Hurricane Isaac came a shore in Louisiana earlier today bringing with it lots of rain and flooding, wind gusts over 100 mph and evacuations due to high water in Plaquemines Parish. The storm has weakened a little this afternoon now at tropical storm status. It is moving slow and still causing lots of problems.
Now that the question of landfall for this storm has been answered, the next relevant question for the Ozarks is: where will this system track over the next few days?
If you have been tracking this storm, you know that it continues to track west of every official prediction made for the past several days. Where it tracks is vital to the Ozarks for two reasons: 1) it determines where the heaviest rain will be laid down and 2) it defines where a weak tornado threat might exist.
Whatever the exact track, this storm will eventually take on the look of a low pressure system tracking through the central U.S. It will have plenty of humidity tracking with it and therefore will produce heavier than normal rain near its path.
Like any low pressure area, folks in the “warm sector”, so to speak, or to the east of the low center would be subject to the best combination of unstable air and wind shear. This is in part why many land-falling tropical systems produce occasional weak tornadoes. This area is also where the heavier rain totals end up.
The rain potential is great. Some areas will likely pick up 4-5 inches, perhaps more locally!
As of now, the low is projected right over the Ozarks starting late Thursday and then leaving on Saturday.