French Toast Alert Level: 2 Slices / Guarded.
Update, 9 a.m., 8/4:
The NWS says Isaias should hit us late this afternoon, then be done in about six hours. Not a lot of rain for the Greater French Toast Region, some minor coastal flooding at high today this evening, some wind. The tornado risk is more out towards the Connecticut River.
Update, 11:30 p.m., 8/3:
The NWS sums it up:
Believe that this won't be an over the top storm, but it's going to be a pain in the backside for a lot of the region -- especially since it's been quite awhile since we've had a tropical system like this one.
Update, 1 p.m., 8/3:
We're now under a tropical-storm warning. Still roughly the same cautions as in the earlier watch, so keep taking down those patio umbrellas and for goodness sake do something about those unanchored mobile homes.
Also: "Potential for a few tornadoes."
Update, 9 a.m., 8/3:
The Greater French Toast Region is now under a tropical-storm watch - although it looks like western Mass. and nearby New York State might get the worst of it - so now is the time to get to the store and stock up on pineapples and other ingredients for fruity, summertime drinks before Isaias hits sometime Tuesday night, because you don't want to explain to the firefighters using the Jaws of Life to extract your from your car that you were only making a quick trip for some ice, especially with the potential for the odd, isolated tornado. Also, owners of unanchored mobile homes should start to worry. Or as the National Weather Service puts it:
- PLAN: Plan for hazardous wind of equivalent tropical storm force.
- PREPARE: Efforts to protect property should now be underway. Prepare for limited wind damage.
- ACT: Act now to complete preparations before the wind becomes hazardous.
The NWS is forecasting 25-35 mph winds with gusts to 45 mph, with about an inch of rain, but you know how unpredictable tropical storms can be, so plan for a bit worse.
Update, 1 p.m., 8/2:
Good news, our friends at the National Weather Service say: Isaias (which we learned last night is pronounced sort of like Ee-sah-ee-as) now seems likely to keep bumping into land as it moves our way, which means it will be a lot weaker when it gets here than it could be if it stayed just a bit further offshore and sucked in all that big Gulf Stream energy. So count on a lot of rain, but not so much damaging winds, but, as always, keep an eye to the sky just in case.
More from the NWS
Update, 11 p.m., 7/31:
Boston NWS says:
The important thing to remember is that southern New England remains in the cone of uncertainty and given the time range we have to keep all options on the table. Another thing to keep in mind is pattern recognition with regards to tropical systems in southern New England. The main threat for heavy rain/flooding will be west of the track with the wind/coastal flooding threat to the east of the system. The main time frame looks to be from Tuesday into early Wednesday, but some threat for heavy rain could be realized a bit earlier. This does look to be a quick mover with most of the impacts inside a 6 to 12 hour window.
Update, 10 a.m. 7:31:
We certainly didn't expect to re-open the Bunker this early, but, hey, 2020. The Friday-morning Cone of Probability from the National Hurricane Center in Miami puts Isaias right off our coast on Wednesday. Now, as our nearer forecasters at the National Weather Service's Boston-area office caution, it's still a bit too early to say if we actually get hit or even when, but we're like weather Boy Scouts - always prepared - and so we've run the Blue/2 Slice flag up our wind-reinforced flagpole. But if it's too warm to make French Toast? Hmm ... In any case, here's the latest from the local NWS office:
Monday into Wednesday will be the window for potential impacts from Hurricane Isaias, which was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane just before midnight. Unfortunately the synoptic setup is favorable for a track up the east coast; a Bermuda high over the Atlantic with an trough digging into the Ohio Valley leaving a path open for Isaias to potentially track up the eastern seaboard. A great deal of uncertainty remains in not only the track/intensity, but the timing. ... The 00Z EC deterministic guidance doesn't have Isaias over us until mid day Wednesday! This just underscores the uncertainty that still remains and the need to follow the latest from the National Hurricane Center who's latest forecast brings the storm within the vicinity of New England on Tuesday.
The French Toast Alert System has been developed in consultation with local and federal emergency officials to help you determine when to panic and rush to the store to buy milk, eggs and bread.
1 Slice / Low: No storm predicted. Harvey Leonard sighs and looks dour on the evening news. Go about your daily business but consider buying second refrigerator for basement, diesel generator. Good time to replenish stocks of maple syrup, cinnamon.
2 Slices / Guarded: Light snow predicted. Subtle grin appears on Harvey Leonard's face. Check car fuel gauge, memorize quickest route to emergency supermarket should conditions change.
3 Slices / Elevated: Moderate, plowable snow predicted. Harvey Leonard openly smiles during report. Empty your trunk to make room for milk, eggs and bread. Clear space in refrigerator and head to store for an extra gallon of milk, a spare dozen eggs and a new loaf of bread.
4 Slices / High: Heavy snow predicted. Harvey Leonard breaks into huge grin, can't keep his hands off the weather map. Proceed at speed limit before snow starts to nearest supermarket to pick up two gallons of milk, a couple dozen eggs and two loaves of bread - per person in household.
5 Slices / Severe: Nor'easter predicted. This is it, people, THE BIG ONE. Harvey Leonard makes repeated references to the Blizzard of '78. RUSH to emergency supermarket NOW for multiple gallons of milk, cartons of eggs and loaves of bread. IGNORE cries of little old lady you've just trampled in mad rush to get last gallon of milk. Place pets in basement for use as emergency food supply if needed.
Busy person? Follow the French Toast Alert System on Twitter or on Facebook; stay up to the moment with the proper panic level.
Busy developer type person? Use the French Toast Alert data set to build those state-of-the-art iPhone apps.
Put the French Toast Alert System on your site! Copy and paste the following where you want the alert to show up. It's 124 pixels wide by 126 pixels high:
Become the alert: Buy an official French Toast Alert T-shirt and run around updating your neighbors:
Toastaphon: Toast image derived from this French Toast sammich photo by Bunchofpants.