Isaias Could Become Hurricane Before Hitting Carolinas

(National Hurricane Center)

After hitting the Bahamas, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic late last week, Tropical Storm Isaias buffeted Florida’s eastern coast with heavy rainfalls and strong winds over the weekend. The storm is currently paralleling the Atlantic coast just east of Georgia and is headed to the Carolinas, according to Weather.com.

Over the Caribbean, the storm gained hurricane strength (registering as a Category 1) but weakened when it hit Florida. Isaias is expected to regain hurricane strength before reaching the Carolinas later on Monday. According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), “there is the danger of life-threatening storm surge inundation along portions of the immediate coastline and adjacent waterways of northeastern South Carolina and the North Carolina coast.” The NHC urges residents to follow the advice of local emergency officials.

A hurricane warning has been issued for a portion of the northern South Carolina and southern North Carolina coasts, according to the Weather.com report. The hurricane warning includes Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Wilmington, North Carolina. “It's important to note that impacts will be similar no matter whether Isaias is a strong tropical storm or a Category 1 hurricane at landfall,” it adds.

Isaias, the NHC says, is expected to bring widespread sustained tropical storm-force winds to the Mid-Atlantic coast Tuesday. Tropical storm conditions are expected to reach southern New England late Tuesday and further north Tuesday night into early Wednesday.

“Heavy rainfall will result in flash and urban flooding, some of which may be significant in the eastern Carolinas and the Mid-Atlantic, through Tuesday night,” the NHC says. “Widespread minor to moderate river flooding is possible across portions of the Carolinas and the Mid-Atlantic.”

The NHC adds that a disturbance a couple hundred miles north of the Leeward Islands has a 40 percent chance of cyclone formation in the next 48 hours. It’s expected to move northwest through the Atlantic before stalling several hundred miles southwest of Bermuda in the middle or later part of the week.

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