While Isaac will continue to weaken through the end of the week moving inland, damaging gusts could reach southern Missouri and the Branson area.
Tropical Rainstorm Isaac is likely to retain some sort of identity and circulation well inland of the Gulf Coast with the size of the overall system playing a big role.
According to Severe Weather Expert Henry Margusity, "Strong gusts of wind near and east of the center of circulation are possible hundreds of miles inland through the end of the week."
While the overall coverage of damaging winds will decrease as Isaac moves inland, there could be pockets where downed trees and power lines occur through northern Mississippi, northern Louisiana Thursday and Arkansas and southern Missouri Thursday night into Friday.
Margusity does not expect damaging winds to the extent of another iStorm, Ike in 2008.
"Ike became hooked in with a strong jet stream from the southern Plains to the Ohio Valley and was able to transport some of the powerful high winds from aloft down to the surface in the form of damaging gusts," Margusity said.
The jet stream is well removed from Isaac, as indicated by the very slow movement of the system. The jet stream is likely to remain near the Canada border through the weekend.
A larger version of the latest forecast track map for Isaac (with times in EDT) can be found on the AccuWeather Hurricane Center.
By the time Isaac gets close to the jet stream, the system will have greatly dissipated.
There will be a continued heavy rain possibility with Isaac in some drought-stricken areas of the Plains and Midwest. However, some of the rain may fall too fast for small streams to absorb, but this is only likely in a small fraction of the region.
"People should still keep an eye on the system even though an eventual downgrade to a tropical depression and a non-tropical system will occur," Margusity added.
Locally strong thunderstorms from Isaac could reach into the Ohio Valley and Northeast days ahead. However, a widespread damaging wind event through the Ohio Valley is not likely.
Dry and sunny conditions will continue in San Francisco for the the official start to winter and the Christmas holiday.
Sunshine will return in full force for the weekend, the official start to winter, and Christmas in Los Angeles.
Big changes are on the way for parts of the Western and Central states late this week and into this weekend.
Similar to the days prior to Thanksgiving, the worst weather will focus on the days prior to Christmas as millions of travelers take to the roads and skies in the U.S. and southern Canada.
Warm air is forecast to surge into much of the eastern half of the nation by the weekend and will be accompanied by heavy rain and flooding risk in some locations.
Thunderstorms in parts of the South this weekend may become strong enough to threaten lives and property.
West Palm Beach, FL (1989)
Record high of 88 degrees.
Arctic blast causes temperatures to plunge to 20 to 30 below zero.
Flagstaff, AZ (1967)
End of record 7-day snowstorm; total 83" snow.