A hurricane watch was issued for parts of the Florida coast on Friday as Hurricane Christians targets the Sunshine State.
Isis – a Category 1 hurricane with a 75 mph wind – was located 295 miles southeast of Nassau and headed northwest at a speed of 16 mph as an advisor at 11 a.m. from the National Hurricane Center . It is forecast to remain a Category 1 hurricane through the Bahamas, as it moves along or parallel Florida’s east coast, and then terminates the entire east coast early next week.
A storm watch, meaning storm conditions are possible, has been issued for parts of the east coast of Florida, from the north of Deerfield Beach to the Volusia-Brevard County line. A Tropical Storm Warning was issued for Sebastian Inlet of Ocean Reef, as well as the Florida coast for Lake Okeechobee.
A hurricane warning is in effect for the Bahamas and a tropical storm warning for Turks and Caicos.
As the storm closes over Isas Florida, tropical storm conditions can be expected in the state by Friday night due to thunderstorm winds and rising tropical declines. The big question mark for Florida is whether Isai will make landfall in the state this weekend or just stay offshore. Despite heavy rainfall on Saturday and Sunday along the entire east coast, heavy rains and strong winds can occur. By Monday, 2-4 inches of rain may occur, while in some places it may receive 6 inches of rain. How much rain eventually falls will depend on how close the center of the storm is to Florida.
Before Isis reached Florida, however, it would blow parts of the Caribbean and the Bahamas on Friday with strong winds and torrential rains.
Tropical storm conditions continued in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and parts of Turks and Caicos on Friday morning. Storm conditions were likely to begin in the southeast Bahamas by Friday morning and spread to the central and northwestern Bahamas by Friday afternoon. In the Bahamas, onshore winds are a dangerous storm that rises 3 to 5 feet above normal tide levels. In terms of rainfall, the Dominican Republic and northern Haiti may have 4-8 inches, with varying maximum totals of 12 inches, while the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos may have 4-8 inches. These rainfall amounts will lead to flash flooding, mudslide and river flooding.
For the Bahamas, Christianity comes less than a year after Hurricane Dorian battered the island chain for a tireless period of more than 48 hours.
Even after the Bahamas and Florida were affected this weekend, meteorologists will monitor the storm in the middle of next week.
Heavy rain associated with Issei is forecast to affect North and South Carolina early next week. Mid-Atlantic and northeastern coasts may be affected by rain and wind on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Christianity is a fairly large storm, so even if the center of the storm does not make landfall, a closer approach to the coast can bring several significant changes. Storm-force winds extend 35 miles from the center and 205 miles from tropical storm-force winds.
According to Phil Klotzbach, an Atlantic hurricane expert at Colorado State University, when Isis became a hurricane, it was the first time on record (going back to 1851) that there were two hurricane forms in the Atlantic Basin in the last week of July. It comes on the heels of Hurricane Hanna, which made landfall on the Texas coast on July 25.