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Tropical Storm Isaac May Skirt Tampa Bay

It's too early to know with certainty. Tampa is still in the cone of possible tracks, but Isaac may arrive west of Tampa Bay early next week.

We're not in the clear just yet.

At 8 a.m. today, Tropical Storm Isaac churned at sea, just south of Haiti, where a hurricane watch is in effect. The National Weather Service expects the storm to crawl at about 15 mph toward Florida, crossing Cuba Sunday morning.

But hurricane officials are not anticipating a direct hit on the Tampa Bay region.

If current projections stand, Isaac will arrive west of Tampa Bay after midnight Tuesday as a Category 1 hurricane. There is a chance that Isaac will impact Florida's panhandle next week.

Of course, all that may change with the unpredictability of the storm as it edges closer to landfall, hurricane officials said.

According to National Weather Service meteorologist Nicole Carlisle, the Tampa Bay area is in for a nice weekend until Isaac creeps closer to the region.

“At least for today and tomorrow, we’re going to be pretty dry for summertime in Florida,” Carlisle said. There’s about a 20 percent chance of rain today with a slightly higher chance tomorrow.

“Sunday is when, depending on the track of Isaac, it will start to deteriorate,” Carlisle said. “Even if it (Isaac) passes to the west of us, we could still see some rain bands that could have some pretty strong winds and isolated tornadoes.”

Gov. Rick Scott activated the Emergency Operations Center Thursday. He  pledged to stay in contact with the National Weather Service and convention leaders.

FEMA is on site at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

At the very least, the highly watched storm is likely to bring rain to the Tampa Bay area, as 50,000 visitors arrive for the Republican National Convention.

The forecast for Tampa Bay calls for scattered showers and thunderstorms throughout the weekend.

Stay with Patch for storm updates throughout the day.

cherylwithac August 25, 2012 at 03:33 AM
It may skirt Tampa Bay, it may not. It's just a guessing game right now.

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