For parts of the Florida coast, a hurricane watch was issued on Friday when Hurricane Isaias targeted Sunshine State.
Isaias – a Category 1 hurricane with wind speeds of 75 miles per hour – was located 295 miles southeast of Nassau and moved northwest at 16 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center’s 11:00 a.m. The Bahamas is forecast to continue to be a Category 1 hurricane moving along or parallel to the east coast of Florida and eventually along the entire east coast until early next week.
A hurricane watch has been issued for parts of Florida̵
A hurricane warning applies to the Bahamas and a tropical storm warning to the Turks and Caicos Islands.
As hurricane Isaias approaches Florida, the state can expect tropical storm conditions in the form of gusty winds and increasing tropical downpours until Friday evening. The big question mark for Florida remains whether Isaias will land on the state this weekend or just stay off the coast. Regardless of the landing, heavy rain and strong winds are possible on Saturday and Sunday along the entire east coast. By Monday, 2 to 4 inches of rain could fall, in some places up to 6 inches of rain. How much rain ultimately falls depends on how close the center of the storm is to Florida.
However, before reaching Florida, Isaias will hit parts of the Caribbean and Bahamas with strong winds and heavy downpours on Friday.
Tropical storm conditions prevailed in parts of the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and the Turks and Caicos Islands on Friday morning. Hurricane conditions in the southeastern Bahamas were expected to begin late Friday morning and spread to the central and northwestern Bahamas on Friday afternoon. A dangerous storm surge is expected to increase water levels in areas with onshore winds in the Bahamas by 3 to 5 feet above normal tidal levels. In terms of rainfall, the Dominican Republic and northern Haiti could reach 4 to 8 inches, with isolated peaks of 12 inches, while the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands could reach 4 to 8 inches. These amounts of precipitation lead to flash floods, mudslides and river floods.
Isaias has been coming to the Bahamas for less than a year since hurricane Dorian struck the island chain for a relentless period of more than 48 hours.
Even after Isaiah struck the Bahamas and Florida this weekend, meteorologists will be following the storm until mid-next week.
Heavy rain associated with Isaias is expected to affect North and South Carolina early next week. Rain and wind could hit the mid-Atlantic and northeast coasts on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Isaiah is a pretty big storm. Even if the center of the storm does not land, a close approach to the coast can have a significant impact. Hurricane force winds extend 35 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds 205 miles.
According to Phil Klotzbach, an Atlantic hurricane specialist at Colorado State University, it was the first time (since 1851) that Isaias had two hurricane patterns in the last week of July when Isaias became a hurricane. This follows Hurricane Hanna, which landed on the Texas coast on July 25.