Home Weather South Florida Continues To Watch As Hurricane Isaias Approaches the Bahamas

South Florida Continues To Watch As Hurricane Isaias Approaches the Bahamas

Isaias became a hurricane late Thursday night, and it’s on its way to the Bahamas.  At 5 am Friday, Hurricane Isaias was located near 20.9 North, 73.3 West, about 15 miles south-southwest of Great Inagua Island.  Maximum sustained winds were 80 miles per hour, and some strengthening is expected on Friday.  Isaias was moving northwest at 17 miles per hour.  A hurricane warning is in effect for most of the Bahamas, including the central and northwestern Bahamas.  A tropical storm watch is in effect for Florida from Ocean Reef to Sebastian Inlet — meaning that tropical storm conditions are possible somewhere in that area.

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Isaias was not significantly disrupted during its passage over Hispaniola, but the computer models are much more closely in agreement on the future track of the hurricane as it approaches our area.  The 5 am Friday advisory package indicates that Isaias will remain far enough from the coast of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Key Largo that we are likely to see tropical storm force winds at times, along with up to 4 inches of rain on Saturday into Sunday.  It will be a closer call for locations to the north.

Here’s what people in the east coast metro area should be doing on Friday.  Secure or remove any outdoor items that can become airborne in a strong wind.  Check flashlight batteries and be prepared for possible power outages.  It will NOT be necessary to put up storm panels (given the time and effort required), but if you have accordion and rolldown shutters, it’s fine to close them if that gives you peace of mind.  This advice is specific to Isaias and is based on the wind field and track this hurricane.  Do everything you need to do by Friday night, since conditions will deteriorate early on Saturday.

Our weather on Friday is cooperating.  It features mostly sunny skies and a few afternoon showers and storms in spots.  Highs on Friday will be in the low to mid 90s — so stay hydrated while completing your preparations.

Saturday will be stormy in the east coast metro area, with tropical storm force gusts and heavy downpours that could cause localized flooding.  The Gulf coast will see breezy conditions, plenty of clouds, and showers and storms at times.  Saturday’s highs will be near 90 degrees.

Gusty winds and periods of showers and storms will linger early on Sunday, with winds and rain tapering off during the day.  Sunday’s highs will be near 90 degrees.

Monday will feature sun, clouds, and afternoon showers and storms.  Monday’s highs will be in the low 90s.

Look for more of the same on Tuesday — a summertime mix of good sun and some clouds early, followed by afternoon showers and storms.  Highs on Tuesday will be in the upper 80s in the east coast metro area and the low 90s along the Gulf coast.

As we continue to track the tropics, the wave in the eastern Atlantic has a medium chance of developing into a depression during the next 5 days, and there’s yet another wave that has formed about 1000 miles east of the Lesser Antilles.  That wave has a low chance of development by early next week.

Donna Thomas has studied hurricanes for two decades. She holds a PhD in history when her experience with Hurricane Andrew ultimately led her to earn a degree in broadcast meteorology from Mississippi State University. Donna spent 15 years at WFOR-TV (CBS4 in Miami-Fort Lauderdale), where she worked as a weather producer with hurricane experts Bryan Norcross and David Bernard. She also produced hurricane specials and weather-related features and news coverage, as well as serving as pool TV producer at the National Hurricane Center during the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Donna also served as a researcher on NOAA's Atlantic Hurricane Database Reanalysis Project. Donna specializes in Florida's hurricane history.