As a Floridian living a few miles from where the RNC convention will be held, I thought tonight might be a good time to create a clearing house thread
to discuss the storm and its potential impact on the convention. I will do my part for this to be apolitical.
The current NHC 11PM EDT track has it passing just off the east of the Pinellas County coast.
Isaac Track 11PM Wednesday
For those who do not know, when people discuss Tampa as a region, they really are referring to Tampa/Clearwater/St. Petersburg. The "A" location on
this map link below is where the convention is being held. All three cites lie next to each other. Tampa does not actually sit on the Gulf coast, but
rather on Old Tampa Bay to its south and west and Hillsborough Bay to its SE and east, Both are fed by the Gulf just a few miles to its south. Tampa
is in Hillsborough County. Clearwater and St. Pete are in Pinellas County and comprise an area that includes the Bay on their east coasts and the Gulf
on their west borders. Pinellas County is a peninsula, with St. Pete at the southern tip and Clearwater being just above it.
Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater map
Due to the geography of the Bay, any storm surge from an offshore storm drives water up into Tampa and Hillsborough Bays, where it piles onto land for
all three cities. This makes storm surge here a big deal as there is no high ground, save for a ridge that actually runs north/south in central
Pinellas county between the Gulf and the Bay, going north many miles. Short of that, everywhere is but a few feet above sea level in the proximity of
where the convention will be held.
If the storm is a category one, chances are they won't postpone the convention, due to a small expected surge. But even then, we would expect
significant street flooding that will make getting around impossible in some areas (like the exact spot where I live).
But we are still days away, so the current track will change some. They've been pretty good these past few years calling both the strength and track
of named storms though.
It does look though like it will cross the meat of the Blue Mountains in Jamaica (beautiful..I've been there), which will weaken it, at least until it
gets into the Gulf. It will also go over mountains in Cuba. But the good news is that will reduce its time to build up steam. Then again, if its
current track stays true, it will skirt to the west of the coast versus riding up the coast, meaning it could build and/or stay strong instead of
weakening by partially tracking over land.
The 11PM update showed a tiny drop in pressure to 1003, but no wind speed change. Satellite does show it getting better organized though.
I'll post more tomorrow. I look forward to apolitical contributions.
edit on 22-8-2012 by pajoly because: (no reason
edit on 22-8-2012 by pajoly because: (no reason given)