Hurricane Isaac — expected to be a Category 2 storm with winds of about 100 mph — should make landfall in Louisiana late tonight or early tomorrow morning. The storm is tracking toward New Orleans at the moment and is set to arrive on the seventh anniversary of Katrina.
Hurricane warnings have have stretched across a 280-mile swath from Morgan City, Louisiana to the Alabama/Florida state line. Torrential rain brings the potential for flooding across the Deep South and that will likely test the rebuilt levee system in New Orleans. In addition to the rain, wind damage and storm surges are also major threats to all those areas in Isaac’s path. Power outages over huge areas are also likely.
Across the Gulf Coast of Florida to Alabama to Mississippi and to Louisiana, tropical storm warnings and mandatory evacuations have been announced, where hurricane warnings haven’t sounded.
While the safety of people across the South is obviously the most pressing concern, click below for a look at the SEC’s game-by-game forecasts and the latest on possible postponements for Texas A&M and LSU.
Texas A&M vs Louisiana Tech at Shreveport: Shreveport is expected to become a shelter zone for people evacuating from from farther south. It’s expected the heavy rains and winds will hit the area on Thursday. Expect a high of 80 degress and a low of 74, with an 80% chance of rains and 22 mph winds. Louisiana Tech officials have said they will make a decision about playing or postponing Thursday evening’s game by this afternoon.
South Carolina at Vanderbilt: Expect isolated thunderstorms with a high of 88 and a low of 72. There is a 30% chance of rain with winds expected to blow 11 mph hour.
Tennessee vs NC State at Atlanta: The game is inside the Georgia Dome, but fans traveling to the contest can expect scattered thunderstorms and a 40% chance of rain, with 6 mph winds. The high will be 83 and the low 70.
Alabama vs Michigan at Arlington: No Isaac effect in the heart of Texas. The game will be played inside Cowboys Stadium, but fans in Arlington can expect a partly cloudy scorcher — 0% chance of rain, 6 mph winds, with a high of 101 and a low of 76.
Jacksonville State at Arkansas: Expect isolated thunderstorms with a 30% chance of rain and 11 mph winds. The high will be 84 with a low of 67.
Auburn vs Clemson at Atlanta: The game will be played in the Georgia Dome, but fans going to Atlanta should expect scattered thunderstorms and a 60% chance of rain. The high will be 86 and the low 70. Winds will be just mph.
Bowling Green at Florida: Gator fans can look for scattered thunderstorms (40% chance of rain) with winds of 5 mph. The high will be 88 and the low 71.
Buffalo at Georgia: Scattered thunderstorms and a 40% chance of rain are expected for Athens. Winds will be just 4 mph with a high temperature of 87 and a low of 69.
North Texas at LSU: By Saturday, Baton Rouge could be dealing with some major clean-up and power issues. On gameday, the city is expected to have a high of 86, a low of 74, with a 60% chance of rain (scattered thunderstorms) and winds of 8 mph. Les Miles was scheduled to meet with his team this morning to give his players “some choices of where they might stay and hunker down” over the next day or so. AD Joe Alleva says the game is scheduled to kick off on time. If there’s a change in plans, Miles says he’s more ready to handle this hurricane than he was seven years ago when Katrina delayed the start of the then-first-year coach’s season. “We know how to do this. We’ll figure it out. We’ll have contingency plans, and we’ll be ready. A very novice LSU coach was in this position seven years ago. We’ll be prepared to play, certainly.”
Central Arkansas at Ole Miss: Spotting a theme yet? Oxford will have a 40% chance of scattered thunderstorms on Saturday with winds of 13 mph. The high should hit 86 and the low should drop to 69.
Jackson State at Mississippi State: Yep, expect a 60% chance of rain (scattered thunderstorms), with winds of 9 mph, a high of 87 and a low of 72.
SE Louisiana at Missouri: Even in Columbia the call is for wet weather. A 40% chance of rain and scattered thunderstorms is expected with 13 mph winds. The high should be 82 and the low should fall to 67.
Kentucky at Louisville: The forecast calls for a 60% chance of rain, scattered thunderstorms, a high of 84, a low of 72, and winds of 9 mph.
It sure looks like the opening week of SEC Football 2012 is going to be a soggy and stormy one. Here’s hoping everyone stays safe and that Isaac fizzles rather than picks up steam.