The Outer Banks is now under a Tropical Storm Warning, an upgrade from yesterday’s Tropical Storm Watch, according to the National Weather Service.

As of 8 a.m., Tropical Storm Isaias was 100 miles east-southeast of Jacksonville, Fla., having remained well off-shore of the Florida coast as it passed by. It is now moving north at 13 mph., an increase in yesterday’s speeds of 7-9 mph.

Isaias’s maximum sustained winds have increased to 70 mph, the National Weather Service reports, but it is still only of tropical-storm intensity, not hurricane-intensity. Dry air and wind shear continue to impede Isaias’s organization into a more intense storm.

The National Weather Service has forecasted the possibility that Isaias could strengthen into a hurricane between Charleston, S.C., and Wilmington, N.C., and has issued a Hurricane Warning for that area. A tropical storm becomes a Category One hurricane when its winds near the center reach 74 mph.

In Southern Shores, we are likely to experience heavy rains—with the smaller raindrops typical of tropical storms—and strong winds, starting late tonight and continuing into tomorrow. Storm surge could result in flooding, especially on the soundside.

No one should tempt fate today by swimming in the ocean. But today should offer some sunshine and calm before the storm.

As a veteran of dozens of tropical storms and hurricanes, I know that NWS predictions often do not pan out, so I am prepared, but also watchful for changes in the storm’s forecasted scenario.

My biggest fear is damage from fallen trees and other tree debris in the Southern Shores woods. Everyone should move their vehicles to higher ground, and away from trees, and secure objects outside that could become damaging projectiles.

All storm-savvy Outer Bankers know about “flying projectiles”!

The Beacon will post news of bulletins issued today by Dare County Emergency Management. Please see our reports about DCEM’s first three Isaias bulletins for more information about the storm’s threat and Dare County’s response.

We will try to keep you updated on what Isaias actually does, in addition to what predictions suggest it may do. Enjoy your Monday.

Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 8/3/20

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