Tropical Storm Isaias expected to strengthen; forecast track still includes central NC


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Isaias has weakened to a tropical storm after hitting the Bahamas on Saturday, according to the 8 p.m. Saturday update from the National Hurricane Center.

The storm has sustained winds of 70 mph and is moving northwest at about 9 mph, according to the latest report. Wind gusts are around 85 mph, according to the latest advisory. Isaias is about 100 miles southeast of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles from the center. The outer rain bands started hitting the South Florida coast on Saturday.

The National Hurricane Center said that Isaias is expected to become a hurricane again late Saturday or early Sunday as it approaches the coast of Florida.

A tropical storm watch has now been extended northward from Altamaha Sound in Georgia to South Santee River in South Carolina.

A general northwestward motion with some decrease in forward speed is expected for the next day or so, followed by a north-northwestward motion by late Sunday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

On the forecast track, the center of Isaias will approach the southeast coast of Florida tonight and move near or along the coast of Florida during the day on Sunday.

After that, on Monday and Tuesday, the center of Isaias will move quickly from offshore of the coast of Georgia into the southern mid-Atlantic states.

The National Hurricane Center forecasts 2 to 5 inches of rain in North Carolina, with isolated maximum totals of 7 inches.

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