Riptide's Crack Weather Team has just issued this update on Tropical Storm Isaac: 9:45 AM EST/ Wind shear and disorganized flow have hampered Isaac's development, but a dip in low pressure means by that this afternoon Isaac will begin inexorably raging with the blind, horrible fury of a pack of mutant bees. BEES! DEAR LORD! Hide your children. Hide your wife. Resistance is futile. Isaac will find you, destroy all that is good and holy, and then eat the leftovers in your fridge.
As always, bear in mind that our crack weather team is prone to mild pot-induced paranoia. Isaac, in fact, has strengthened slightly this morning -- but looks more and more likely to track west. Which means Miami looks increasingly safe, but Tampa and the RNC could still get drenched.
Isaac strengthened a bit overnight and is packing winds of around 50 miles per hour this morning as it spins about 175 miles south of the Dominican Republic. The storm remains a bit disorganized, but could dump up to 20 inches of rain over the DR as it hits the island later today.
The real pressing concern is Haiti, where up to 400,000 are still living in temporary shelters that would have a hard time withstanding Isaac's winds and rain. Officials in Port-au-Prince are scrambling today to find enough shelter.
As for South Florida, Miami is still in the cone of concern -- but just barely. Forecasters expect the storm to keep tracking west after it moves over Cuba on Saturday and into Sunday.
The storm should be able to reorganize into a hurricane once it moves into the Gulf of Mexico, and remains a threat to clip Tampa Bay with at least tropical-storm strength winds and rain on Monday, when the GOP gathers for the Republican National Convention.
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Rick Scott, at least, is confident the storm won't mess up his big speech Monday night, when he tells the world how he defeated He-Man and reclaimed his rightful place as ruler of Castle Grayskull.
"Right now, if you look at the projected path, it looks like we will have some rain, and some wind,'' he tells the Miami Herald. "Really, the time to have a discussion about this is after it leaves Cuba."