What is Isaias? Tropical storm at hurricane strength with winds of 80mph may wreck homes in Florida

The report states that the storm will make landfall over southern Dominican Republic before noon on July 30 and then reach near Florida over the weekend


                            What is Isaias? Tropical storm at hurricane strength with winds of 80mph may wreck homes in Florida
Representational purpose (Getty Images)

Apart from the political storm that the country is facing, people are also getting ready for Isaias, which is the ninth named storm of 2020. It formed on July 29 over the Caribbean Sea, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. As per a CNN report, the storm has a speed of 50 mph sustained winds extending outward up to 345 miles, and currently sits about 155 miles south of Ponce, Puerto Rico, NHC said.

The report states that the storm will make landfall over southern Dominican Republic before noon on July 30 and then reach near Florida over the weekend. However, there is still uncertainty about where and how strong the storm will be when it comes near Florida. The CNN report says forecast models are split. While some models show a weak storm hitting the West Coast of Florida, others show a much stronger storm lashing the East side of the state and moving toward the Carolinas.

According to CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers, "The eventual track will determine Isaias' strength and potential future development. A track mainly over water will let the storm get stronger. A path more over land and the mountains of Hispaniola and Cuba will help to tear it apart."

The report also states that once it gets over warmer waters, the storm could strengthen quickly like last weekend’s Hurricane Hanna. According to the report, one of the main concerns is rainfall. Tropical storm warnings are issued for Puerto Rico, the US and British Virgin Islands, the entire northern and southern coasts of the Dominican Republic and the north coast of Haiti from Le Mole St Nicolas to the border with the Dominican Republic.

According to a report by Sun Sentinel, there have been four other tropical storms so far this month — Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo and Hanna. Other named storms this year included Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal and Dolly. Tropical Storm Arthur formed in mid-May, making this the sixth straight year that a named storm formed before the official start of hurricane season on June 1. But till now, hurricane Hanna has been the only one striking Texas late last week as a strong Category 1 storm.

The same report states, Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony has said that it is "absolutely essential that the community begins to prepare" for Isaias and other potential storms that may come this hurricane season. During a virtual press conference, the sheriff also touched upon Covid-19 impact during the hurricane season. He said the biggest hurdle officials anticipate is maintaining effective social distancing while taking in a large number of people at county storm shelters.

The CNN report further states the reason it was called "Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine" is because the storm did not have a round center of circulation, according to Myers. Instead, it was very elongated. "When a circular center finally formed, that is when they began to call it a tropical storm." By calling it a potential tropical cyclone, it allowed countries to issue watches and warnings. The Sun Sentinel states it was promoted to Tropical Storm Isaias in the 11 pm advisory from the National Hurricane Center on July 29 night, making it the ninth named storm of a busy 2020 hurricane season.

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