HURRICANE ISABEL CLOSING IN ON THE COAST;
Preparations to Protect Life and Property Should Be Rushed to Completion
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.)
17, 2003 ó The NOAA National Hurricane
Center in Miami, Fla., reports that at 5 p.m. EDT the center of
Hurricane Isabel was located near latitude 31.1 north, longitude 73.3
west or about 315 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C. Isabel
is moving toward the north-northwest near 14 mph. A turn to the northwest
with an increase in forward speed is expected prior to landfall. On
the forecast track, the center of Isabel is expected to make landfall
in eastern North Carolina during the day Thursday. However, the precise
timing and location of landfall is uncertain, and conditions will deteriorate
over a large area well before the center reaches the coast. Tropical
storm conditions are expected to reach the coastline Wednesday night.
(Click NOAA over head satellite image for larger view of Hurricane
Isabel beginning to lash the U.S. mainland with its powerful winds taken
on Sept. 17, 2003, at 5:15 p.m. EDT. Click
here for high resolution version, which is a large file. Please
(Click NOAA close-up satellite image for larger view of
powerful Hurricane Isabel touching the U.S. mainland taken on Sept.
17, 2003, at 5:15 p.m. EDT.
Click here for high resolution version, which is a large file.
Please credit “NOAA.”)
Maximum sustained winds are near 105 mph with higher gusts. Isabel is
a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale. A slight
increase in strength is possible prior to landfall.
force winds extend outward up to 115 miles from the center, and tropical
storm force winds extend outward up to 315 miles.
The most recent minimum central pressure measured by an Air Force Reserve
unit reconnaissance aircraft was 955 mb, 28.20 inches.
Storm surge flooding of 7 to 11 feet above normal tide levels, along
with extremely large and dangerous battering waves, is expected near
and to the north of where the center crosses the coast. Storm surge
flooding of 4 to 8 feet above normal tide levels is expected in the
Chesapeake Bay and the tidal portions of adjacent rivers.
WARNS OF INLAND FLOODING THREAT
the last 30 years, inland flooding has been responsible for more
than half the deaths associated with tropical cyclones in the
Deputy Director, NOAA National Hurricane Center
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
rainfalls of 6 to 10 inches, with locally higher amounts, are likely
in association with Isabel.
the threat of isolated tornadoes over eastern North Carolina Wednesday
night and Thursday.
warning remains in effect from Cape Fear, N.C., to Chincoteague, Va.,
including Pamlico and Albemarle sounds, and the Chesapeake Bay south
of Smith Point. A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions
are expected within the warning area, generally within 24 hours.
All preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion
in the hurricane warning area.
A tropical storm warning remains in effect south of Cape Fear to South
Santee River, S.C., and north of Chincoteague to Sandy Hook, N.J., including
Delaware Bay. A tropical storm warning also remains in effect for the
Chesapeake Bay from Smith Point northward and for the Tidal Potomac.
(Click NOAA tracking map of Hurricane Isabel for larger view.)
SPECIAL LOCAL STATEMENTS FROM NOAA NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
FORECAST OFFICES IN THE AFFECTED AREAS
information specific to your area, please monitor products issued by
NOAA National Weather
Service local forecast offices.
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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
National Hurricane Center
Get the latest advisories here
NOAA Atlantic Hurricanes
Database — 150 Years of Atlantic Hurricanes
Forecasters Say Six to Nine Hurricanes Could Threaten in 2003
NOAA River Forecast Centers
NOAA Flood Products
NOAA Rainfall Graphics
Observed Precipitation as of 8 a.m. today
rainfall data as of 8 a.m. EDT today
NOAA Satellite Images
The latest satellite views
NOAA 3-D Satellite Images
NOAA Hurricanes Page
NOAA Storm Watch
Get the latest severe weather information across the USA
Lepore, NOAA Hurricane Center,