Isabel Poised to Strike East Coast

September 15, 2003

Hurricane Isabel, the most powerful storm of the season, is poised to strike somewhere along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard as early as Wednesday night or Thursday morning. The 5-day forecast from the National Hurricane Service indicates that, unless Isabel changes direction, she will make landfall somewhere between South Carolina and southern New England.

Sustained maximum wind speeds are near 155 mph (250 kph), which makes Isabel a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir/Simpson Scale and a very dangerous storm. She’s also getting bigger, as hurricane force winds now extend outward from the center of the storm for approximately 115 miles (185 kms).

Currently located about 850 miles (1370 kms) south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, NC, Isabel is moving along a West-Northwesterly track at around 13-mph (20 kph). “A gradual turn toward the Northwest is expected during the next day or so,” said the NHC bulletin. The force of the storm is unlikely to diminish for at least the next 24 hours.

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