Hurricane Isaias Forces Hurricane Warning for Florida

The threat posed by Hurricane Isaias forced the issuance of a Hurricane Warning for Florida on Friday afternoon.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Hurricane Isaias was located at latitude 22.6°N and longitude 75.7°W which put it about 195 miles (320 km) south-southeast of Nassau, Bahamas.  Isaias was moving toward the northwest at 15 m.p.h. (24 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 991 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Boca Raton, Florida to the Volusia/ Brevard County Line.  Hurricane Warnings were also in effect for all of the Bahamas including the Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, the Inaguas, Mayaguana, the Ragged Islands, Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island, Rum Cay, San Salvador, Andros Island, New Providence, Eleuthera, the Abacos, the Berry Islands, Grand Bahama Island and Bimini.  Hurricane Watches were in effect for the portions of the coast from the Flagler/Volusia County Line to the Volusia/Brevard County Line and from Hallendale Beach to Boca Raton.  Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the Turks and Caicos, Ocean Reef to Boca Raton, Florida and Lake Okeechobee.  A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Flagler. Volusia County Line to Ponte Vedra, Florida.

The core of Hurricane Isaias exhibited greater organization on Friday afternoon.  Images from weather radar in the Bahamas and microwave sensors onboard satellites indicated that an eyewall was wrapping around the center of circulations.  The strongest winds were occurring in the ring of storms in the developing eyewall.  Storms near the center of Isaias were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the hurricane.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Hurricane Isaias.  Winds to hurricane force extended out 35 miles (55 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 175 miles (280 km) from the center.

Hurricane Isaias will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours.  Isaias will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Hurricane Isaias will strengthen on Saturday and it could intensify more rapidly once the inner core is fully formed.  Isaias could intensify into a major hurricane while it moves over the Bahamas.

Hurricane Isaias will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the North Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Isaias toward the northwest during the next 24 hours.  It will turn the hurricane more toward the north during the weekend when Isaias reaches the western end of the high pressure system.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Isaias will move over the Central Bahamas on Friday night.  Isaias could approach southeast Florida on Saturday.  Hurricane Isaias could approach the coast of the Carolinas on Monday.  Hurricane Isaias will bring strong winds to the southeast coast of Florida.  Those winds will blow the water toward the coast and they will create a dangerous storm surge.  Isaias will continue to produce strong winds and locally heavy rain in the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas. Heavy rain could cause flash floods. Hurricane Isaias will also generate a dangerous storm surge in parts of the Bahamas.