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Rip current risk continues from Isaias for Outer Banks beaches

Tropical Storm Isaias continues to bring increased swell and rip current risk to the North Carolina Coast Sunday. Areas along all Outer Banks beaches south of Currituck have a high rip current risk for Sunday, August 2. NOAA advises that the surf is dangerous for all levels of swimmers. Surf height is 3 to 5 feet with south winds 10 to 15 mph and a very high UV index. For Currituck area beaches, the rip current risk is moderate with a surf height of around 3 feet and a very high UV index.

The National Weather Service’s Morehead City office warns Isaias may bring the potential for moderate flooding rain across inland areas Monday evening through Tuesday and states that localized flash flooding is possible where bands of the heaviest rain fall. There is potential for strong tropical storm force winds across all of eastern North Carolina Monday evening through Tuesday. Regarding storm surge threat, NWS states inundation of 1 to 2 feet above normally dry ground, localized up to 3 feet, is possible in some areas Monday evening through Tuesday, including ocean overwash on Hwy 12 from Rodanthe south through Cape Lookout as well as the Pamlico Sound, especially north of Pea Island.

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The NOAA National Hurricane Center’s Sunday morning update states Tropical Storm Isaias is currently continuing to bring heavy rainfall and gusty winds to the northwestern Bahamas and tropical storm conditions are nearing the coast of Florida.

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for Jupiter Inlet to Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida and Edisto Beach, South Carolina to Cape Fear, North Carolina. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Hallandale Beach, Florida to South Santee River, South Carolina and Lake Okeechobee, Florida. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for North of South Santee River, South Carolina to Surf City, North Carolina.

NOAA advises that interests elsewhere along the southeast and mid-Atlantic coasts of the United States should monitor the progress of Isaias. Additional watches or warnings may be required later Sunday.

Tropical storm conditions will continue over portions of the Northwestern Bahamas through Sunday morning and spread northward along the coast of Florida within the warning area through Sunday night. These conditions are expected to spread northward along the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina within the warning area on Monday. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch area in South and North Carolina beginning Monday night and Tuesday.

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NOAA advises that the combination of storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide:
– North Miami Beach, Fla. to Jupiter Inlet, Fla. 1-3 ft.
– Jupiter Inlet, Fla. to Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. 2-4 ft.
– Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. to Edisto Beach, SC 1-3 ft.
– Edisto Beach, SC to Cape Fear, NC 2-4 ft.

At 8 a.m. EDT Sunday, August 2, the center of Tropical Storm Isaias was located about 40 miles (70 km) east-southeast of W. Palm Beach, Fla. and about 155 miles (245 km) south-southeast of Cape Canaveral, Fla. It’s moving toward the northwest near 8 mph (13 km/h). A general northwestward motion is expected today, followed by a north-northwestward motion tonight. A turn toward the north and north-northeast is anticipated on Monday and Tuesday with an increase in forward speed. On the forecast track, the center of Isaias will move near or over the east coast of Florida Sunday. On Monday and Tuesday, the center of Isaias is expected move from offshore of the coast of Georgia into the southern mid-Atlantic states.

Reports from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicated that the maximum sustained winds remain near 65 mph (100 km/h) with higher gusts. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km) from the center. Early Sunday morning, a wind gust to 55 mph (89 km/h) was reported at Freeport, Grand Bahama Island and a Weatherflow observing site at Junno Beach Pier, Florida measured a wind gust to 47 mph (76 km/h). Little change in strength is expected during the next couple of days, stated the NHC update.

Isaias is expected to produce the following rain accumulations:
– Northwest Bahamas: 4 to 8 inches, with isolated maximum totals of 12 inches.
– Eastern Florida: 2 to 4 inches, with isolated maximum totals of 6 inches.
– Northeast Florida and coastal Georgia: 1 to 3 inches.
Carolinas and the mid-Atlantic, including the southern and central Appalachians: 2 to 5 inches, with isolated maximum totals of 7 inches.
– Southeast New York and much of New England: 2 to 4 inches, with isolated maximum totals of 6 inches. Heavy rainfall from Isaias could result in potentially life-threatening flash flooding in the Bahamas and flash and urban flooding along the east c  oast of the United States. Minor to isolated moderate river flooding is possible across portions of the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic.

The next complete advisory will be issued by NHC at 11 a.m. EDT Sunday: www.hurricanes.gov.

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