NEW ORLEANS (AP) — If a well-traveled remnant of last week's Hurricane Isaac becomes a tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico, it would be a rare but not unprecedented event, forecasters say.
In 2005, a remnant from a tropical depression that dissipated near Puerto Rico eventually became part of a new depression, which became the catastrophic Hurricane Katrina.
"This is the only example that we can find in the modern era where the partial remains of a system went on to regenerate and, so, get a different designation," National Hurricane Center meteorologist Todd Kimberlain said Thursday.
Isaac struck the Gulf Coast last week, dumping heavy rain across southern Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama and pushing in storm surge that led to widespread flooding. Thousands of homes were damaged in Louisiana, and many were left without power for days. It then moved inland across Arkansas and through the Midwest before coming back down over the Gulf.
On Wednesday, National Weather Service meteorologist Shawn O'Neill referred to the remnant as "the spawn of Isaac."
Other systems have lost tropical characteristics over land and become tropical storms again over water. Classifying a system as tropical depends on scientific measurements to determine its circulation and how well organized the system is, among other factors.
Hurricane Ivan in 2004 lasted more than 22 days in one form or another from the time it was born as a tropical depression, according to online Hurricane Center archives. It walloped south Alabama and the Florida panhandle as a Category 3 hurricane, then lost tropical characteristics as it traveled north and then went back out to sea off the coast of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.
Then it headed south, crossed Florida as a low pressure system and became Tropical Storm Ivan again in the Gulf. It hit Louisiana as a tropical depression.
The area of disturbed weather in the Gulf is a different phenomenon. If it becomes a tropical cyclone, it would get a new name — next on the list is Nadine. That's because it is not the same circulation system that hit southeast Louisiana and coastal Mississippi last week, causing severe flooding and seven deaths.
The circulation of Isaac dissipated over the Ohio valley several days ago, Kimberlain said. What drifted back down south was only a small piece of the system.
"It's a remnant of Isaac, not THE remnant of Isaac," said Barry Keim, the state climatologist at LSU.
As of Thursday, the Isaac remnant was given a 40 percent chance of strengthening into a tropical cyclone. Dry air and upper-level winds were preventing it from getting stronger Thursday.
However, it was not yet clear how long those conditions would last, nor how an approaching cold front would affect the system. Furthermore, if the system does become a tropical depression, it is too soon to tell how strong it might become or exactly what path it might take.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — Despite a year of setbacks, the parents of children lost in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre insist they won't lose the fight to reduce gun violence.
A Naugatuck dad was arrested after his two small children were found outside in the cold shivering Tuesday.
Bristol officials say they are undeterred in enforcing property code banning blight after an out-of-town landlord was arrested on charges of threatening to blow up City Hall in a dispute over grass that was not mowed.
A silver alert has been issued for a missing teenage girl from New Haven.
Lawrence + Memorial Hospital has postponed its annual meeting due to a labor dispute with nurses and technicians.
A Stamford judge has approved a request by the ex-wife of a former Bush administration lawyer finding him culpable for beating injuries she accuses him of inflicting on her.
A former employee has testified in a lawsuit against Greenwich Hospital that she was pressured to resign after she discovered contaminated blood vials.
I-395 is reopen in Putnam following a multi-vehicle accident this morning.
For the third time in as many years, Metro-North commuters are bracing for a five percent fare increase.
Fourteen playgrounds and counting: the Sandy Hook Ground Project is more than half way to their goal to pay tribute to each of the 26 victims of the Newtown shooting.