Isaias to regain hurricane strength Monday, hit eastern NC Monday night

Tracking the Tropics

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Tropical Storm Isaias continues to move up along the Florida east coast Monday and it’s expected to regain hurricane strength today.

As of the National Hurricane Center’s 8 a.m. update, the storm maintained its 70 mph winds — keeping it just under a hurricane as it is expected to head north over the Carolinas by early Tuesday, possibly as a hurricane.

As of the 8 a.m. Monday update, Isaias is now moving to the north at 13 mph, according to the NHC. That’s a change from the 2 a.m. update when it was moving north-northwest and the 5 a.m. update when it was moving at 9 mph. The storm is expected to regain hurricane strength Monday.

Wind gusts were measured around 85 mph as of 11 p.m. Sunday. By 8 a.m. Monday, the NHC said sustained winds were at 70 mph “with higher gusts,” but did not specify the speed.

As of 8 a.m., Isaias is located about 100 miles east-southeast of Jacksonville, Florida, and 200 miles south-southwest of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It now appears headed for a landfall in either eastern South Carolina or southern North Carolina.

As of 8 a.m., the Tropical Storm Warning included nearly all of the North Carolina coast and the Pamlico and Albemarle sounds. A Hurricane Warning has been issued from South Santee River, South Carolina, to Surf City, North Carolina.

Several new watches and warnings were issued at 5 p.m. Sunday for areas of the North Carolina coast. No new watches or warnings were issued either at 11 p.m. Sunday or 2 a.m. Monday, but hurricane warnings were issued for parts of the coast along the Carolinas in the NHC’s 5 a.m. update.

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect from Edisto Beach, South Carolina to Cape Fear, North Carolina.

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect from Cape Fear to Duck, North Carolina, including Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds.

The Tropical Storm Warning has been extended northward to Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina.

Locally, Tropical Storm Watches and Warnings are now in effect for most of central North Carolina.

According to the hurricane center, Tropical Storm Isaias is expected to make a turn toward the north and north-northeast on Monday and Tuesday with an increase in forward speed.

According to the NHC, on the current forecast track, the center of Isaias will pass just to the east of the Florida east coast through this morning. The center of Isaias will then move offshore of the coast of Georgia and will then approach the coast of northeastern South Carolina and southern North Carolina within the hurricane warning area later today. The center will then move inland over eastern North Carolina tonight, and move along the coast of the mid-Atlantic states on Tuesday and into the northeastern United States by Tuesday night.

Tropical-storm force winds extend outward up to 125 miles from the center. NOAA buoy 41010, located about 130 miles east-northeast of Cape Canaveral, reported sustained winds of 54 mph with a wind gust to 63 mph within the past few hours, according to the NHC’s 5 a.m. report.

Central North Carolina remains in the path, and the center of Isaias may move inland along the I-95 corridor as we move into early next week. The National Hurricane Center forecasts 3 to 6 inches of rain in North Carolina, with isolated maximum totals of 8 inches. Wind gusts of 30 to 60 mph will be possible.

A flash flood watch has been issued for much of central North Carolina because of heavy rainfall possible from the storm. It goes into effect Monday at 2 p.m. and expires Tuesday at 2 p.m.

Changes in the track will mean changes to our forecast, so keep checking back for updates in the coming days.

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