TRACK ISAIAS: Hurricane wind gusts pick up as storm makes landfall in Brunswick County

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At the 11 p.m. National Weather Service update, Hurricane Isaias picked up speed

As Hurricane Isaias hit landfall around Ocean Isle Beach, it also picked up more intensity.

At the 11 p.m. update from the National Weather Service, the storm has maximum sustained winds near 85 mph and little change is expected before landfall.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles. A station at Frying Pan Shoals recently reported sustained winds of 72 mph and a wind gust of 93.

8 p.m. Update

Isaias has gained more strength as it rolls its way up the Carolinas, upgrading to Hurricane Isaias.

“A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for Folly Beach South Carolina to Cape Fear North Carolina,” according to the National Hurricane Center’s 8 p.m. dispatch. “A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for Cape Fear to Oregon Inlet, North Carolina.”

Warnings mean the conditions for extreme weather are expected, whereas watches indicate such conditions are possible.

The National Weather Service issued a Tornado Warning for New Hanover and Brunswick County, which will be in place until at least 9:00 p.m.

“This tornado will be near Caswell Beach, Yaupon Beach and Southport around 800 PM EDT,” read its 7:56 p.m. missive.

It predicted the tornado would reach Oak Island, Ocean Crest Pier, Saint James and Long Beach around 8:05 p.m.; Boiling Spring Lakes and Mill Creek around 8:15; and Winnabow, Town Creek, Bishop and Brunswick County Community College Main Campus around 8:20.

“Other locations impacted by this tornadic thunderstorm include Bolivia, Varnamtown, Brunswick Novant Medical Center and Dosher,” the statement continued. “To repeat, a tornado is on the ground. TAKE COVER NOW! Move to a basement or an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building. Avoid windows.”

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5 p.m. Update

A “Storm Surge Warning” is now in place for coastal regions from “Edisto Beach South Carolina to Cape Fear North Carolina,” according to the National Hurricane Center’s 5:00 p.m. dispatch.

“A Storm Surge Warning means there is a danger of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, in the indicated locations,” the dispatch says. “This is a life-threatening situation. Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other dangerous conditions.”

The National Weather Service issued Hurricane Warnings for New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties at 5:07 p.m. It also issued a Storm Surge Warning for Coastal Brunswick County and a Storm Surge Watch for Coastal New Hanover and Coastal Pender counties.

2 p.m. Update

As of 2 p.m., not much has changed with Isaias’ projected path or strength. The National Hurricane Center placed the storm 180 miles south-southwest of Myrtle Beach moving at a consistent 13 mph. The storm is still packing 70 mph winds, as it had all morning.

In its report, which is updated every three hours, the NHC is projecting the center of the storm to make landfall in eastern North Carolina late Monday or early Tuesday.

The NHC’s confidence is also high Isaias will also strengthen enough to be classified a Category 1 hurricane by the time it moves past the South Carolina coast.

Tropical storm-force winds, which extend 125 miles outward from the center of the storm, are expected to reach the Cape Fear region after 8 p.m. Monday, according to the National Weather Service’s Wilmington office.

The next update from the National Hurricane Center is expected at 8 p.m.

11 a.m. Update

Tropical storm-force winds are expected to reach the Cape Fear region by 8 p.m. Monday as Tropical Storm Isaias makes its approach up the coast.

As of 11 a.m., the National Hurricane Center said the storm was 220 miles south-southeast of Myrtle Beach, packing 70 mph sustained winds.

Although it remains a strong tropical storm, Isaias is expected to strengthen enough to become a category 1 hurricane as it passes the southern coast of South Carolina before an forecasted landfall tonight, according to the latest NHC update.

Just before the update was released, the National Weather Service’s Wilmington office posted to its Facebook the warning about tropical storm winds for local residents.

“Based on the latest information, there is a HIGH chance to receive tropical storm force winds (greater than 35 mph) tonight after 8 p.m.,” the post read. “Downed trees/limbs, and loose outdoor items will be blown.”

The Cape Fear region remain under a hurricane warning as the Isaias moves north along the East Coast.

8 a.m. Update

As of 8 a.m. Monday, Tropical Storm Isaias was located about 100 east-southeast of Jacksonville, Florida, and about 250 miles south-southwest of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The storm was moving at 13 mph and other rain bands were already moving into the Cape Fear region. Rain and thunderstorms were reported throughout Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties.

Maximum sustained winds were at 70 mph, but some strengthening is possible before the center approaches the North Carolina coast late Monday night.

Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles from the center. During the past hour, a wind gust to 40 mph was observed at the St. Augustine Pier, Florida, and a sustained wind of 34 mph and a gust to 40 mph were measured by a Weatherflow station at the Jacksonville Beach Pier, Florida.

5 a.m. Update

A hurricane warning has been issued from South Santee River, South Carolina, to Surf City. A tropical storm warning extends northward from Surf City to Rhode Island.

Although Isaias was still a tropical storm as of 5 a.m., some strengthening is possible Monday — prompting the hurricane warning for the Cape Fear coast.

A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 24 hours. A tropical storm warning means tropical storm conditions are likely within 36 hours.

Around 6:30 a.m. Monday, early rain bands from Isaias were moving into Brunswick County. Conditions are expected to deteriorate throughout the day Monday with the center of Isaias approaching the Cape Fear coast late Monday.

Isaias is moving toward the north near 9 mph. A turn toward the north and north-northeast along with an increase in forward speed is expected later Monday and Tuesday. The center of Isaias will pass well east of the Georgia coast through Monday morning. The center of Isaias will then approach the coast of northeastern South Carolina and southern North Carolina within the hurricane warning area later Monday. The center will then move inland over eastern North Carolina Monday night and move along the coast of the mid-Atlantic states on Tuesday and into the northeastern United States by Tuesday night.

Maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph with higher gusts. Some strengthening is anticipated Monday, and Isaias is forecast to regain hurricane strength before it reaches the North Carolina coast.

The next update from the National Hurricane Center is expected at 8 a.m.