Tracking the Tropics: T.S. maintains strength; storm effects felt Monday

WSAV Hurricane Central

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Strong wind and heavy rain continue over the central Bahamas tonight. Tropical storm Isaias is expected to approach the southeast coast of Florida Sunday morning. Some restrengthening is possible tonight as Isaias is over the Gulf Stream. Hurricane Hunters continue to investigate.

NHC ADVISORY: As of the 11 PM advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Isaias remains a very strong tropical storm. Maximum sustained winds are 70 mph. Wind gusts are 85 mph. The center was 100 miles southeast of Ft. Lauderdale, FL and is moving a little slower to the northwest at 9 mph. The pressure has held steady at 995 mb. The overall trend will be for the pressure to rise and as it does, the storm will weaken more.

INTENSITY: The center of Isaias remains asymmetrical. This is due to the westerly shear and dry air on the western side. Due to those two factors, Isaias isn’t expected to strengthen significantly as it nears the Northern Bahamas and Florida coast tonight. Gradual weakening should occur as the storm reaches the Florida coastline. It will likely be a strong tropical storm when it gets closest to us Monday evening.

FORECAST TRACK: It still appears likely that Isaias will approach the Central or South Florida Coast by Sunday morning, either making landfall or staying immediately offshore before turning north, then northeast. The timing of those turns will determine how close the storm ultimately passes off the Georgia and South Carolina coasts. While we remain in the cone, a track just offshore for the storm’s center is the favored scenario.

IMPACTS: With the distribution of heaviest rain and wind on the east side of the center, we would see impacts from the relatively weaker side of the storm. That said, periods of heavy rain on Monday could still amount to several inches or more, especially near the coast, and most likely in the Lowcountry. While an extended period of sustained tropical storm force wind can’t be entirely ruled out along the coast, the barrier islands would be more likely to see gusts to tropical storm strength late Monday morning into the early to mid afternoon.

WATCHES & WARNINGS: A Tropical Storm Watch now includes all of coastal Georgia. In South Carolina, from the Savannah River to north of Charleson is now in a tropical storm watch as well. A hurricane warning has been issued for a good stretch along the Florida Coast.

Storm Team 3 is working to bring you frequent updates as Isaias continues to evolve. While we are not expecting the full brunt of a hurricane or tropical storm in our area, some impacts are possible late Sunday night and into the day Monday for the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry. It is still too early to pinpoint the specifics of any impacts to us at this time.

For now, be prepared and stay up to date with us. We’ll the latest tonight on WSAV News 3 at 11 PM. On NOW, we will have also have a live update at 10:15 a.m. Sunday. Follow us on Facebook or download the WSAV news app to be notified when it begins.

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