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Could Hurricane Isaac Impact the Seminoles Season Opener?

Isaac track

We're just a week a out from the start of the football season and while much of the country, particularly the southeast, rejoices in antipication, today Florida declared a state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Isaac. 

There's a distinct possibility the Isaac strengthens in the Gulf of Mexico and slams into the Florida panhandle near Tallahassee around mid-week. 

While the storm itself isn't likely to bother Saturday, some of the effects of Isaac sure could.

To help out I enlisted the help of a friend, Seminole alum, Kevin Roth, now a meteorologist (and the object of affection for scores of middle-aged women) in Shreveport, LA. Kevin was more than happy to forecast how Isaac could impact the Seminoles late this week and on Saturday:

"$5 cases of Bud Light. That was the aftermath of hurricane Katrina in Tallahassee. No historic flooding, no mass influx of evacuees, just $5 cases of beer, sold directly off the back of beer trucks that were originally destined for New Orleans. In Tallahassee, it was a stroke of good fortune amidst a national tragedy. This time around, Seminole-City might not be so lucky.

"Exactly 7 years ago from tomorrow, Hurricane Katrina was pushing into the Gulf of Mexico after brushing Southern Florida, just beginning to gain strength in the bath-warm waters near Key West. In a few short days, tropical storm Isaac will enter those very same waters. With a steady diet of warm water and light wind shear, Isaac is expected to strengthen into a hurricane this weekend. 

"The official hurricane track from the National Hurricane Center takes Isaac Northwest across the keys, and west of the Florida peninsula. The track then shifts north, and brings the storm into the Florida panhandle. The timing of landfall looks to be in the middle of next week, with Wednesday morning being the current model consensus. 

"Storm surge and wind speed will be highest on the eastern half of the storm, so a landfall just southwest of Tallahassee (Crawfordville area) would be a worst case scenario. If the storm veers farther east, towards Perry, the threat will be lessened. The main concern with Isaac for a non-coastal city like Tallahassee will be flash flooding from heavy rainfall. The Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC) is estimating rainfall totals to be over 10 inches throughout the Florida Panhandle. 

"A storm track is projected by a “cone of uncertainty”, and hurricane forecasting is notoriously fickle. The current cone stretches from Crystal River, Florida to Gulfport, Mississippi; a span of near 500 miles. Forecasting where a storm will make landfall is difficult enough, but predicting the storms strength upon landfall is even more challenging. Isaac currently has wind speeds of 60 miles per hour, but those winds could easily exceed 100 mph by the time the storm reaches the Gulf Coast. 

"While Tallahassee is currently near the middle of Isaac's forecast track, it’s still unlikely that it ends up directly hitting the city. That being said, the unusually large size of Isaac means that no matter where in the Gulf Coast it makes landfall, Tallahassee will still see some effects.

"As previously mentioned, the main threat locally will be flash flooding from the near foot (12 inches) of incoming rainfall. That kind of rain and the accompanying thunderstorms will likely keep football practice on hold for the back half of the week. By game time on Saturday, most of the storms will have moved on, but it will still be a soggy trek to the DOAK for all interested parties. 

"Tailgating could be even messier than usual, with the oversaturated ground not able to soak up the week's deluge. The combination of wet tailgating areas and thousands of trucks and RV's could easilly tear up the fields, leaving an unsightly scene for weeks to come. 

"Be sure to stay weather aware in the coming week, and tune in to your local meteorologists for the most relevant information." 

- Kevin Roth KSLA

Here's a look at the potential rainfall the Florida panhandle could be looking at courtesy of Mr. Roth:

Isaac rainfall

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