Hurricane Isaias to strengthen as system becomes better organised

Hurricane Isaias will get stronger as the system becomes better organised, bringing heavy rains and tropical storm conditions to the Bahamas.

A large tree toppled by tropical storm winds is seen in Alto Trujillo, Puerto Rico, Thursday, July 30, 2020. (AP Photo)

Isaias, which was upgraded just after midnight today, was located 22.2 north and 75.2 w, or 245 miles (395 kilometres southeast of Nassau, Bahamas) as at 2:00 p.m. (EDT), according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Maximum sustained winds are near 75 miles per hour (120 kilometres per hour) with higher gusts. It is expected to strengthen later today and tonight, and will remain a hurricane for the next few days.

Tropical Storm Isaias knocked out power and caused flooding and small landslides across Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic on Thursday as forecasters predicted it would strengthen into a hurricane while moving toward the Bahamas and US East Coast.(AP Photo)

Hurricane Isaias is moving towards the northwest at 16 mph (26 km/h) and a general northwestard motion with a decrease in forward speed expected followed by a turn towards the north-northwest.

The hurricane’s center will be near central Bahamas tonight and move near or over the islands’ northwestern end tomorrow.

Isaias will bring tropical storm conditions as it nears the east coast of the Florida peninsula Saturday afternoon through Sunday.

People look at level of Canovanas river following heavy rain caused by the storm in Alto Trujillo, Puerto Rico, Thursday, July 30, 2020. (AP Photo)

Rainfall from Hurricane Isaias will see the Dominican Republic and northern Haiti receive four to eight inches of rainfall with 12 inches in some isolated cases; the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos will received four to eight inches while Cuba will received one to two inches of rainfall, with a maximum of four inches in isolated cases.

The Florida-based NHC added that, “These rainfall amounts will lead to life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides, as well as river flooding. Urban and small stream flooding is expected for the US Virgin Islands and Hispaniola.”