RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Tropical Storm Isaias’ forecast track now has it reaching the coast of North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane Monday, the National Hurricane Center said.
In the NHC’s 5 p.m. update Thursday, the storm was about 95 miles west-southwest of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Thursday.
Isaias was still moving northwest at 20 mph with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph, which hadn’t changed at all during the day Thursday.
Isaias could become a hurricane Friday or Friday night, NHC said.
Isaias would likely reach North Carolina Monday afternoon and according the forecast cone, the center of the storm could be just offshore of North Carolina or just inland. Where the storm actually ends up will impact how much wind and rain we see in central North Carolina.
When the storm does start to move up the east coast, it will be moving at a fast enough pace to prevent this from being a long, drawn out tropical event for North Carolina. The forecast hurricane could be moving as fast as 25 mph Monday. At this speed the rainfall amounts won’t be any higher than 3-5 inches along the coast, but the coast will likely see some strong winds Monday. Rough surf and rip currents could start along the coast as early as this weekend.
Central North Carolina will have some wind and rain, but since we will be on the west side of the storm, amounts of each will not be major. Impacts from the storm will depart North Carolina Monday night.
Tropical storm warnings are in effect for parts of the east coast of Florida – from Ocean Reef to Sebastian Inlet.
“The Tropical Storm Warnings for the central and northwest Bahamas may be upgraded to Hurricane Warnings this evening or tonight,” the NHC’s 5 p.m. update said.
Tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch area in Florida beginning Saturday.
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours, the NHC said.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 240 miles from the center of the storm.
Isaias is forecast to turn northwestward turn with a decrease in forward speed over the next few days.
However, NHC maintained that there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the storm’s path once it leaves the Caribbean.