COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Isaias formed in the Caribbean Sea early Thursday and will threaten portions of the U.S. East Coast as a Category 1 hurricane later in the weekend.
The National Hurricane Center advisory placed the storm nearing Grand Bahama Island early Saturday, after lashing Puerto Rico Thursday, and then moving through the Dominican Republic.
Present steering winds would take Isaias through the Bahamas to the Florida Peninsula early in the weekend. There is no certainty regarding landfall this early, which depends on the intensity of the system. A stronger storm would likely impact the Florida East Coast northward to the Carolinas through Sunday.
Isaias is the earliest ninth named storm of the Atlantic tropical storm season, which has been attributed to unusually warm sea surface temperatures in parts of the Atlantic Basin, including the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean.
Steering weather systems presently include a Bermuda High in the western Atlantic and high pressure in the southwestern U.S., creating a “weakness” in the flow. Secondarily, a deepening low pressure trough aloft will dip into the Tennessee Valley over the weekend, which if strong enough could help steer the storm closer to the Atlantic Coast.