Isaac on track to hit New Orleans area, but as Category 1 hurricane

Posted by on Aug 27, 2012 at 10:47 am

Tropical Storm Isaac‘s forecast path shifted slightly west, but remains draped across the New Orleans area in the National Hurricane Center‘s 4 a.m. forecast. But forecasters now say Isaac is likely to grow only to strong Category 1 strength, with top winds of 90 mph, when its center crosses the mouth of the Mississippi River at about 2 p.m. Wednesday.

At 7 a.m., Isaac was 360 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph. The storm was traveling west northwest at 14 mph, and its tropical storm force winds  extended outward as much as 240 miles.

Those tropical storm force winds, 39 mph or greater, could occur as early as tonight in lower Plaquemines Parish, and Tuesday morning along a line from Slidell to Houma, according to forecasters at the Slidell office of the National Weather Service. The center of the storm will take about 24 hours to move along a northwesterly line along the Mississippi River.

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