Hurricane Isaac has now made two landfalls in southern Louisiana, and the Gulf Coast region is no doubt in for a long Wednesday. The slow-moving storm carries an increased risk for flooding in the affected regions, as rainfall totals will be higher. And then there's that storm surge, and those Category One, 80 mile-per-hour winds. Kind of makes you wonder how something so violent and destructive on the underside can look so tranquil from above. This is a major test of the world's largest water pump system, which was installed in New Orleans in the wake of Katrina.
Tropical Storm Isaac is a strange storm. As it steams toward New Orleans today--it's projected to make landfall tomorrow, seven years to the day after Katrina came ashore--it still lacks the kind of coherent organization typical of similar tropical storms. At least, that's what a couple of leading researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are telling PopSci today. But in its strangeness Isaac isn't really a strange case at all. It's tough to tell what these kinds of weather systems are going to do next, and that's a major problem for forecasters attempting to advise those in the storm's (projected) path. That's why NOAA is sending in the robots.