Isaias weakening but will bring heavy rain, gusty winds to central North Carolina early Tuesday; Tropical Storm Watch issued for parts of state
RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) — Hurricane Isaias has now weakened to a tropical storm as it approaches the eastern coast of Florida.
As of 5 a.m., Isaias remains 45 miles east-northeast of Fort Lauderdale in Florida. The National Hurricane Center says the Florida east coast will see tropical storms conditions and dangerous storm surge through early Monday.
Wind speeds have decreased from the 11 p.m. update with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph with gusts increasing to 75 mph and is moving northwest at 9 mph.
The latest track from NHC on Isaias. Good news this storm will not strengthen and it will be moving fast. Bad news the path will be close to the I-95 Corridor. Heavy rain, (2-4″), winds gusting 35-55mph. Some power outages and a tornado risk along and east of the storm. pic.twitter.com/veflEksIYZ
Meteorologist Steve Stewart says the system is very disorganized due to wind shear and dry air off of Florida. He says the storm is not likely to strengthen. It will either keep its strength due to the warm water or weaken.
The system’s path has been tracking farther and farther west, closer to the I-95. It’s predicted the Triangle will have an elevated risk of severe weather
With its eventual turn to the north, Isaias is still expected to bring heavy rain and potential flash floods to low-lying areas across Florida and the Carolinas.
WHAT WE CAN EXPECT:
Late Monday into early Tuesday, our area can expect heavy rain and flash flooding.
Rain totals could be between 2 and 4 inches. Winds will likely be gusting from 35 to 55 mph. This means there’s a possibility for some power outages and isolated tornadoes east of the storm.
Meanwhile, a mandatory visitor evacuation is in order for Hatteras Island, Holden Beach, Ocean Isle Beach and Ocracoke Island. Areas will be restricted to residents, homeowners, vendors, and other essential personnel.
On Friday, Cooper issued a state of emergency for the state of North Carolina ahead of Hurricane Isaias.
On Thursday, more than 400,000 customers in Puerto Rico lost power, according to ABC News. Some were trapped in flooding.
The North Carolina coast is already seeing effects of Isaias as a high risk rip current went into effect starting Friday stretching from Hatteras down to Carolina Beach. The elevated threat will go on as the storm continues to move north.
Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach said Isaias is the earliest ninth Atlantic named storm. The previous record was Irene on August 7, 2005.
Stay with the ABC11 First Alert Weather team as they monitor this hurricane and any threats it may bring to North Carolina.