Isaias weakens but expected to strengthen as nears Florida

Forecast track for Hurricane Isaias shifts slightly west

The latest update for Hurricane Isaias’ forecast track shifted it slightly more toward the southeastern U.S. coast

Roy Cooper urged state residents on Saturday to be prepared for Isaias, which weakened to a tropical storm but was expected to regain hurricane strength as it nears Florida.

The official forecast path has shifted ever so slightly to the east overnight and now suggests the center of Isaias will skirt along Florida's east coast tonight through Monday.

Florida residents rushed to stock up on essentials as Isaias - the ninth named storm of the Atlantic season - began to be felt on the southeastern coast.

There's some good news.

"The center of Hurricane Isaias was located by an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft and Bahamas radar near latitude 24.7 North, longitude 77.9 West. Isaias is moving toward the northwest near 12 miles per hour". As of Saturday morning the storm was being affected by wind shear and some drier air which has invaded its circulation.

"The most important thing we want people to do now is remain vigilant", said Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Isaias dumped torrential rain on the Bahamas Saturday as it churned toward Florida as a tropical storm - the first big test for the U.S. state reeling from the coronavirus crisis.

Isaias is moving northwest with maximum sustained winds at 135 kilometers per hour, according to meteorologists. The eye wall, with some of the storm's strongest winds, could actually buffet the coast without Isaias ever officially making landfall.

Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis relaxed a coronavirus lockdown as a result of the storm, but imposed a 10 p.m.to 5 a.m. curfew.

Isaias snapped trees and knocked out power as it blew through the Bahamas on Saturday and churned toward the Florida coast.

In its latest weather bulletin, the NHC said that a hurricane warning is in effect for the northwestern Bahamas and some parts of Florida. The storm is moving northwest at 9 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour. The National Hurricane Center warned of potential flooding in the Carolinas and the Mid-Atlantic region stretching up to Virginia. The storm is now expected to reach the Northeast region as a tropical storm.

A tropical storm watch is in effect for.

The hurricane center said those along the southeast coast of the United States should be on alert.

Where are watches and warnings in place?

Concerns about the coronavirus and the vulnerability of people who are still recovering from Dorian were adding to worries about the storm. Don't let your guard down until this storm passes. The water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tides - Jupiter Inlet to Ponte Vedra Beach FL.2-4 ft. - and North Miami Beach to Jupiter Inlet FL.1-3 ft. The minimum central pressure is 993 mb (29.33 inches).

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