With less than an hour before the (delayed) festivities officially begin at the 2012 RNC, the National Weather Service upgraded Tropical Storm Isaac to a Category 1 hurricane as it continues to blow toward the Gulf Coast.
Hurricane Isaac, with wind speeds of 120 km/hr, is expected to hit shore Tuesday afternoon, but the surge may not be as forceful as initially anticipated. The hurricane, currently about 120 km southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, was expected to reach Category 2 Tuesday before the downgrade -- and might yet hit New Orleans Wednesday on the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
As John Cassidy writes in the New Yorker, a New Orleans battered by Isaac would likely spell trouble for the RNC, which would have to contend with an Obama junket supporting relief efforts in the Gulf Region while giddy delegates party in Tampa. There has been talk of calling off the convention, and staving off a massive PR disaster, if such an emergency arises.