Hurricane Isaias strengthened overnight Thursday to a Category 1 with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph. The storm is currently churning off the coast of Cuba, and is tracking northwest toward The Bahamas.
Isaias is forecast to strengthen to a Category 2 later today into tonight as it approaches The Bahamas. Winds are expected to be 100 mph, creating storm surge on the islands. Damaging wind and several inches of rainfall are also possible.
Late Saturday into Sunday, the hurricane is forecast to make more of a northerly turn as it inches closer to the eastern Florida coastline. Interaction with the Bahama islands and wind shear may weaken the storm just a bit (although it won't take away from the impacts to the coast).
Regardless, those on the east coast of Florida should stay aware, because the impacts will be felt whether it's a direct hit or if the center of the hurricane tracks off shore.
Hurricane Isaias is then forecast to track up the eastern seaboard early next week, which will slow down our weather pattern a bit here in eastern Iowa, leading to pleasant weather conditions. Click here to see the 10 Day Forecast.