As Tropical Storm Isaac nears landfall in the Gulf Region, it's natural for Bethesda residents to wonder what the storm may do to the Washington, DC area when it arrives this coming weekend.
My prediction? Rain, rain and more rain. But - power outages and toppling trees (due to saturated soil, more than wind) aside - the remnants of Isaac should not be very destructive.
There are several indications why this should be the case. First, Isaac appears to be a bit of a wimp. Given that the storm has been over warm waters in the Gulf, but has failed to gain much additional steam or fury, it is unlikely to power up enough to carry destructive force very far inland.
Second, Isaac has been tracking slightly west. The closer it lands to Texas, the more land it will have to cross to reach the Mid-Atlantic states. Since land is the kryptonite of hurricanes, Isaac simply won't have much punch by Sunday or Monday.
Finally, Isaac has shown it can produce flooding. Isaac reminds me of Tropical Storm Lee just about one year ago. Another "wimp," but do you remember how long Lee's remnants rained on Bethesda days later?
So, I predict no need to take unusual emergency precautions here for Isaac. But should Isaac take a similar path back to the Atlantic as Lee, there could be flash flood risks around the DC area.
Hold off on any major outdoor plans for Saturday - and especially Sunday and Monday. We'll know a lot more of what - if anything - to expect from Isaac as the next few days unfold.
CURRENT LOCATION: 185 miles SSE of Biloxi, MS
WINDS: 70 MPH
MOVING: NW at 7 MPH
+Louis Armstrong and Pensacola airports closed
+Amtrak suspends service into/out of New Orleans through Wednesday
+LA Gov. Bobby Jindal mobilizes 4000 National Guard troops
Stay tuned for all the latest Bethesda hurricane news. And tune your Twitter to @BethesdaRow! Count on Robert Dyer for the helpful, hyperlocal Bethesda emergency weather coverage you need 24/7.