Tropical Storm Isaias Forms

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Tropical Storm Isaias Forms

As it travels northwest up the Caribbean Sea, Isaiah is expected to hits parts of eastern Cuba and south Florida on Friday and over the weekend, the hurricane center said. The hurricane center said forecast models are in good agreement that Isaias will move across Hispaniola today, but then it could lose organization over the higher terrain.

The bad news? The storm is very shifty and "the intensity forecast is quite tricky", the NHC said Thursday morning, noting that some models show Isaias strengthening to hurricane levels off the east coast.

Isaias was centered about 165 miles (265 kilometers) southeast of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic late Thursday morning, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

Tropical storm warnings are still in effect for Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the southeastern Bahamas.

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Since Wednesday evening, most of SC has been in the NHC's cone of uncertainty.

It had maximum sustained winds of 96km/h and was moving west northwest at 33km/h.

That's a big "if", however, meteorologists cautioned, saying the storm's ultimate track toward Georgia and the Carolinas was still unknown.

"It should be noted that there are models that show hurricane strength near the USA but, given the large amount of uncertainty, it is preferred to stay on the conservative side for now", NHC forecasters wrote in a 5 a.m. discussion.

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The storm - which would be named Isaias - has a large footprint, which means its effects will be wide-reaching. Forecasters say heavy rain is likely to cause flash flooding and mudslides along with the tropical storm force winds over the island today into tonight as it approaches. A weaker storm would also have potentially fewer impacts in the Carolinas, but some increase in seas and rip currents would remain a distinct possibility with a weaker system. Should it maintain its current track, Isaias will start dumping rain on the Midlands on Sunday. The islands should expect three to six inches of rain, and up to eight inches in "isolated" areas, the National Weather Service said. Current forecasts show the winds could reach the 40 miles per hour range, and there's up to a 20% chance tropical storm force winds will lash the Midlands.

The Storm Prediction Center has included all of our viewing area in a marginal risk for severe storms this afternoon (yes, that's the lowest risk, but that also means that severe weather is possible).

Oh and in case you're having trouble pronouncing Isaias, here's some help.

Isaias became the earliest storm with an "I" name on record. There continues to be uncertainty in the track and potential impacts to South Florida.

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