BUCKS COUNTY >> The National Weather Service in Mount Holly, New Jersey, has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for the I-95 corridor, including all of Bucks County, for flooding rain and tropical storm force winds early Tuesday morning into early Tuesday evening.
Tropical storm force winds from Isaias could lead to scattered tree and power line damage along and southeast of the Interstate 95 corridor. But the primary concern with Isaias remains heavy rain leading to flash flooding. Some river flooding is possible, but is not expected along the main stem of the Delaware River.
Tropical Storm Isaias will be speeding quickly northward by early Tuesday in response to the jet stream. The cyclone will likely be undergoing an extratropical transition as it moves from the Carolinas on Monday toward the Mid-Atlantic on Tuesday. Forecasters said it’s important to note, though, this may not actually weaken the storm and it may even gain strength.
According to the NWS, a strong divergence aloft will promote an enhancement of convection associated with the system and support at least a maintenance of its strength. As far as the track and timing, there isn`t been a big change in the forecast track but the trend with guidance has been for a slightly faster timing.
Multiple hazards are becoming likely with Isaias including, but not limited to, fresh water flooding, coastal flooding/storm surge, strong winds and even isolated tornadoes. The greatest precipitation amounts are forecast to fall right along and just west of the urban and I-95 corridor with 3 to 6 inches of rain with locally higher amounts possible. This will lead to a flash flooding threat, especially for the more urbanized areas and portions of Berks County that saw an excessive amount of rain Sunday morning. In fact the flooding has the potential to be widespread and significant.
There’s also growing concerns that widespread damaging winds may be an issue. Winds will initially be from the E/SE then shift to NW behind the system. In the I-95 corridor, widespread gusts of 45 to 55+ mph are becoming increasingly likely. The upshot is that there could be fairly extensive impacts potentially including widespread power outages. These impacts may be exacerbated by the rainfall loosening the ground soil.
Finally, with a favored track near the coast or just inland, this will set up very strong low level shear just ahead of and east of the storm and this could cause a spin up of a few tornadoes Tuesday afternoon. The most favored areas for this are near and southeast of the I-95 corridor.
Here’s the forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday:
Tuesday >> Tropical storm conditions expected. Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. High near 78. Chance of precipitation is 90 percent. New rainfall amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible.
Tuesday Night >> A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 69. West wind 5 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50 percent. New rainfall amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible.
Wednesday >> A slight chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, with a high near 86. West wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20 percent.
Red Cross Outlines How to Get Ready for TS Isaias Impacts
As Tropical Storm Isaias moves along the East Coast, the American Red Cross is preparing to help and urges everyone to stay informed and prepare now. Although hurricanes aren’t as common here as coastal states and farther south, they can still cause widespread flooding and power outages, as we found out during Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
Earlier Isaias hit Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Red Cross is working with partners there to support individuals needing help. Ensuring people have a safe place to stay during a disaster is a critical part of our mission — but how we support sheltering efforts may be different in each community depending on local plans. We’ve created new protocols, based on FEMA guidance, to help keep people safe including such as social distancing protocols, face coverings and health screenings. Depending on the circumstances, we may prioritize individual hotel rooms or open more shelters that can support fewer people than normal.
The American Red Cross has the following tips to help people prepare now:
MAKE A PLAN
In light of the coronavirus, you may have to adjust any previous plans you made.
• If authorities advise you to evacuate, be prepared to leave immediately with your evacuation kit (see below).
• Plan now if you will need help leaving or if you need to share transportation.
• Ask friends or relatives outside your area if you are able to stay with them. Check and see if they have symptoms of COVID-19 or have people in their home at higher risk for serious illness. If they have symptoms or people at higher risk in their home, make other arrangements. Check with hotels, motels and campgrounds to see if they are open. Find out if your local emergency management agency has adapted its sheltering plans.
• Check with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and update emergency plans due to Coronavirus.
• Plan ahead for your pets. Keep a phone list of pet-friendly hotels/motels and animal shelters that are along your evacuation routes. Remember, if it’s not safe for you to stay home, it’s not safe for your pets either.
BUILD A KIT
Assemble two kits of emergency supplies and a one-month supply of prescription medication. Some supplies may be hard to get, and availability will worsen in a disaster, so start gathering supplies now. Start with this basic supply list:
• Stay-at-home kit: Include everything you need to stay at home for at least two weeks with items such as food, water, household cleaning and disinfectant supplies, soap, paper products and personal hygiene items.
• Evacuation kit: Your second kit should be a lightweight, smaller version that you can take with you if you must leave your home quickly. Include everything you need to be on your own for three days:
o Food and water
o Personal hygiene items
o Cleaning and disinfectant supplies that you can use on the go (tissues, hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol and disinfecting wipes)
o Cloth face coverings for everyone in your household who can wear one safely. Cloth face coverings are not a substitute for physical distancing. Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others in public. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing or is unable to remove it without help.
o Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream
o Pet food and extra water for your pet
o Cash or traveler's checks
o Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
• 1-month supply of prescription medication, as well as over-the-counter medications like cough suppressants and fever reducing drugs and medical supplies or equipment. Keep these items together in a separate container so you can take them with you if you have to evacuate.
Have access to weather alerts and community notifications. Be sure that you can receive official notifications even during a power outage. Always follow the directions of your state and local authorities.
• Find contact information for state, local and tribal governments and agencies, and for state emergency management agencies.
• Because of COVID-19, stay current on advice and restrictions from your state and local public health authorities as it may affect your actions and available resources and facilities.
• Take a First Aid and CPR/Course online to learn what to do in case emergency help is delayed.
• Download the Red Cross Emergency App for instant access to weather alerts for your area and where loved ones live. Expert medical guidance and a hospital locator are included in the First Aid App in case travelers encounter any mishaps. These apps are available to download for free in app stores or at redcross.org/apps.
IF FLOODING IS PRESENT:
• Don't walk, swim or drive through floodwater. Just six inches of fast-flowing water can knock you over and two feet will float a car.
• If caught on a flooded road with rapidly rising waters, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.
• Don't walk near rivers, creeks and streams.
• Don’t allow children to play in or near flood water.
• Avoid contact with floodwater. It may be contaminated with sewage or contain dangerous insects or animals.
• Stay out of areas subject to flooding. Underpasses, dips, low spots, washes, etc. can become filled with water.
IN THE EVENT OF A POWER OUTAGE:
• Use flashlights in the dark, not candles. Candles are a fire hazard.
• If you are using a generator, make sure it is kept outdoors in a well-ventilated area, never in a garage or under cover.
• Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. An unopened refrigerator will keep foods cold for only about 4 hours.
• Throw away any food (particularly meat, poultry, fish, eggs and leftovers) that has been exposed to temperatures higher than 40 degrees for 2 hours or more. When in doubt, throw it out!
• A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours, 24 hours if half full and the door remains closed.
• If food in the freezer is colder than 40 degrees and has ice crystals on it, you can refreeze it.
• Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment, including sensitive electronics.
Visit redcross.org/hurricane for full information about what to do before, during and after a hurricane.