Hurricane Isaias heads for Bahamas, Florida

Hurricane Isaias heads for the Bahamas and Florida. Map Courtesy US National Hurricane Center.

For the latest information on storm activity in the Cayman Islands, as well as information on how to prepare for hurricane season, visit Storm Centre.

Tropical Storm Isaias has strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane but poses no immediate threat locally.

An advisory bulletin issued by the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, at 10am today (Friday) said Isaias was producing maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour, the benchmark to be rated Category 1.

Hurricane Isaias was located about 295 miles southeast of Nassau, Bahamas, and travelling at 16mph in a west-northwesterly direction.

A projected storm path shows Hurricane Isaias arriving in Florida’s eastern coast by 8pm Saturday. Chart courtesy US National Hurricane Center.

A projected storm path released by the NHC shows Hurricane Isaias arriving at the southeastern coast of Florida by 8pm.

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The NHC has issued a hurricane watch for Florida residents north of Ocean Reef to Sebastian Inlet as well as Lake Okeechobee – all on the state’s eastern coast.

“Heavy rains associated with Isaias may begin to affect south and east-central Florida late Friday night,” reads an NHC advisory bulletin which warns of potential flash flooding in low-lying areas.

The NHC has also issued a hurricane watch for the Bahamas, and a tropical storm warning for the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The Cayman Islands National Weather Service said Hurricane Isaias poses no immediate threat to the Cayman Islands.

“Moderate northeasterly winds and seas are expected across the Cayman area today, with further weakening in the winds and seas from this evening as Hurricane Isaias moves northwest over the Bahamas,” reads a forecast released by the NWS Friday. “Radar images show isolated showers in and around the Cayman area moving southwest.”

Isaias is the second named hurricane of the season, following Hurricane Hanna, which formed 22 July in the northeastern Caribbean, and travelled westward where it made landfall in Texas and then shifted south to Mexico. No deaths were recorded in association with Hurricane Hanna.

Further east, another two tropical disturbances are developing.

As of 10am, Disturbance No. 1 was located a few hundred miles southeast of the Cape Verde Islands off the west coast of Africa. The NHC said the system was moving in a northward direction towards “less favourable environmental conditions”, which decreased the chances of it further developing into a depression or tropical storm.

Disturbance No. 2, which is located closer to the Caribbean, faced similar odds of further development. According to the NHC, the system had a near “0% chance of further development in the next 48 hours”.

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