Tropical cyclone Isaias strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane on Monday, August 3, prior to making landfall near Ocean Isle Beach in southern North Carolina. As of 23:15 (local time), Isaias was 65 km (40 miles) south-by-southwest of Wilmington (North Carolina), with maximum sustained winds of 140 kph (85 mph) and progressing north-by-northeast at 35 kph (22 mph). Hurricane Isaias is forecast to move inland across eastern North Carolina early on Tuesday morning, August, 4 before making its way along the coast of the mid-Atlantic states and into the northeastern US by Tuesday night. States of emergency have been declared in several states along the US East Coast, as well as in certain coastal counties.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have issued the following watches and warnings:
- A storm surge warning is in effect between the South Santee River (South Carolina) and Cape Fear (North Carolina); in the Pamlico and Albemarle sounds (North Carolina), from Ocracoke Inlet (North Carolina) to the North Carolina-Virginia border.
- A storm surge watch is in effect between Cape Fear and Oregon Inlet.
- A hurricane warning is in effect between the South Santee River and Surf City (North Carolina)
- A tropical storm warning is in effect between Edisto Beach (South Carolina) and the South Santee River, Surf City and Eastport (Maine), and in the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds, Chesapeake Bay (Maryland and Virginia), the tidal Potomac River (Washington DC, Virginia, and Maryland), Delaware Bay (Delaware and New Jersey), Long Island and Long Island Sound (New York and Connecticut), Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket (Massachusetts), and Block Island (Rhode Island)
Heavy rainfall, strong winds, and rough seas are to be expected on the entire Atlantic coast of the US in the near term. Associated disruptions to transportation, business, and utilities are likely.
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 the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, avoid areas directly affected by flooding, confirm road conditions before setting out, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
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