18 September 2003

Isabel making landfall...

Just as forecast, Hurricane Isabel is making landfall between Cape
Lookout and Cape Hatteras.  No big surprises yet; she is producing large
surf, a hefty 8' storm surge, strong winds, and torrential rain... just
like any other landfalling hurricane.  In addition, tornadoes are a very
real threat in the hurricane as she moves ashore.

Watches and warnings abound along a vast stretch of the Atlantic
seaboard.  Areas included are SC, NC, VA, WV, MD, DE, NJ, PA, NY, and
CT.  A Hurricane Warning is in effect from Cape Fear, NC to
Chincoteague, VA as well as the southern Chesapeake Bay.  Tropical Storm
Warnings are in effect from Chincoteague, VA to Moriches Inlet, NY, and
then from Cape Fear, NC to South Santee River, SC, as well as the
northern Chesepeake Bay and Delaware Bay.
A Tornado Watch is in effect for eastern NC, VA, and parts of MD and
DE.  Flood and Flash Flood Watches are issued for parts of NC, VA, WV,
MD, NY, and basically all of PA.  High Wind Warnings are issued for much
of the same areas.  The best thing you can do if you live in any of the
states I mentioned is to keep tuned to a reliable local radio station or
TV station, and/or to have a NOAA Hazard Radio in your house for the
latest information.  Avoid mudslide/rockslide-prone areas and of course,
never attempt to cross a flooded street no matter how convenient a path
home it might be.

As of this writing, the center of the eye is about 50 miles east of Cape
Lookout, NC.  At 15Z she was located at 34.4N 75.7W and tracking NW at
16kts.  Intensity is 85kts and 956mb, and this will rapidly dwindle as
she moves inland... but the danger from tornadoes and flooding will
not.  The forecast track is still unchanged, and should cross over VA
late tonight into Friday morning, then over PA from Friday morning
through Friday evening.

The links I sent in a separate mailing to the radar and surface
observations will still come in handy if you wish to monitor the storm
as she moves in.

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

P.S.  Any updates that anyone has who's experiencing Isabel's wrath
first-hand would be greatly appreciated.  I'd be happy to include them
in future mailings.

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