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Hurricane Zeta Hits New Orleans

Hurricane Zeta hit New Orleans, Louisiana and the coast of Mississippi on Wednesday evening. At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Hurricane Zeta was located at latitude 31.5°N and longitude 88.7°W which put it about 45 miles (75 km) northeast of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Zeta was moving toward the northeast at 31 m.p.h. (50 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 978 mb.

A Hurricane Warning remained in effect for the portion of the coast from the Mouth of the Pearl River to the Mississippi/Alabama border. A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from the Mississippi/Alabama border to the Walton/Bay County Line in Florida.

Hurricane Zeta made landfall on the coast of Louisiana near Grand Isle late on Wednesday afternoon. The eye of Zeta passed over New Orleans before moving northeast into southern Mississippi. The strongest winds in Hurricane Zeta occurred in the eastern half of the circulation. A NOAA National Ocean Service (NOS) station at Shell Beach Louisiana (SHBL1) reported a sustained wind speed of 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h) and a wind gust of 101 m.p.h. (163 km/h). A NOAA NOS station at the Bay Waveland Yacht Club, Mississippi (WYCM6) reported a wind speed of 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h) and a wind gust of 103 m.p.h. (167 km/h). The National Weather Service (NWS) office at the airport in New Orleans (KMSY) reported a Peak Wind of 71 m.p.h. (115 km/h). A station in Biloxi, Mississippi (KBIX) reported a sustained wind speed of 64 m.p.h. (104 km/h) and a wind gust of 87 m.p.h. (141 km/h). A station in Mobile, Alabama (KMOB) reported a sustained wind speed of 48 m.p.h. (78 km/h) and a wind gust of 91 m.p.h. (146 km/h).

There were reports of significant storm surges along the coast of Mississippi. There were also reports of widespread power outages in southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi.

Hurricane Zeta will move rapidly northeastward across Alabama during the night. The center of Zeta will be over northwestern Georgia by Thursday morning. Hurricane Zeta will weaken to a tropical storm during the night, but it will be capable of causing additional power outages. Zeta will also drop locally heavy rain. Flash Flood Watches were in effect for the area from Alabama to western Virginia. Zeta will eventually merge with a cold front and make a transition to an extratropical cyclone. The extratropical cyclone could contribute to snow that will fall over the northeastern U.S.

Hurricane Zeta Strengthens to Cat. 2

Hurricane Zeta strengthened to Category 2 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale as it neared southeast Louisiana on Wednesday afternoon. At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Hurricane Zeta was located at latitude 27.9°N and longitude 91.1°W which put it about 155 miles (255 km) south-southwest of New Orleans, Louisiana. Zeta was moving toward the north-northeast at 20 m.p.h. (32 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 120 m.p.h. (195 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 975 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Morgan City, Louisiana to the Mississippi/Alabama border. The Hurricane Warning included New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas. A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from the Mississippi/Alabama border to the Walton/Bay County Line in Florida.

A U.S. Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter plane found that Hurricane Zeta was continuing to intensify on Wednesday. There was a a circular eye with a diameter of 30 miles (50 km) at the center of Zeta. A ring of strong thunderstorms surrounded the eye and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms. Storms near the core of Hurricane Zeta generated upper level divergence which pumped mass away to the north of the hurricane. Winds to hurricane force were occurring mainly in the eastern side of Zeta. Winds in the western side of the circulation were blowing at less than hurricane force.

Winds to hurricane force extended out 35 miles (55 km) on the eastern side of Hurricane Zeta. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 150 miles (240 km) from the center. The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Zeta was 16.5. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 8.7 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 25.2. Hurricane Zeta was capable of causing localized serious damage.

Hurricane Zeta could strengthen a little more before it makes landfall. Zeta will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 26°C. An upper level trough over the south central U.S. will produce southwesterly winds which will blow toward the top of Hurricane Zeta. Those winds will cause more vertical wind shear and Zeta could start to weaken just before it makes landfall. However, Zeta will be moving fairly quickly and it may not weaken much before it reaches the Gulf Coast.

