Florida readies for tropical storm Isaias amid surging coronavirus cases

Tuesday, 04 Aug, 2020

The tropical storm is expected to strengthen and become a hurricane again before it reaches the northeastern coast of SC on Monday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The storm is wide - tropical storm force winds are outward from its center of circulation up to 115 miles. The governor warned residents to expect power outages and asked to have a week's supply of water and food on hand.

The NHC Discussion at 8 a.m. EDT on August 3 noted that the vertical wind shear that has been plaguing Isaias is forecast to abate slightly today as the storm turns north-northeastward.

'We still are experiencing some winds, Lisa DeLaRionda, a spokeswoman for Palm Beach County said yesterday.

However, that impact is some days hence, and the forecast could change as the storm roams northward, so people in Canada should check back for updates.

Another front approaches from the west Monday and will start to interact with tropical moisture associated with Isaias. That is about 100 miles (155 km) east-southeast of Jacksonville, Fla. and about 250 miles (400 km) south-southwest of Myrtle Beach, So.

The forecast from the National Hurricane Center does have it picking up a bit of strength before making landfall tonight near the South/North Carolina border.

A tropical storm warning was in effect from the Volusia/Brevard County Line in Florida to Fenwick Island, Delaware, and included Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds in North Carolina, as well as Chesapeake Bay southward from Smith Point.

On the forecast track, the center of Isaias will pass well east of the Georgia coast through this morning.

Forecasters said late Sunday that Isaias had strengthened slightly as it hovered in the Atlantic Ocean, about 105 kilometers (65 miles) off Cape Canaveral, Florida, with top sustained winds of 110 kph (68 mph).

Hurricane conditions were possible in the area Monday night and early Tuesday, although the NHC is predicting it will stay categorised as a tropical storm.

The storm, which was downgraded on Saturday afternoon, still threatened to bring heavy rain and flooding as it crawled just off Florida's Atlantic coast.

Isaias, which was downgraded from hurricane to tropical storm over the weekend, is expected to be a "strong tropical storm" when it reaches the coast of eastern SC or southern North Carolina on Monday night. Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken are preparing to make the first splashdown return in 45 years, after two months docked at the International Space Station.

Showers and storms continue today as tropical moisture works its way into Virginia from the south.

At least one person died in Puerto Rico and the storm also lashed Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Shelters had opened at 2 p.m. Saturday.

With coronavirus cases surging in Florida recently, the added menace of a storm ratcheted up the anxiety.

"We are forecasting it to become a hurricane before it reaches the coast this evening", senior hurricane specialist Daniel Brown said.