Florida to close state-run coronavirus testing sites ahead of storm

PM Skerrit speaking at a NEPO meeting earlier this year. File

The Division of Emergency Management said a potential tropical storm is expected to bring heavy rains and strong winds that could affect South Florida as early as Friday.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center say the storm could arrive at the coast of South Florida sometime Saturday.

Isaias will likely make a landfall in the Dominican Republic today and be near the Turks and Caicos Islands and Southern Bahamas on Friday. A tropical wave near the west coast of Africa has only a 20 percent chance of development over the next five days and is expected to run into unfavorable conditions as it moves deeper into the Atlantic. The effects could be significant, even though Rohrbach said the National Hurricane Center does not forecast Isaias developing into a hurricane.

Heavy rain and wind lashed Puerto Rico on July 30 as a warning was in place due to Tropical Storm Isaias, according to local news reports. Isaias' timing has slowed a bit, now predicted to pass off the SC coast Monday.

Many of our more reliable forecast models have shifted north and east, suggesting a track closer to the Florida east coast instead of Southwest Florida, but we'll know more after the storm moves over the mountainous terrain of Hispaniola today and emerges back over water tonight.

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The National Hurricane Center has named the tropical disturbance in the Caribbean Sea Tropical Storm Isaias.

Northwestern Bahamas including Andros Island, New Providence, Eleuthera, Abacos Islands, Berry Islands, Grand Bahamas Island, and Bimini. According to Mike's Weather Page, the system stretches over 500 miles with tropical-storm force winds spanning out 250 miles.

Isaias was expected to produce 3 to 6 inches (7 to 17 centimeters) of rain across the British and U.S. Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos and also across Puerto Rico, northern Haiti, and eastern Cuba with isolated maximum totals of 8 inches (20 centimeters).

The Dominican Republic and Bahamas could get a bit more - 4 to 8 inches with isolated amounts of 10 inches.

AccuWeather meteorologists say the SC coast line could see 2-4 inches of rain, rough surf, and some damaging winds up to 60 miles per hour. Still other models are having Isaias veering northeast in the deep Atlantic Ocean, away from any shore, he said.

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