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Flooding from Isaac across Gulf, spectacular weather continues in New England

Posted by David Epstein  August 29, 2012 11:34 AM

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This morning incredible amounts of rain continued to fall across much of the Gulf Coast. Isaac is moving at a very slow speed. The storm is moving so slowly you could actually stay dry by keeping pace and walking in the rain free eye. Rainfall amounts will easily exceed a foot in many places with 20" or perhaps more not out of the question. The amount of freshwater is going to be a problem for many low lying areas. You have to remember much of the area that homes and businesses are built is just marsh land. That type of topography easily floods. Although the levee system is upgraded, there are some levees that are not new and already a few have overflowed.For more information or to ask garden and weather questions follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom
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Damage so far
There has been some water overflowing levees in some of the parishes outside of New Orleans. The biggest threat to life an property will be from the water, not the wind. While there will be some trees down and power outages, the wind damage will not be extensive. Water is actually a huge issue for the area as well as the lack of power. Hundreds of thousands will no doubt be without power for many days.

Current track and projections
Now that the storm has made landfall it will hug the coast and very slowly move inland during today and Thursday. Some areas may see tropical storm force winds and rain for another 12 or even 18 hours. Normally, storms move faster than Isaac once they hit land. The slow movement of this storm is going to make this worse than a typical storm, if there is such a thing in the first place.
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How much rain?
Rainfall will be close to a foot northwest of the eye's landfall. You can see on the image below that there is little rainfall in the eye, (center) but increasing amounts of rainfall predicted away from the eye. They key to how much rain falls is on the right side of the image. The storm is forecast to move very slowly and this will allow the rain to fall for a longer period of time. Flooding is certainly going to be an issue in many areas in the path of this storm.
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Midwest rain

The remnants of the storm will eventually move into drought stricken areas of the Midwest. This is good news for farmers who might be able to save some of their fall crop but unfortunately will be too late for most. However, just begining to end the drought across the center of the Country is a good thing. Winter wheat and other crops will do better if planted in moist soil.
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New England weather

Our weather here in New England couldn't be any more different than what is happening in the Gulf. Sunshine will continue for the rest of the week and into the weekend. I am expecting any showers from Isaac to not get here until Tuesday if they ever make it. Temperatures will be warmer Thursday reaching into the 80s and then hot on Friday near 90F. Over the weekend it will be warm and sunny, what a great ending to a fantastic summer of weather.

Gardening tip this week

This is a great time of year to plant. I actually feel that for many plants fall is a better time to plant than it is in the spring. Since the ground stays warm well into October, roots have a good chance to become established. When you plant in the spring, much of the energy of the plant goes into making new leaves, not new roots.
If you have a tough spot that you can't seem to grow anything, check out this video and learn about some of the plants that actually thrive in hard to grow conditions.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this blog or any others. Please follow me on Twitter at @growingwisdom and check out my latest videos at GrowingWisdom.com

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

David Epstein has been a professional meteorologist and horticulturalist for three decades. David spent 16 years at WCVB in Boston and currently freelances for WGME in Portland, ME. In 2006, More »
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