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HURRICANE ISABEL HEADING FOR THE MID-ATLANTIC U.S. COAST

(See the NOAA National Hurricane Center for the latest information on this storm. Complete advisories are posted at 11 a.m., 5 p.m., 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. All times are Eastern. Advisories are posted more frequently as the storm nears the USA mainland.)

NOAA close-up satellite image of the eye of Hurricane Isabel taken on Sept. 16, 2003, at 2:15 p.m. EDT.Sept. 16, 2003 ó The NOAA National Hurricane Center in Miami, Fla., reports that at 11 p.m. EDT the center of Hurricane Isabel was located near latitude 28.5 north, longitude 71.7 west or about 520 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C. Isabel is moving toward the north-northwest near 8 mph, and this general motion is expected to continue for the next 24 hours. (Click NOAA close-up satellite image for larger view of the eye of Hurricane Isabel taken on Sept. 16, 2003, at 2:15 p.m. EDT. Click here for high resolution version, which is a large file. Please credit “NOAA.”)

NOAA satellite image of dangerous Hurricane Isabel as the Eastern Seaboard awaits its arrival taken on Sept. 16, 2003, at 2:15 p.m. EDT.
(Click NOAA satellite image for larger view of dangerous Hurricane Isabel as the Eastern Seaboard awaits its arrival taken on Sept. 16, 2003, at 2:15 p.m. EDT. Click here for high resolution version, which is a large file. Please credit “NOAA.”)
NOAA satellite image of Hurricane Isabel taken at 2:15 p.m. EDT on Sept. 16, 2003.
(Click over view NOAA satellite image for larger view of Hurricane Isabel taken at 2:15 p.m. EDT on Sept. 16, 2003. Click here for high resolution version, which is a large file. Please credit “NOAA.”)

NOAA satellite image of Hurricane Isabel taking aim at the U.S. mainland taken on Sept. 16, 2003, at 2:15 p.m. EDT.
(Click NOAA satellite image for larger view of Hurricane Isabel taking aim at the U.S. mainland taken on Sept. 16, 2003, at 2:15 p.m. EDT. Click here for high resolution version, which is a large file. Please credit “NOAA.”)
NOAA satellite image of Hurricane Isabel taking aim at the U.S. mainland taken on Sept. 16, 2003, at 11:12 a.m. EDT.
(Click NOAA satellite image for larger view of Hurricane Isabel taking aim at the U.S. mainland taken on Sept. 16, 2003, at 11:12 a.m. EDT. Click here for high resolution version, which is a large file. Click here to view animation of satellite images. Please credit “NOAA.”)

NOAA tracking map of Hurricane Isabel.Maximum sustained winds are near 110 mph with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast prior to landfall.

Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 145 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 260 miles. (Click NOAA tracking map of Hurricane Isabel for larger view.)

The latest minimum central pressure reported by an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft is 957 mb, 28.26 inches.

Storm surge flooding of 7 to 11 feet above normal tide levels is expected near and to the north of where the center crosses the coast.

NOAA WARNS OF INLAND FLOODING THREAT

"In the last 30 years, inland flooding has been responsible for more than half the deaths associated with tropical cyclones in the United States."
Ed Rappaport
Deputy Director, NOAA National Hurricane Center

Consider the following: When it comes to hurricanes, wind speeds do not tell the whole story. Hurricanes produce storm surges, tornadoes, and often the most deadly of all—inland flooding. Read more...

Rainfall amounts of 6 to 10 inches are likely along the path of the hurricane.

Large ocean swells and dangerous surf conditions are being experienced along portions of the U.S. Eastern Seaboard. These conditions will also continue over portions of the Bahamas for the next few days.

At 11 p.m. EDT, a hurricane warning is in effect from Cape Fear, N.C., northward to the North Carolina/Virginia state line, including Pamlico and Albemarle sounds. A hurricane watch is in effect from the North Carolina/Virginia state line northward to Chincoteague, Va., including Chesapeake Bay and the Tidal Potomac. A tropical storm warning is in effect from Cape Fear southward to Little River Inlet, S.C.

A tropical storm watch is in effect from north of Chincoteague to Little Egg Inlet, N.J., including Delaware Bay and from south of Little River Inlet to South Santee River, S.C.

A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions are possible within the warning area, generally within 24 hours.

For storm information specific to your area, please monitor products issued by NOAA National Weather Service local forecast offices.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nationís coastal and marine resources. NOAA is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Relevant Web Sites
NOAA National Hurricane Center — Get the latest advisories here

NOAA Atlantic Hurricanes Database — 150 Years of Atlantic Hurricanes

NOAA Forecasters Say Six to Nine Hurricanes Could Threaten in 2003

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale

NOAA River Forecast Centers


NOAA Flood Products

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Latest rainfall data as of 8 a.m. EDT today

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Media Contact:
Frank Lepore, NOAA Hurricane Center, (305) 229-4404