning, the New York Post pointed out. Evacuations have begun in Louisiana’s St. Charles Parish near New Orleans, and the state’s governor Bobby Jindal has declared a state of emergency, the Clarion-Ledger reported.

As Hurricane Isaac’s path becomes clearer on Monday, more mandatory evacuations are expected, the report stated. Officials are expecting the storm to reach the coast at a Category 2 strength.