Isaias Strengthens Back into a Hurricane

Isaias strengthened back into a hurricane on Monday evening.  At 9:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Hurricane Isaias was located at latitude 33.1°N and longitude 78.8°W which put it about 55 miles (90 km) south-southeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  Isaias was moving toward the north-northeast at 18 m.p.h. (30 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 988 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from South Santee River, South Carolina to Surf City, North Carolina.  Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the portion of the coast from Edisto Beach to South Santee River, South Carolina and from Surf City, North Carolina to Stonington, Maine including Albemarle Sound, Pamlico Sound, Long Island, Long Island Sound, Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket.  A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Stonington, to Eastport, Maine.

The circulation around Hurricane Isaias became much better organized on Monday afternoon.  A reconnaissance aircraft investigating Isaias found winds to hurricane force.  An elliptical eye developed at the center of Hurricane Isaias.  A broken ring of thunderstorms surrounded the elliptical eye and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Isaias.  The strongest rainbands were in the northern half of the circulation.  Bands in the southern half of Hurricane Isaias consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  Winds to hurricane force extended out 25 miles (40 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 125 miles (200 km) from the center.

The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Isaias was 12.7.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 15.3 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 28.0.  Hurricane Isaias was capable of causing regional minor damage.

The center of Hurricane Isaias will make landfall between Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Southport, North Carolina during the next few hours.  Isaias will bring hurricane force winds to the portion of the coast from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to Surf City, North Carolina.  It will generate a storm surge of 3 to 6 feet (1 to 2 meters) along the coast.  Hurricane Isaias will drop heavy rain over extreme eastern South Carolina, eastern North Carolina and eastern Virginia.  Heavy rain could cause flooding in some locations.

The center of Hurricane Isaias will pass just west of Norfolk, Virginia on Tuesday morning.  isaias will weaken when it passes over land, but it will still bring gusty winds over eastern Virginia.  Isaias will pass near New York City on Tuesday evening and it will bring gusty winds to New England on Tuesday night.  Isaias could cause widespread power outages along the East Coast of the U.S.  It will also drop heavy rain east of the Appalachians and flash floods could occur in that region.