The upper level trough will steer Hurricane Zeta toward the north-northeast during the next few hours. Zeta is likely to make landfall near Grand Isle, Louisiana. The center of Hurricane Zeta will pass very close to New Orleans and that city could experience hurricane force winds. The strongest winds will be on the eastern side of Zeta, which could also bring hurricane force winds to the coast of Mississippi. Places west of Grand Isle will experience weaker winds. Winds blowing water toward the coast could cause a storm surge of up to 8 to 12 feet (2.5 to 4 meters) along the coast of Mississippi.

Hurricane Zeta will weaken when it moves inland. Zeta will be strong enough to cause widespread power outages in southeastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, and central and southern Alabama. Zeta will also drop locally heavy rain over parts of the southeastern U.S. Flash Flood Watches extend from southeastern Louisiana to northern Georgia, western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee.

Zeta Strengthens Back to a Hurricane

Zeta strengthened back to a hurricane on Tuesday night. At 8:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Tropical Storm Zeta was located at latitude 26.0°N and longitude 91.7°W which put it about 295 miles (470 km) south-southwest of New Orleans, Louisiana. Zeta was moving toward the north at 17 m.p.h. (28 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 110 m.p.h. (175 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 978 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Morgan City, Louisiana to the Mississippi/Alabama border. The Hurricane Warning included New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas. A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from the Mississippi/Alabama border to the Walton/Bay County line in Florida. A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Intracoastal City to Morgan City, Louisiana.

After weakening to a tropical storm when it passed over the Yucatan Peninsula on Tuesday morning, Zeta intensified back to a hurricane over the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday night. A circular eye with a diameter of 30 miles (50 km) developed at the center of the eye. The ring of thunderstorms around the eye strengthened during the night and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms. Storms near the core of Hurricane Zeta generated upper level divergence which pumped mass away to the north of the hurricane. Winds to hurricane force were occurring mainly in the eastern side of Zeta. Winds in the western side of the circulation were blowing at less than hurricane force.

Winds to hurricane force extended out 35 miles (55 km) on the eastern side of Hurricane Zeta. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 150 miles (240 km) from the center. The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Zeta was 13.9. The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 8.7 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 22.6. Hurricane Zeta was capable of causing localized serious damage.

Hurricane Zeta will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next few hours. Zeta will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 27°C when it reaches the Gulf.  It will be under the western part of an upper level ridge where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Zeta is likely to intensify further during the next few hours and it could strengthen to Category 2 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. An upper level trough over the south central U.S. will produce southwesterly winds which will blow toward the top of Hurricane Zeta later today. Those winds will cause more vertical wind shear and Zeta could weaken when it moves over the northern Gulf of Mexico. However, Zeta will be moving more quickly at that time and it may not weaken much before it reaches the Gulf Coast.

The upper level trough is likely to steer Hurricane Zeta toward the northeast as it approaches the Gulf Coast. Zeta could approach the coast of southeast Louisiana on Wednesday afternoon. Hurricane Zeta is likely to make landfall near Grand Isle, Louisiana. The center of Hurricane Zeta will pass very close to New Orleans and that city could experience hurricane force winds. The strongest winds will be on the eastern side of Zeta, which could also bring hurricane force winds to the coast of Mississippi. Places west of Grand Isle will experience weaker winds. Winds blowing water toward the coast could cause a storm surge of up to 8 to 12 feet (2.5 to 4 meters) along the coast of Mississippi.

Hurricane Zeta will weaken when it moves inland. Zeta will be strong enough to cause widespread power outages in southeastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, and central and southern Alabama. Zeta will also drop locally heavy rain over parts of the southeastern U.S. Flash Flood Watches extend from southeastern Louisiana to northern Georgia, western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee.

Teddy Brings Wind and Rain to Nova Scotia

Former Hurricane Teddy brought wind and rain to Nova Scotia on Wednesday.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Tropical Storm Teddy was located at latitude 46.0°N and longitude 61.3°W which put it about 150 miles (240 km) southwest of Port aux Basques, Newfoundland.  Teddy was moving toward the north-northeast at 26 m.p.h. (43 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 967 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the south coast of Nova Scotia from Ecum Secum to Meat Cove.  A Tropical Storm Warning was also in effect for the portion of the coast from Port aux Basques to Francois, Newfoundland.  Tropical Storm Watches were in effect for the portion of the coast from Meat Cove to Brule, Nova Scotia, for the Magdalen Islands and for Prince Edward Island.

