Tropical Storm Isaías will develop Wednesday, and storm warnings are out
An already record breaking pace to the 2020 Hurricane Season will likely increase its buffer room. The National Hurricane Center is monitoring "Potential Tropical Cyclone 9", which would turn into Isaías.
The storm already contains maximum tropical storm force winds, at 45 mph. It is moving quickly through the tropics, to the west-northwest at 23 mph.
Tropical storm warnings are in effect for the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico and much of Hispaniola, meaning residents should complete storm preparations and immediately leave the threatened area if directed by local officials. Tropical storm watches are in effect for portions of Hispaniola and the Bahamas.
The official National Weather Service definition is "A term used in NWS advisory products to describe a disturbance that is not yet a tropical cyclone, but which poses the threat of bringing tropical storm or hurricane conditions to land areas within 48 hours."
Essentially, it means the impacts can be the same as a tropical system, but the meteorological dynamics are not there yet. In the case of Potential Tropical Cyclone 9, there is no well defined circulation, though, a large circulation has been seen on satellite. That circulation will need to tighten up in order to turn tropical.
That is expected to occur as the storm moves into an environment with less intrusion of Saharan Dust, which chokes a storm of much needed moisture. The levels of dust were much higher earlier in the week, to the east of the cyclone's Wednesday morning location.
This also allows the National Hurricane Center to put out an official forecast track cone, giving people crucial information on the timing and track of the storm.
However, anything from flooding rains to coastal flooding to dangerous rip currents are in the realm of possibility.
The National Hurricane Center has the track of the storm around Florida come next Monday. The storm likely will stay at tropical storm strength, given the rough terrain of the Caribbean Islands, who's friction tears apart at the storm.
From there, a look at the "spaghetti plots", various model runs shown on the same map, shows the center of the storm curving to the north and northeast, through the Southeastern United States. Impacts to New Jersey, if any would likely be between August 4 and 6.
A track over the Southeastern United States would likely yield a remnant storm by the time it reaches New Jersey. A half day to day's worth of tropical, heavy rains would be likely, along with gusty winds.
The Tuesday night run of the Canadian forecast model shows a scenario with multiple inches of rain in the region, enough to bring areas of roadway and river flooding.
The Global Forecast System (GFS) ensemble (same model run with slightly different tweaks) members have favored a solution off the coast for Tuesday, August 4. In this scenario, South Jersey would see scattered, heavy rain bands and gusty winds. However, the concerns would largely be at the shore. Beach erosion, some coastal flooding and dangerous rip currents would threaten.
Regardless of the track, Isaias would continue a record breaking hurricane pace.
Isaias would be the ninth named tropical system in the Atlantic Hurricane basin. That would continue to outpace the 2005 season for the most active on record.
Hurricane Hanna, which made landfall in South Jersey Saturday, turned into a Tropical Storm on July 23. That was more than two weeks ahead of 2005's pace, which was Tropical Storm Harvey.
Hurricane Irene developed as a tropical storm August 7, 2005, a mark Isaias will almost surely beat out.
If the names sound familiar, that's because the National Hurricane Center reuses names every 6 years. Though notable storms, like Sandy and Harvey, can be retired by the World Meteorological Organization. In fact, out of all of the letter that storms are named after, it is the "I" storm with the most retired names, according to Brian McNoldy, Senior Research Associate at the University of Miami.
I've been the Meteorologist at The Press since Fall 2017. I've spent my whole life in New Jersey, earning a Meteorology degree from Rutgers University.
I'm honored to be a 5 time N.J. Press Association award winner and a South Jersey "Top 40 Under 40".