|Hurricane Isaac Near Peak Intensity in the Open Atlantic
A strong tropical wave emerged from west African coast on September 20, and it was already quite organized with deep convection.
The system continued to organize further and formed Tropical Depression Thirteen on September 1 when about 200 miles south
of the Cape Verde Islands. A ridge to the north kept the depression on a track to the WNW as it strengthened into Tropical
Storm Isaac later on the 21st, and it continued to strengthen in favorable conditions and reached hurricane status midday
on the September 23, when an eye was faintly visible on satellite. The eye became more defined and large as the storm grew
very quickly into a 120 mph Category 3 storm on September 24.
However, the wind shear began to increase after this, and Isaac became less organized and began to weaken gradually to
a Category 1 storm on September 26. The weakening was believed to be mostly due to cooler waters as the storm turned more
to the northwest. The shear began to relax later on the 26th, and deep convection became more centralized once again and a
round of rapid intensification began. Isaac reached Category 4 intensity on September 28 with winds of 140 mph and a pressure
of 943 mbar. The eye was now clearly visible and large in size, and Isaac was a very well organized and powerful hurricane
at this time as it turned to the north. This intensity could not hold, however, as the storm entered colder waters and began
to weaken on September 29.
The weakening was gradual, and Isaac weakened to a tropical storm early on October 1, and became extratropical later that
day. The remnant extratropical system was very powerful and moved rapidly to the northeast over the north Atlantic, reaching
the British Isles on October 3, and merging with a larger extratropical low north of Scotland on October 4. Isaac is tied
with Keith for the strongest storm of the 2000 Atlantic Season, both with pressures of 943 mbar. Isaac stayed far away from
the eastern US coast, but the storm was so powerful that it generated swells that capsized a boat in Long Island which killed
one man. No other damages were reported.