Hurricane Isaias gains strength as it heads toward East Coast

Hurricane Isaias gains strength as it heads toward East Coast
In this GOES-16 satellite image taken Friday, July 31, 2020, at 8:40 a.m. EDT., and provided by NOAA, Hurricane Isaias churns in the Caribbean. Hurricane Isaias kept on a path early Friday toward the U.S. East Coast as it approached the Bahamas, parts of which are still recovering from the devastation of last year's Hurricane Dorian. (NOAA via AP/AP)

PITTSBURGH — Hurricane Isaias reached category 1 hurricane strength late Thursday night and is the ninth named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.

Isaias is also the fifth named storm to form in the month of July, which ties with the 2005 record.

The pronunciation of Isaias is ees-ah-EE-ahs, which is the Spanish and Portuguese version. The English version is “Isaiah.” It is a biblical name meaning “God is my salvation.”

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(WPXI/Cox Media Group)

The World Meteorological Organization has six lists of hurricane names that rotate and are reused. If a storm is too deadly or too costly, a name may be retired and not used again. Tropical storms and hurricanes are named to reduce confusion, especially if there are multiple storms at a time, and to make it easier to remember and report.

Hurricane Isaias is forecast to track northwest toward the US, providing life-threatening flash flooding, heavy rains, hurricane force winds, and storm surge to the Bahamas.

Florida is expected to experience heavy rains, and most of Florida’s east coast has a hurricane watch and tropical storm warning in effect.

This weekend, Hurricane Isaias will track toward the Florida coast, and make a northward turn near Miami. It will likely ride parallel to the eastern coast, and make landfall around Wilmington, North Carolina on Monday.