The center of former Hurricane Teddy made landfall near Ecum Secum, Nova Scotia on Wednesday morning.  The structure of Teddy made a transition from one typical of a tropical cyclone to one more like an extratropical cyclone as it approached the coast of Nova Scotia.  The area of stronger winds expanded.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 200 miles (320 km) from the center of Teddy.  The heaviest rain fell over eastern Nova Scotia.  The large circulation around Teddy was producing large waves which caused water level rises and beach erosion as far away as the East Coast of the U.S.

An upper level trough over eastern North America will steer Teddy quickly toward northeast during the rest of today.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Teddy will bring gusty winds and heavy rain to parts of southwestern Newfoundland during the next few hours.

Elswhere, former Tropical Storm Beta was dropping heavy rain over parts of Louisiana.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Tropical Depression Beta was located at latitude 30.2°N and longitude 94.2°W which put it about 60 miles (95 km) west of lake Charles, Louisiana.  Beta was moving toward the east-northeast at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. (50 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h_.  The minimum surface pressure was 1007 mb.

Tropical Depression Beta dropped heavy rain over southeastern Texas on Tuesday.  There were numerous reports of flooding around Houston.  Beta was moving over western Louisiana on Wednesday morning and light to moderate rain was falling over many parts of the state.  Flash Flood Watches were in effect for much of Louisiana and western Mississippi.  Beta will move slowly toward the northeast during the next 48 hours.  Moderate to heavy rain could spread over Mississippi, Tennessee, northern Alabama, western North Carolina and western Virginia.

Tropical Storm Sally Drops Heavy Rain on Southeast U.S.

Tropical Storm Sally dropped heavy rain over parts of the southeastern U.S. on Wednesday afternoon.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Tropical Storm Sally was located at latitude 31.2°N and longitude 86.8°W which put it about 85 miles (135 km) west of Dothan, Alabama.  Sally was moving toward the northeast at 7 m.p.h. (11 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 990 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning remained in effect for the portion of the coast from the Alabama/Florida border to Indian Pass, Florida.

The winds to tropical storm force were occurring in bands over the Gulf of Mexico in the southern part of Tropical Storm Sally.  Most of the winds over land were blowing at less than tropical storm force.

Hurricane Sally made landfall near Gulf Shores, Alabama on Wednesday morning as a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.  A NOAA C-MAN station at Ft. Morgan, Alabama measured a sustained wind speed 98 m.p.h. (158 km/h) and a peak wind gust of 121 m.p.h. (195 km/h) when the western eyewall passed over it.  Another weather station at Bon Secour, Alabama measured a sustained wind speed of 71 m.p.h. (115 km/h).  There were reports of widespread power outages in Alabama.  The Pensacola Naval Air Station reported a wind gust of 82 m.p.h. (132 km/h).

The wind pushed the water toward the coast and there was a storm surge over the barrier sialnds and along the coast of Alabama and northwest Florida.  Since the eye of Sally passed east of Mobile, Alabama, northerly winds pushed the water out of Mobile Bay and the water level dropped several feet.  Heavy rain fell north and east of the center of Sally and creeks an rivers were rising quickly in parts of southern Alabama and northwestern Florida.

Tropical Storm Sally will move northeast across Southeast Alabama on Wednesday night.  Sally will be over Georgia on Thursday and it will be over South Carolina on Thursday night.  Tropical Storm Sally will continue to drop heavy rain over those areas and Flash Flood Watches were in effect for parts of northwestern Florida, southern Alabama, Georgia, western North Carolina and western South Carolina.

Elsewhere, Hurricane Teddy was on a track that could take it near Bermuda in a few days.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Hurricane Teddy was located at latitude 17.5°N and longitude 50.8°W which put it about 710 miles (1145 km) east of the Lesser Antilles.  Teddy was moving toward the northwest at 13 m.p.h. (20 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 120 m.p.h. (195 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 973 mb.

