Tropical Cyclone Isaias

Neither mundane nor pointless for those in the path, but this is the designated forum for breaking news.

Anyhow, Tropical Storm Isaias is soon to be Hurricane Isaias. It’s rained and mudslid on Puerto Rico and will continue for awhile. The Dominican Republic & Haiti are getting it now as I write (Thu late afternoon / early evening).

The Bahamas & FL are next.

So far the results have been damaging, but not disastrous. But the fat lady is just in the first verse & building up from there. So far the storm is large, but not very strong.

Right now we in Metro Miami are looking at a ~50% chance of tropical storm winds(=dangerous to be outside), a ~15% chance of damaging winds, and a ~5% chance of low end hurricane winds. All probably Saturday afternoon to Sun afternoon.

But it could intensify more or sooner or slide more westerly. Any of which would increase the impact on SoFL. At least we’ve got our COVID problem totally under control. NOT!

The Bahamas forecast is both worse and sooner.

At my place the staff is battening down the hatches on Fri to be done by the end of the workday. Then we wait and watch.

Anyone else in the area or in the Islands?

11am Friday update …

Still nice and sunny and warm here. NHC has bumped Isaias up to a Cat 1 hurricane & moved it closer to shore. Now the NHC hurricane watch area starts 500 feet north of my house, so I feel very confident I’ll be totally fine. Not.

Odds on damaging winds are up by 10-15% vs yesterday all along the Florida coast, including here. Timing for arrival here is about the same; heavy rain starting Fri night, significant winds starting Sat morning.

This is still not a big deal for FL as hurricanes go, but it will mess up a lot of people’s days.

Anyone? Bueller?

Wishing you well and good luck. I wonder if everyone is deep in crisis fatigue.

I was supposed to be on a tiny Caribbean island, helping rebuild from previous storms. We decided not to go (a number of aid workers said they wouldn’t want to breath the air in O’Hare, let alone on an airplane… good point).

As it turns out, we would’ve gotten there days before they closed the islands to American flights, and would probably still be stuck there. Cowering as Isaias shook our makeshift shelter.

According to the impact on Vieques was relatively minor, but the main island of PR there is flooding and power outages.

FYI, before hearing I thought it was pronounced I-zay-us, when the pronunciation seems to be Is-ee-ay-us.


It is usually pronounced I-zay-us in English. I grew up knowing Isaias as a book in the Douay-Rheims bible - the King James version renders it as Isaiah, of course. I don’t know why English speakers who are broadcasting to English speaking audiences are using a Portuguese or Spanish pronunciation, but the hurricane is now known as Ee-sye-ee-us for sure.

The roster of names of tropical cyclones are chosen by an international committee of cyclone geeks / PhDs and are chosen from the languages spoken in the area. So the ones in Asia (aka typhoons) have names that sound normal / familiar to e.g. Chinese, Phillipino’s, Vietnamese, etc.

And ones that affect the Americas (aka hurricanes) have names that are chosen from English, Spanish, and Portuguese given names. In this case the Isaias is a standard Portuguese name, sorta cognate to English Isiah. And “ee-sah-EE-as” is supposedly the ordinary Portuguese pronunciation of an ordinary Portuguese name.

The largest lump of native Portuguese speakers on Earth after Brazil & Portugal is … Greater Miami. Surprise! I can’t go a day out in public without hearing some Portuguese. And of course some Spanish from other folks too.

As to the storm at 3pm on Sat …

So far we have very little to show for it. It’s been a breezy warm day, alternately fully sunny and a high thin overcast. The breeze has been slowly picking up, but if you didn’t know there was a hurricane behind it you’d have no reason to be concerned about the wind. Lots of folks at the beach even now. Thesurf is starting to pick up enough that most of the waders are coming onshore and the board surfers are just getting excited.

It rained a little before dawn, just enough to wet everything down. A few minutea go it started raining moderately for the first time since the pre-dawn rain. Radar suggests this scattered band may last an hour so. Not unlike what happens every other afternoon during rainy season.

In other words we’re all dressed up and no need to go. So far. It’s starting to look like our area will just “get our hair mussed”. Farther north in FL and especially in NC are gonna get hit harder, though still not catastrophically.

The Bahamas are getting the worst of it now. We shall see.

Left one more idea out of my post on names.

To facilitate communications over two-way radios, TVs, etc., and for folks who aren’t first speakers of the local tongue, there is an official worldwide prescribed pronunciation of each standard name.

Which for the Atlantic storms, pretty thoroughly pronounces the names as they’d be pronounced by native speakers of whichever language: English Spanish, or Portuguese.

So for Hurricane Jane the announcers in Spanish-speaking countries don’t say “Whan” or Whaan-eh; they say “Jane.” And English language broadcasters do the same “exaggerated” foreign accent thing when dealing with Juan, Isaias, etc.

It’s not really exaggerated; it’s just that lots of people in the US are used to everything being American-ized for their benefit thoughtless convenience. These words aren’t.

One of my favorite typhoon names was Aere, pronounced eye-ear-ee. It was the word for “storm” in a Pacific Islander language that isn’t spoken by very many people.

I missed this thread last week, but the OP made reference to it here. Anyway, here is my response, which included the impact of Isaias on Connecticut:

Yowza! You guys got whacked pretty good.

I admit to losing interest in Isaias’ progress after my friends in Virginia said it was no big deal to them. And by then this thread had dropped like a stone to the 4th scroll of the Latest page.

Better luck to all of us on the next storm. And storm thread.