SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Tropical storm Isaias is brushing the east coast of Florida this Sunday evening. The storm will likely weaken more as it approaches the Coastal Empire and Lowcounty and will be farther out at sea. Impacts felt here will be minimal.
NHC ADVISORY: As of the 11 PM advisory on tropical storm Isaias from the National Hurricane Center, maximum sustained winds are 70 mph. Wind gusts are 85 mph. The center is 50 miles east of Cape Canaveral, Florida and is moving to the north-northwest at 9 mph. The pressure has risen slightly to 995 mb (compared to 993 mb at 8 PM).
INTENSITY: Through the afternoon, there have been bursts of convective thunderstorm development on the northeast side of the center. However, westerly wind shear has been preventing Isaias from becoming better organized and stronger again.
FORECAST TRACK: With the latest advisory, Isaias will be a little farther away from the Georgia coast and the Lowcounty. The center will pass about 80-90 miles off the coast with the current projections. The confidence has grown on this due to model consistency.
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 a few inches of rain, especially near the coast, and most likely in the Lowcountry. However, it’s looking like many areas will likely get closer to around 1 inch. Exception would be some coastal areas and South Carolina areas where there is a better chance of seeing rainfall amounts of 2-3 inches.
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. A more eastward shift in the track will lower these impacts. A tropical storm force wind is anywhere from 39-73 mph by definition. If we see tropical storm force winds, it will likely be on the lower end of this spectrum.
At the coast, we also still expect higher than normal tides Monday and Tuesday along with rough surf and rip currents. The high tide for Ft Pulaski is at around 9p.m. There is also a full moon Monday night. We, however, are expecting offshore winds by this time. This means the westerly winds would push the water out to sea. If this hold true, the prediction is that the high tide will get up to around 9.3, which isn’t even reaching minor flooding criteria for this area.
WATCHES & WARNINGS: A Tropical Storm Warning now includes our coastal parts of McIntosh, Liberty, Bryan, Chatham, Jasper, and Beaufort counties because of the chance of tropical storm force wind gusts.
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.