Hurricane Sally Makes Landfall Near Gulf Shores

The center of Hurricane Sally officially made landfall near Gulf Shores, Alabama on Wednesday morning.  At 6:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Hurricane Sally was located at latitude 30.3°N and longitude 87.7°W which put it near Gulf Shores, Alabama.  Sally was moving toward the north-northeast at 3 m.p.h. (5 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 105 m.p.h. (165 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 125 m.p.h. (200 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure as 965 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect from the Mississippi/Alabama border to the Okaloosa/Walton County line in Florida.  Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the portions of the coast from the Mouth of the Pearl River to the Mississippi/Alabama border and from the Okaloosa/Walton County Line to Indian Pass, Florida.

Hurricane Sally strengthened to Category 2 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale on Tuesday night as it ground its way slowly toward the Gulf Coast.  Winds to hurricane force extended out 40 miles (65 km) from the center of Sally.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 130 miles (210 km) from the center.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Sally was 17.8.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 11.2 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 29.0.  Hurricane Sally was capable of causing regional serious damage.  The winds were pushing water toward the coast and a storm surge of 9 to 12 feet (3 to 4 meters) was possible.

Hurricane Sally will move slowly northeast across Northwest Florida and Southeast Alabama.  Sally will slowly weaken as it moves inland, but it will cause widespread power outages in those areas.  Since Hurricane Sally will move slowly, it will drop heavy rain.  Flash Flood Watches extend from the Gulf Coast to Georgia and North Carolina.

Elsewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, Teddy rapidly intensified into a Category 2 hurricane, Hurricane Paulette passes south of Newfoundland and Tropical Storm Vicky moved farther away from the Cabo Verde Islands.  At 5:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Hurricane Teddy was located at latitude 15.4°N and longitude 49.0°W which put it about 820 miles (1315 km) east of the Lesser Antilles.  Teddy was moving toward the northwest at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 120 m.p.h. (195 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 976 mb.

At 5:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Hurricane Paulette was located at latitude 41.9°N and longitude 49.1°W which put it about 385 miles (620 km) south-southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland.  Paulette was moving toward the east-northeast at 29 m.p.h. (46 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 120 m.p.h. (195 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 966 mb.

At 5:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Tropical Storm Vicky was located at latitude 21.6°N and longitude 33.9°W which put the center about 755 miles (1215 km) west-northwest of the Cabo Verde Islands.  Vicky was moving toward the west-northwest at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were ind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1004 mb.

Tropical Depression Fifteen Forms South of Cape Hatteras

Tropical Depression Fifteen formed south of Cape Hatteras on Monday afternoon.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Depression Fifteen was located at latitude 32.6°N and longitude 76.5°W which put it about 190 miles (305 km) south-southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.  The depression was moving toward the northeast at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1009 mb.

An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters’ reconnaissance flight found that there was a closed low level circulation in a low pressure system south of Cape Hatteras and the National Hurricane Center designated the system as Tropical Depression Fifteen.  The circulation around Tropical Depression Fifteen was still organizing.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the low level center of circulation.  Storms near the center started to generate upper level divergence which pumped mass away to the east of the tropical depression.

Tropical Depression Fifteen will move through an environment somewhat favorable for intensification during the next day or two.  The depression will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28.5°C.  It will move near the southern periphery of the upper level westerly winds in the middle latitudes.  Those winds will blow toward the top of the depression and they will cause moderate vertical wind shear.  The shear will inhibit intensification, but it will not be enough to prevent the depression from strengthening.  Tropical Depression Fifteen will likely strengthen into a tropical storm.

Tropical Depression Fifteen will move around the northern side of a subtropical high pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer the depression toward the east-northeast during the next several days.  On its anticipated track the depression will move away from the U.S. and it will pass north of Bermuda.

Tropical Storm Isaias Speeds Past New York City

Tropical Storm Isaias sped past New York City on Tuesday afternoon.  At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Tropical Storm Isaias was located at latitude 40.9°N and longitude 75.1°W which put it about 65 miles (105 km) west of New York, New York.  Isaias was moving toward the north-northeast at 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 994 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Chincoteague, Virginia to Eastport, Maine including Long Island, Long Island Sound, Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

Tropical Storm Isaias sped up the East Coast of the U.S. on Tuesday and the center of circulation was west of New York City by Tuesday afternoon.  Isaias was still generating an area of winds to tropical storm force over the Atlantic Ocean.  A NOAA buoy at the entrance to New York Harbor measured a sustained wind speed of 57 m.p.h. (83 km/h) and a wind gust of 71 m.p.h. (115 km/h).  JFK airport recently reported a wind gust to 70 m.p.h. (113 km/h).

