SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Strong winds and heavy rains continue over the central Bahamas… Hurricane Isaias is expected to approach the southeast coast of Florida tomorrow.
NHC ADVISORY: As of the 11 PM advisory from the National Hurricane Center, max sustained wind is 80 mph with gusts of 90 mph. Movement is northwest at 15 mph. The barometric pressure has been dropping slightly and is 987 mb. As air pressure lowers, storms can become stronger. Isaias is centered about 135 miles south-southeast of Nassau, Bahamas.
INTENSITY: As Isaias stays over the warm water, strengthening will likely occur over the next 24 hours. After that, the hurricane could possibly run into some wind shear that could lead to some weakening. Over the next several days, the environment will remain conductive for Isaias to remain a hurricane.
FORECAST TRACK: Isaias is expected to continue on a northwesterly direction toward the peninsula of Florida over the next two days. After that it is expected to start to turn north and eventually northeast. Impacts for the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry will be determined by how close the center of the storm will be. If it makes a landfall or hugs the coast, our impacts will be much greater. At this time, it is likely for the storm’s center to stay off shore. With that path off shore, expect enhanced rain chances late Sunday through Monday with tropical storm force wind gusts possible (mainly along the coast).
As an trough moves along the east coast, it is going to slowly weaken the steering high pressure. This will allow of Isaias to turn more northwest/north by early this weekend. By Sunday, the trough will begin to turn Isaias north/northeast and the storm is expected to pick up speed. How far east the trough pushes the hurricane will determine our impacts.
A hurricane warning has been issued for the coastal waters off of Miami. Tropical storm and hurricane watches have been issued for the central – southeast Florida coast. Tropical storm watches now are in place for waters greater than 20 nautical miles off southern Georgia. These will likely extend more north over the coming days.
Parts of the central and northwestern Bahamas could see a storm surge that could raise water levels by as much as 3 to 5 feet. The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos could pick up as much as 4 to 8 inches of rain.
The reason it took so long for Isaias to receive a name is because until Wednesday night, a low-level, closed circulation could not be clearly identified. Therefore, the center location had to be estimated to a larger degree than with a tropical storm, hurricane, or even a tropical depression.
Forecast models are just now receiving more accurate data on the storm, which means the guidance they produce will become more reliable. We could continue to see some adjustment to the track, storm intensity, and the timing of the storm.
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 in our area, some impacts are possible late Sunday night and into the day Monday for the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry. It is still tee early to pinpoint the specifics of any impacts to us at this time.