Hurricane warnings and watches were up Saturday along Florida’s Atlantic Coast, and the National Hurricane Center said it was likely that Isaias would have wide-ranging impacts along the Eastern seaboard into next week.
Around here, the storm might wring out heavy rains, most likely on Tuesday, said Nicholas Carr, meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly. Rainfall totals of 4 inches or more were possible, but it was unclear which areas would be targeted.
At the Shore, tropical-storm force winds and some coastal flooding were possible, the weather service said in its daily briefing.
Late Friday, Isaias was about 20 miles from the Bahamas, and had made a turn toward the northwest. Peak winds were 85 mph, 11 mph above the minimum to qualify as a hurricane. It was forecast to remain a category 1 hurricane until sometime Tuesday, when it would weaken to a tropical storm.
The latest projected path had it possibly making landfall in South Carolina on Monday afternoon and then grazing New Jersey on Tuesday afternoon.
While the storm should weaken by the time it would get to New Jersey, conditions in the upper atmosphere could enhance its rainfall, the weather service said. Atlantic sea-surface temperatures remain above normal, and that could supply additional moisture.
“An axis of very heavy rain is probable,” the weather service said.
Meanwhile the region might be getting something more than an Isaias hors d’oeuvre on Sunday, Carr said. After a steamy Sunday, with heat indexes in triple figures possible, an approaching cold front could set off some fireworks.
“Locally torrential” rainfall is possible, the weather service said, along with damaging thunderstorm downburst winds.
Regardless of what else Isaias does, it already has set a record in the Atlantic Basin, which includes the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. It is the earliest ninth named storm of the season, storms with winds of at least 39 mph.
On average, the entire season, which runs until Nov. 30, produces 11 named storms.