South Florida woke to a mix of sunshine and passing squalls Saturday morning.
The squalls, of course, are breaking off points from a “big storm” churning its way through the Bahamas en route to the Florida coast.
The National Hurricane Center predicts Hurricane Isaias will scrape its Category 1 muscle against South Florida as it stirs the Atlantic up the Florida coast, bringing tropical storm gusts, rain and possible flooding, and a storm surge.
Hurricane #Isaias is near Andros Island in the Bahamas. The hurricane is expected to approach the southeast Florida coast late today and on Sunday. Go to https://t.co/tW4KeFW0gB for the latest info on #Isaias and https://t.co/SiZo8ohZMN for your local weather forecast. pic.twitter.com/vLj0Hwfnfc
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) August 1, 2020
So when will South Floridians start to really feel Isaias?
According to meteorologist Andy Latto from the National Hurricane Center, Miami-Dade will feel the least impact from Isaias. “There may or may not even be tropical storm-force winds.”
There’s a chance for some but not until this evening, he said. “The further north you get, the more of a chance.”
Instead, Miami-Dade will continue to see some passing squalls — one moved through around 8 a.m. bringing some showers to Kendall, for instance — and these will continue through the remainder of storm’s visit to these parts, Sunday morning.
According to the National Weather Service’s hourly weather forecast graph, Miami-Dade should see gusts of 33 mph from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Then 36 mph from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and a high of 40 mph at 10 p.m. By 2 a.m. Sunday, the winds will decline in Miami-Dade to the mid- and upper 20 mph range through Sunday afternoon.
“Broward is essentially in the same situation as Miami-Dade but as it is closer to the center of the storm, there is a better chance of stronger squalls, also later into the evening and Sunday morning,” Latto said. “These passing squalls may become fairly frequent and a more steady rainfall along the coast. But the winds won’t get far inland — and that goes for Miami-Dade as well.
The National Weather Service’s hourly forecast graph suggests Broward should see gusts of 33 mph to 36 mph at 4 p.m., much like Miami-Dade’s pattern, and then 41 mph at 7 p.m. and building to a high of 52 mph at 1 a.m. Sunday. Then the winds decline to the upper 20 mph-range from 7 a.m. through Sunday afternoon.
Palm Beach winds
Palm Beach County is under a hurricane warning and as the storm goes further west it might get closer to the coast so there is a chance of hurricane force winds at the current track, Latto said. “It might stay just off the coast but there’s no wiggle room there. That’s why you pay attention to the cone. A 20-mile deviation track to the west would bring hurricane force winds onto Palm Beach, but they won’t extend far inland.”
The county is on the west side of the storm. “When the storm is moving northward, the west side is typically weaker,” Latto said.
“Both Broward and Palm Beach will see squalls all day, throughout the day, and these will linger longer in Palm Beach County. The most intense of these will be felt in the early daytime hours Sunday as Isaias heads the closest to the coast. Just before sunrise, Latto said.
Then Isaias wends its way north after that point.
Palm Beach should see gusts of 31 mph to 36 mph between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. By nightfall, the National Weather Service’s hourly forecasts predicts winds will rise to the upper-40 mph and upper-50 mph range through the night and morning hours and climbing to 69 mph at 7 a.m. — which is under the previously announced hurricane force winds of 75 mph. The winds will then decline to the mid-30s and low-30s through Sunday before settling around 20 mph at 10 p.m. Sunday into Monday morning.
— NWS Miami (@NWSMiami) August 1, 2020
“We don’t anticipate a core of heavy rainfall to move over Miami-Dade or Broward,” Latto said. “Palm Beach will see more heavy rainfall as the core moves closer to the area.”
The peak hours for rain in Palm Beach should be between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. Sunday when 2.2 inches are forecast, the National Weather Service said.
Worst case scenario for rainfall along the east coast is between 3 to 5 inches, the National Weather Service said.
The National Weather Service strongly urged that “preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion this morning.”
So if you have projectiles that could become airborne in your yards, like potted plants, patio furniture and umbrellas, trampolines or garbage cans, bring them inside or secure them. Shuttering windows, especially in Palm Beach County, would be advisable, if possible.
Miami-Dade and Broward both were taken out of the cone as of the 11 a.m. National Hurricane Center report.