The eastern side of former Hurricane Isaias produced strong wind gusts along the East Coast of the U.S. from North Carolina to Long Island.  A station at Federal Point, North Carolina reported a gust of 99 m.p.h.  (160 km/h).  Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina had a wind gust to 86 m.p.h. (139 km/h).  Stevensville, Maryland measured a gust of 79 m.p.h. (127 km/h).  South Norfolk, Virginia reported a wind gust to 76 m.p.h. (122 km/h) and Nags Head, North Carolina had a gust of 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h).  Ocean City, Maryland measured a gust of 69 m.p.h. (111 km/h).

The strong wind gusts caused widespread power outages.  Shear in the lower levels of the atmosphere also contributed to the spinup of a number of tornadoes.  Tropical Storm isaias dropped heavy rain over parts of the northeastern U.S.  Isaias will continue to speed north-northeastward into Canada during the next 12 hours.  Tropical Storm Isaias will gradually weaken and wind speeds should decrease.  Isaias will continue to drop locally heavy rain over eastern New York, western Massachusetts and Vermont for several more hours.  The potential for flash floods in those areas still exists.

Hurricane Isaias Brings Wind and Rain to MidAtlantic States

Hurricane Isaias brought wind and rain to the MidAtlantic states of the U.S. on Tuesday.  Isaias weakened to a tropical storm on Tuesday morning as it moved over eastern Virginia.  At 8:00 a.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Tropical Storm Isaias was located at latitude 37.7°N and longitude 76.8°W which put it about 15 miles (25 km) south-southeast of Tappahannock, Virginia.  Isaias was moving toward the north-northeast at 33 m.p.h. (54 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 70 m.p.h. (110 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 993 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Surf City, North Carolina to Eastport, Maine including Albemarle Sound, Pamlico, Sound, Long Island, Long Island Sound, Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

The center of Hurricane Isaias officially made landfall on the coast at Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina.  The maximum sustained wind speed at the time of landfall was 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h).  A weather station at Oak Island, North Carolina measured a sustained wind speed of 76 m.p.h. and a wind gust to 87 m.p.h. (140 km/h).

The center of Isaias moved rapidly toward the north-northeast during the overnight hours and it passed between Richmond and Norfolk, Virginia.  The strongest winds were occurring along the coast and over the Atlantic Ocean on Tuesday morning.  A weather station at Duck, North Carolina measured a sustained wind speed of 48 m.p.h. (78 km/h) and a wind gust of 63 m.p.h. (102 km/h).  A weather station at Poquoson, Virginia measured a sustained wind speed of 39 m.p.h. (63 km/h) and a wind gust to 56 m.p.h. (91 km/h).  A weather station on Third Island which is near the Mouth of Chesapeake Bay recently measured a sustained wind speed of 63 m.p.h. (101 km/h) and a wind gust of 77 m.p.h. (124 km/h).

Tropical Storm Isaias will move rapidly toward the north-northeast during the next 24 hours.  The center of Isaias will pass west of New York City later today.  Tropical Storm Isaias will gradually weaken, but it could bring tropical storm force winds to the northeastern U.S.  Wind shear in the lower levels of Tropical Storm Isaias’ circulation is contributing to the spin up of tornadoes.  Isaias will drop locally heavy rain and flash floods could occur.

Tropical Storm Isaias will take a track similar to the tracks taken by Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Hurricane Isabel in 2003.  Hurricane Irene was similar in strength and a little bit larger than Isaias when it hit North Carolina in 2011.  Irene was already weakening when it hit the coast while Isaias was strengthening at landfall.  According to the Tropical Cyclone Report on the National Hurricane Center’s (NHC) website, Hurricane Irene caused 15.8 billions dollars of damage in the U.S.

Hurricane Isabel was larger and stronger than Isaias was when it made landfall in North Carolina.  Isabel was also weakening at the time of landfall.  According to the Tropical Cyclone Report on NHC’s website for Hurricane Isabel, it caused 5.4 billion dollars of damage in the U.S.

 

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.