Weather News: Isaac’s winds gain Hurricane strength as it heads for the Florida Keys

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Storm Center for Isaac (credit: National Hurricane Center)

Storm Center for Isaac (credit: National Hurricane Center)

 

Florida News: Tourists and residents head for mainland to escape Isaac

Isaac is expected to lash Florida today as winds gain strength up to 65 mph (100 km/h) and could reach hurricane force by the time it reaches the Keys. The hurricane warnings remain in effect. According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, winds are expected to strengthen further in the next 48 hours. This morning, at 5 a.m. ET, the storm was centered about 330 kilometres east-southeast of Key West.

State of Emergency declared

So far, a string of cars have been inching their way north along the Overseas Highway to leave the Keys. Yesterday, a state of emergency was declared for Florida by Governor Rick Scott. This was a precautionary measure in light of Tropical Storm Isaac’s path and a standard protocol procedure so that emergency response efforts can be coordinated on a federal, state and local level in the event of an emergency. Monitor Isaac’s path over this weekend, listen to the local officials for any warnings.

Hurricane Force Winds

The red areas in the image above shows where Hurricane Warnings have been issued, and the blue areas show where Tropical Storm warnings have been announced. The time is also indicated in the white area. Hurricane conditions are still forecasted for the Hurricane Warning areas in Southwest Florida and the Keys:

  • Florida Keys
  • Dry Tortugas
  • Florida West Coast from Bonita Beach southward to Ocean Reef
  • Florida Bay

Although a Hurricane Watch is still in effect for  Southeast Florida from Golden Beach southward to Ocean Reef and from the mouth of the Mississippi River to Indian Pass, Florida, the possibility of hurricane conditions happening in southeast Florida is decreasing.

When the Hurricane will hit

The National Hurricane Center  is expecting the storm to move near or over the Florida Keys later on Sunday or toward the evening. Winds are expected to build today and peak in the afternoon and evening with gale force winds ending by Monday morning.

Rain

In addition to wind, South Florida will be pummelled with rain from 4 to 8 inches. Some areas may have higher amounts, perhaps up to 12 inches.

Dangerous Conditions

Along with strong winds and potential tornadoes, storm surges can reach up to four feet, so be aware of dangerous surf and rip current conditions over the next few days.

Flight Cancellations and Updates

So far, Miami International Airport and the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport remain open, but many flights have been delayed or cancelled, so check with the airport and airline before you head out.

Republican Convention Delay

The Republican National Convention will be delayed until Tuesday due to Tropical Storm Isaac.

Tell us…

Are you ready for the storm?