Virginia could feel impacts from Isaias

Published 11:19 am Friday, July 31, 2020

The likelihood that Hampton Roads will see effects of Hurricane Isaias increased Thursday and Friday as the storm crossed the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas and took aim at the continental United States.

The current forecast track shows it moving toward Florida and then curving away, hugging the East Coast potentially all the way up to New England. It could strengthen further by the time it approaches North Carolina and Virginia on Monday into Tuesday.

“There’s still a lot of questions as far as the timing and intensity of this thing,” said Jeff Orrock, meteorologist in charge at National Weather Service Wakefield. “If it can stay farther to the east, then it will probably stay stronger. Either way I think we’re in for a good bit of wind, and a decent amount of rainfall as we get into Monday and maybe parts of early Tuesday.”

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The timing of Isaias — pronounced “ees-ah-EE-ahs” — on Hampton Roads is likely to be between Monday evening and Tuesday afternoon, Orrock said. Heavy rain and wind are likely, but he said storm surge is less likely, although there could be some minor flooding with tidal interaction.

The good news is that Isaias is not a big storm, so any effects should be over quickly.

“It’s not going to have a big wind field,” he said. “It’ll be in and out of here fairly quickly.”

Regardless of how Isaias affects Virginia, it’s a good chance for people to ensure they are prepared, Orrock said.

“I think this is kind of an eye-opener that we could be in for a long hurricane season. We’re not anywhere near the peak.”

Orrock encouraged everyone with marine interests to check their boats this weekend. Folks should also test their generators, if they have one, and ensure they have necessary documents, a non-perishable food supply and bottled water readily available — whether it’s for Isaias or the next storm.