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Isaias strengthens to Category 1 hurricane

South Florida, Treasure Coast under Tropical Storm Watch
Tropical Storm Isaias' forecast splits into very different paths
Posted at 6:00 AM, Jul 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-31 00:33:53-04

Isaias became a Category 1 hurricane late Thursday night with 80 mph winds, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The storm is strengthening quickly with a deep area of convection where the new low-level center is forming, First Alert Weather Meteorologist James Wieland said.

Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft data indicated that the tropical storm had strengthened to a hurricane. The maximum winds are estimated to be 80 mph with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the east coast of Florida, including Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast, due to the threat of hurricane.

A Hurricane Warning is in now effect for the central, southeastern and northwestern Bahamas. This includes Grand Bahamas Island, Andros Island, New Providence, Eleuthera, Abacos Islands, Berry Islands and Bimini.

On the forecast track, the center of Isaias will move near or over the southeastern Bahamas overnight. The hurricane is forecast to be near the central Bahamas Friday night and move near or over the northwestern Bahamas and near South Florida on Saturday.

WPTV First Alert Chief Meteorologist Steve Weagle said Palm Beach County is still in the error cone, but it is possible we could drop out of the cone Friday night.

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The latest track continues to keep the eye of the hurricane offshore of Florida this weekend.

Weagle said the forecast has outer rain bands arriving Saturday morning with 30 to 40 mph winds during the afternoon and night. Stronger gusts are possible in rain squalls.

Two to four inches of rain is possible, but we may not see much rain at all. Sunday will be blustery in the morning but sunshine/gusty winds likely in the afternoon.

Weagle said that on its current track, the worst weather from Isaias would remain over the Bahamas on Saturday and Sunday. The 11 p.m. Thursday track shifted the storm a little further to the east.

The probability of tropical storm-force winds for West Palm Beach is just under 50 percent and about 33 percent from Port St. Lucie to Vero Beach.

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RELATED: WPTV Weather Hurricane Information

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:

  • Northwestern Bahamas including Andros Island, New Providence, Eleuthera, Abacos Islands, Berry Islands, Grand Bahamas Island, and Bimini
  • Southeastern Bahamas including the Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, the Inaguas, Mayaguana, and the Ragged Islands
  • Central Bahamas, including Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island, Rum Cay, and San Salvador

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • Dominican Republic entire southern and northern coastlines
  • North coast of Haiti from Le Mole St Nicholas eastward to the northern border with the Dominican Republic
  • Turks and Caicos Islands

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:

  • East coast of Florida from Ocean Reef to Sebastian Inlet
  • Lake Okeechobee