Hurricane Isaias has slowed its forward speed a bit overnight but is basically on its forecasts track. It’s now forecast to make its closest approach to South Florida this afternoon. But the worst weather should stay well offshore.
The strongest winds will be on the other side, the east side of the storm – extending some 175 miles across the Bahamian islands and beyond – but some dangerous winds may still exist close to the center on the west side of the storm as well.
Due to Isaias’s angle of approach and the way Broward and Miami-Dade County angle back to the west, the threat of high winds is lowest in Miami-Dade, somewhat higher in Broward, then highest in Palm Beach County and north where the Florida coastline juts farther into the forecast cone.
The Tropical Storm Warnings for Broward and the coastal sections of Miami-Dade mean that winds of 40 mph or higher should be expected in part or all of those areas. The Hurricane Watch for Broward means there’s a chance that wind gusts exceed 75 mph in parts of the county, especially in northeast Broward.
Initially today, outer bands of rain with gusty winds will quickly move through, but generally the winds will be fairly light in between.
On the current schedule, the winds will increase this afternoon, as the center of Isaias approaches from the southeast. Winds will switch from east to northeast as the storm comes closer.
If the storm stays on track, the winds will be strongest from the evening into the overnight as the center makes its closest approach. Winds will eventually come from the north and the northwest and be fairly strong during the evening and for a while after midnight, especially in north Broward. Overnight, as the center of Isaias moves away to the north, winds will switch to westerly and die down.
The strongest winds in north Dade and Broward will occur when they are blowing from the northeast around to the northwest, if the storm stays on track.
In spite of the fact it will be tracking over the Gulf Stream, which can be a heat supply for an intensifying hurricane, the atmospheric conditions are fairly hostile over and around Florida. That should keep Isaias from exploding into a monster hurricane. The dry air from Saharan Dust, which has been keeping South Florida mostly rain-free for several days, is still around. That along with unfavorable upper-level winds are factors forecast to keep the intensity in check.