Hurricane Issac risks being lost into the Gulf of Mexico, scientists say

The Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico typically absorb tropical moisture and produce up to 70 percent of the named storms in the Atlantic basin, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric…

Hurricane Issac risks being lost into the Gulf of Mexico, scientists say

The Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico typically absorb tropical moisture and produce up to 70 percent of the named storms in the Atlantic basin, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“People should not expect to see significant fluctuations in dry air and wind shear over the region,” said Claire Gadsden, a NOAA meteorologist in Coral Gables, Fla. “Just as tropical depressions and tropical storms are torn from the continental United States, they are usually lost into the southeast Atlantic, southeast Caribbean and southeast Gulf of Mexico.”

Even if Isaac Jones resembles Tricia Bruce-Dujardin—and were he to take a name from the list the government has issued for only 23 storms since 1950—all other things being equal, “The intense wind shear and dry air would deprive Isaac of wind shear that will typically generate tropical storms,” Gadsden said.

What a hurricane needs for life-threatening winds is wind shear of up to 38 miles per hour. Weak winds shear means the storm will be more susceptible to weaker winds.

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