Hurricane Isaias is getting better organised as tropical storm conditions and heavy rains spread into the Central Bahamas on Friday, the Miami-based National Hurricane Centre (NHC) has said.
In its 2.00 pm bulletin, the NHC said that the hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour (mph) was located about 245 miles south east of Nassau and a forward speed of 16 mph.
The NHC is predicting a general north westward motion with some decrease in forward speed for the day or so followed by a turn toward the north-northwest.
“On the forecast track, the centre of Isaias will continue to move near or over the South-eastern Bahamas today. Isaias is forecast to be near the Central Bahamas tonight, and move near or over the North-western Bahamas Saturday and near the east coast of the Florida peninsula Saturday afternoon through Sunday.
“Data from the reconnaissance aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds are near 75 mph with higher gusts. Strengthening is expected later today and tonight, and Isaias is forecast to remain a hurricane for the next few days,” the NHC said.
The Bahamas government has urged citizens to take the storm seriously and take all precautions to safeguard life and property.
A hurricane warning has gone into effect for north western Bahamas including Andros Island, New Providence, Eleuthera, Abacos Islands, Berry Islands, Grand Bahamas Island, and Bimini as well as southeastern Bahamas including the Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, the Inaguas, Mayaguana, and the Ragged Islands.
The warning is also in effect for Central Bahamas, including Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island, Rum Cay, and San Salvador
The NHC is warning of a dangerous storm surge with water levels rising by as much as three to five feet above normal tide levels in areas of onshore winds in the Bahamas.
“Tropical storm conditions are expected in the warning area in Florida beginning Saturday. Hurricane conditions are possible in the Hurricane Watch area beginning Saturday night and continuing into
Isaias is expected to produce heavy rains in the Dominican Republic and northern Haiti as well as the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands.
“These rainfall amounts will lead to life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides, as well as river flooding. Urban and small stream flooding is expected for the U.S. Virgin Islands and Hispaniola.”