|1800 UTC 17 Aug – 1800 UTC 27 Aug 2012 IR satellite imagery and|
GFS sea level pressure and 700-mb wind analyses
As shown in the loop below (click to enlarge), Isaac formed within a tropical wave that originated over Africa and moved across the tropical Atlantic Ocean. Not all tropical waves develop into tropical cyclones and you can see two examples trailing Isaac. Better understanding the mechanisms that contribute to tropical wave development or non-development is an area of active research in the atmospheric sciences, including efforts by Prof. Ed Zipser and his students here at the University of Utah. Of course, the issue now concerns the position and intensity of Isaac at landfall, as well as impacts ranging from storm surge to precipitation-induced flooding.