South Florida’s weekend weather is all about the track and strength of what is now Tropical Storm Isaias. In the meantime, our typical July weather continues for the next couple of days.
Friday will be another day of good sun and a few afternoon showers and storms in spots, so take advantage of it to make necessary preparations for Isaias. Look for an elevated risk of dangerous rip currents at the beaches. Friday’s highs will be in the low to mid-90s.
Saturday’s weather will deteriorate quite quickly. Look for winds to pick up and showers and storms to develop early, with tropical storm conditions possible by the afternoon and lasting through Sunday morning. Heavy downpours, localized flooding, and damaging winds are possible, and power outages are likely. Saturday’s highs will be near 90 degrees.
Strong, gusty winds and periods of heavy rain are likely early on Sunday, with gradually improving conditions as Isaias pulls away from South Florida. Sunday’s highs will be near 90 degrees.
Monday will see a mix of sun and clouds with periods of showers and storms. Highs on Monday will be in the low 90s.
Potential Tropical Cyclone # 9 finally became Tropical Storm Isaias late Wednesday night. At 5 am Thursday, Isaias was located near 17.2 North, 67.9 West, about 100 miles west-southwest of Ponce, Puerto Rico, and 160 miles southeast of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Maximum sustained winds were 60 miles per hour, and Isaias was moving northwest at 21 miles per hour.
Tropical storm warnings are in effect for Puerto Rico, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, much of the coast of the Dominican Republic, the north coast of Haiti, the Turks and Caicos, and the southeastern and central Bahamas. A tropical storm watch is in effect for the northwestern Bahamas. Watches for South Florida are likely later on Thursday.
We’ll watch closely for the effects of the high mountains of Hispaniola on Isaias on Thursday. That should weaken the system significantly, but the large circulation of Isaias could lead to a new center forming to the north, which could allow for quicker restrengthening. A new center could also affect the future track of Isaias, so what happens on Thursday will be a major factor in determining our weather this weekend.
South Florida and the northwestern Bahamas will see the closest approach of Isaias on Saturday into Sunday. Normally, we have a good handle on a forecast three days out, but this time there’s more uncertainty than usual. Here’s what we need to do — assume that we will see the direct effects of a strong tropical storm, and act accordingly.
Now is the time to top off your hurricane supplies. Remember, power outages are likely. You’ll need to secure any outdoor items on Friday. As of early Thursday, it’s probably not necessary to put up panel shutters, but that could change if the intensity forecast for Isaias is adjusted upward. So allow yourself time to put up shutters on Friday if needed. Continue to monitor Isaias very closely, because the situation could evolve rapidly.
Elsewhere in the tropics, we’re watching a wave off the African coast. It has a low chance of becoming a depression during the next couple of days, and then conditions are expected to become unfavorable for development.