On Thursday, July 30, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) issued a Tropical storm watch for the east coast of Florida from Ocean Reef northward to Sebastien Inlet due to the approach of Tropical Storm Isaias. As of the NHC's latest update at 17:00 (local time), the storm system was located 400 km (250 mi) southeast of the southeastern Bahamas, traveling 31 kph (20 mph) northwest and carrying maximum sustained winds of 95 kph (60 mph). The storm is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane on Friday, July 31, as it passes over the Bahamas. It is currently forecast to move near south Florida on Saturday, August 1, bringing tropical storm conditions to the watch area. Further watches and warnings are likely to be issued later on Thursday or on Friday. The storm is then predicted to tack over the east coast of the US, although the exact path and intensity are uncertain at this stage.
Strong winds, heavy rainfall, and storm surges are expected along Florida's east coast through the weekend. Isolated flash flooding is also possible, and associated disruptions to travel and business should be anticipated.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from late May through to the end of November, with activity typically peaking in late August and early September. Numerous tropical storms form in the Atlantic Ocean during this period, with most affecting the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the east coast of the United States. Although communities in the region are generally well prepared for adverse weather conditions during the hurricane season, severe storms bring a significant risk of flooding and infrastructural damage.
Individuals in areas forecast to be affected by the storm system are advised to monitor local weather reports, confirm flight reservations, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, anticipate adverse weather and power and transportation disruptions, and remember that running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) is enough to knock over an adult - and never drive through flooded streets; floodwater may also contain wastewater and chemical products.
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