Hurricane Isaias weakens and slows down as it approaches Florida's southeast coast

Cheryl McCloud Treasure Coast NewspapersPublished 11:24 AM EDT Aug 1, 2020Editor's note: This story contains t

توسط NEWSSALAM در 11 مرداد 1399

Editor's note: This story contains the path and predicted track of Hurricane Isaias, according to the National Hurricane Center. Check back for updates.

Hurricane Isaias is making landfall on the northern Andros Island as of 11 a.m. on Saturday, and it's expected to approach the southeast coast of Florida today, according to the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center. 

Hurricane conditions are expected along portions of Florida's east coast late Saturday and Saturday night.

  • Location:  40 miles west-southwest of Nassau, Bahamas
  • Maximum sustained winds: 80 mph
  • Present movement: northwest at 12 mph
  • Next advisory: 2 p.m.

At 11 a.m., the center of Hurricane Isaias was located 40 miles west-southwest of Nassau.

Isaias is moving toward the northwest near 12 mph, and a general northwest motion, with some decrease in forward speed, is expected for the next day or so, followed by a turn toward the north-northwest by late Sunday.

► Hurricane Isaias: View conditions along Florida beaches

On the forecast track, the center of Isaias will move over northern Andros Island during the next few hours and move near or over Grand Bahama Island in the Northwestern Bahamas later today.

Maximum sustained winds are near 80 mph, with higher gusts.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 987 mb.

What can Florida residents expect and when will Hurricane Isaias arrive?

Hurricane conditions are expected to reach Florida's coast within the hurricane warning area in Florida tonight and will spread north through Sunday.

"Wind gusts of 60-70 mph can occur over the Bahamas and eastern Florida through the weekend, with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ wind gust of 80 mph possible in eastern Florida and 100 mph expected in the western parts of the Bahamas," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Rob Miller.

Expected rainfall from Isaias, from Friday night through Tuesday in South and east Central Florida, could be 2 to 4 inches, with isolated totals of 6 inches, the Hurricane Center said.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency in every coastal county of Florida’s Atlantic Coast, stretching from Miami-Dade to Nassau counties, on Friday in preparation for the storm. 

“While current projections have the eye of Isaias remaining at sea, the situation remains fluid and can change quickly,” DeSantis said at a press conference on Isaias Friday. DeSantis called on Floridians to remain vigilant and heed warnings.

AccuWeather forecasters expect Isaias to make a run along the eastern seaboard of the United States this weekend into early next week.

How far west versus east Isaias tracks and exactly how strong and large the eye wall becomes will determine the severity of conditions in the Bahamas and along the Florida Atlantic coast, AccuWeather said.

AccuWeather meteorologists expect Isaias to fluctuate in strength through this weekend with intensity ranging from a Category 1 hurricane to a tropical storm and perhaps a Category 2 hurricane for a time.

A Category 1 hurricane has winds ranging from 74 to 95 mph, while a Category 2 hurricane has winds of 96 to 110 mph. A tropical storm has winds of 39 to 73 mph.

Seas and coastal water levels will build in advance of the storm by roughly 24 hours, according to AccuWeather. People along the coast can expect a quickening breeze and increasing surf and rip currents in advance of the storm as well.

Watches and warnings in effect

A hurricane warning is in effect for:

  • Boca Raton to the Volusia/Flagler County line 
  • Northwestern Bahamas

A hurricane watch is in effect for:

  • Hallandale Beach to south of Boca Raton

A storm surge watch is in effect for:

  • Jupiter Inlet to Ponte Vedra Beach

A tropical storm warning is in effect for:

  • North of Ocean Reef to south of Boca Raton
  •  Lake Okeechobee
  • Volusia/ Flagler County Line to Ponte Vedra Beach

A tropical storm watch is in effect for:

  • North of Ponte Vedra Beach to Altamaha Sound, Georgia

Hazards affecting land

Storm surge: The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide.

  • Jupiter Inlet to Ponte Vedra Beach FL...2-4 ft
  • North Miami Beach to Jupiter Inlet FL...1-3 ft

The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to the right of the center, where the surge will be accompanied by large waves. Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycl, and can vary greatly over short distances.

More: Storm surge is often a hurricane's deadliest, most destructive threat

Wind: Hurricane conditions will continue to spread over the Northwestern Bahamas through today.

Hurricane conditions are expected to reach the coast within the hurricane warning area in Florida tonight and will spread northward through Sunday. Winds are expected to first reach tropical storm strength later today, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.

Tropical storm conditions are expected within the tropical storm warning area, and are possible within the watch area, over southern Florida by this afternoon or evening. Tropical storm conditions are expected in the warning area in northeast Florida by late Sunday, and are possible in the watch area in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia by Monday morning.

Rainfall: Isaias is expected to produce the following rain accumulations:

  • Bahamas: 4 to 8 inches
  • Cuba: 1 to 2 inches, with isolated maximum totals of 4 inches

These rainfall amounts could lead to life-threatening flash and urban flooding, especially in low-lying and poorly drained areas.

From Friday night through Tuesday:

  • South Florida into east-central Florida: 2 to 4 inches, with isolated maximum totals of 6 inches
  • Northeast Florida into coastal Georgia: 1 to 2 inches

Carolinas into the mid Atlantic, including the southern and central Appalachians: 2 to 4 inches, with isolated maximum totals of 6 inches. Heavy rainfall from Isaias could result in potentially life- threatening flash and urban flooding, especially in low-lying and poorly drained areas. Minor river flooding is possible across portions of the Carolinas and Virginia.

Surf: Swells generated by Isaias are affecting portions of Hispaniola, eastern Cuba, the Turks and Caicos, and the Bahamas. These swells will spread along the east coast of Florida and the southeastern United States coast today. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Please consult products from your local weather office.
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