The 11:00 National Hurricane Center Tropical Storm Isaac shows a small but important change for northwest Florida. 6 hours earlier the projection showed Isaac coming ashore at Panama City Tuesday evening.
The earlier maps indicated Isaac would head north from Panama City and then pass Dothan and begin to turn to the northeast over Georgia.
Now, the new 11PM map shows the center of the storm off shore from Ft. Walton Beach/Destin heading to Pensacola. This indicates some of the hurricane track models have moved to the west.
Shifts in the track happen all the time in hurricane forecasting but this shift, if it holds true, removes a major direct hurricane hit for Panama City, at least for the time being.
Nonetheless, the storm’s winds extend out 200 miles to the east and it would still be a big problem for all of northwest Florida.
Storm Surge projection data still shows a 6 foot surge in North Bay in the Lynn Haven – Southport area. Hurricane Opal caused major flooding there in October, 1995. The surge then was measured at just over 9 feet on the saltwater side of Deerpoint Dam.
Although the shift in the track isn’t referenced in the 11 PM advisory it certainly has drawn our attention at NewsChannel 7.
The National Hurricane Center at 11 PM also extended the Tropical Storm Watch all the way up the west coast of Florida to Indian Pass in Gulf County. That watch will probably be extended further across the Panhandle by late tomorrow or early Monday.