Thursday, July 30, 2020

Tropical Storm Isaias sets a new hurricane-season record as it triggers blackouts and flooding in Puerto Rico

It's expected to strengthen to a hurricane by Sat. morning.

Susie Neilson)
,INSIDER•July 30, 2020

Tropical Storm Isaias has already broken a record: It's the earliest named storm starting with "I" ever to form in a hurricane season. Because storms are named in alphabetical order each season, that means nine tropical storms have already formed — the first time that's happened before August 1 since the US began recording hurricane data in the 19th century.


The difference between a tropical storm and hurricane is wind speed: A tropical storm's winds blow at a sustained 39 to 73 mph, whereas a hurricane's winds are 74 mph or greater.


Forceful winds and rain associated with the storm hit Puerto Rico on Thursday morning, where 312,500 people have lost electricity, according to, and about 150,000 have lost water service. The storm was expected to drop 4 to 8 inches of rain on the island, with some areas receiving up to 10 inches.


Florida is currently battling one of the US's largest coronavirus outbreaks, with more than 460,000 total cases and 6,500 deaths. Florida's Division of Emergency Management announced Wednesday that it would close state-run COVID-19 testing sites at 5 p.m. ET on Thursday, "out of an abundance of caution to keep individuals operating and attending the sites safe."

The shutdowns could exacerbate existing testing delays and bottlenecks. Some South Florida residents say they've waited two weeks for test results, and some labs have cut back on the sites they service, according to the Florida Sun-Sentinel.


For the latest on current and projected conditions, see the National Hurricane Center of the National Weather Service (NWS)

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