Isaias strengthens into a hurricane; South Florida under a Tropical Storm Watch

(WSVN) – Isaias became a category 1 hurricane, late Thursday night, after a Hurricane Hunter aircraft detected maximum sustained winds near 80 mph.

The National Hurricane Center has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for Miami-Dade and Broward counties, from Ocean Reef north to Sebastian Inlet.

A Tropical Storm Watch means Tropical Storm conditions with winds of 39 mph to 73 mph are possible within 48 hours.

UPDATE to Isaias Cone, now expected to stay as a cat 1 thru most of its life cycle. Bahamas get ready. Hurricane Warnings for now all the Bahamas. Tropical Storm Watch for South Florida. Need to monitor. pic.twitter.com/cU8DnWWlQy

Isaias is a large storm. Winds of 40 to 60 miles per hour fan out from the center up to 415 miles. It should impact Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Virgin Islands, Turks & Caicos, and SE Bahamas Thursday with heavy rain that can lead to life-threatening flash flooding, land and mudslides. Gusty winds will be spread out through the region.

Isaias will move through the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico and then cross into the Dominican Republic Thursday. How much of a disruption this will have on Isaias is still unknown. It may come out a much weaker system once in the Atlantic Waters. Nonetheless, heavy rain and gusty winds should spread into the Turks and Caicos and Southeast Bahamas later in the day.

What Next?
Models suggest a more disorganized Isaias after its impact with Dominican Republic. The key will be where does the center emerge once in the Atlantic. Should it have a more easterly placement, it could have more of a northwest Bahamas heading. If, on the other hand, it emerges more westerly, then a more South Florida route could be in the works. This uncertainty is reflected in the cone, with a slight shift to the east as of 8 a.m. That may change in either a west or east direction once in the Atlantic.

This placement will also play a role in determining how strong it will be after its clash with the Dominican Republic. If it slows down, it may be able to soak up much needed fuel in the form of hot water. That could give it a chance to strengthen.

For South Florida, we are looking at the possibility of a stronger system leaning more to the east or a weaker system leaning more over us. Either way, this is a huge storm in size. Impacts will be felt hundreds of miles away from the center.

Recon is scheduled for today that will give the Hurricane Center a better idea of Isaias’ health and its surrounding.

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News – Isaias strengthens into a hurricane; South Florida under a Tropical Storm Watch

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