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Tropical storm could bring rain, wind to Delaware early next week

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Hurricane Isaias

A National Weather Service map shows the predicted path of Hurricane Isaias.

Forecasters are tracking a hurricane that could bring heavy rain and wind to the Newark area early next week.

Hurricane Isaias is expected to make landfall in the Bahamas and Florida before turning and heading up the East Coast as a tropical storm. It is expected to be off the coast of Delaware and New Jersey by Tuesday.

According to the National Weather Service, the storm could bring 2 to 4 inches of rain to the Newark area from Monday night through Wednesday night.

Wind could also be a concern. The biggest threat for wind damage is near the coast, but Newark has a 10 percent chance of seeing tropical storm force winds, which are sustained winds between 39 and 73 miles per hour.

“Uncertainty continues to exist regarding the future track and intensity of this storm, and exact impacts to the region will continue to change in time,” NWS wrote in an update issued Friday evening.

The Delaware Emergency Management Agency said it is monitoring the storm and encouraged Delawareans to make sure they have an emergency plan and a kit of emergency supplies.

“Though there is still some uncertainty of the storm’s track, now is the time to prepare,” the agency said.

Here in Newark, City Manager Tom Coleman said the city, too, is closely monitoring the storm.

“We will be running through our hurricane preparedness checklists, testing pumps, and topping off generators among many other tasks. Right now, the forecast path has the worst of the storm tracking east of us but if the track shifts west, the effects of the storm will ramp up quickly,” Coleman said.

Crews are also clearing out drains and making sure emergency equipment is ready to put into service.

The 5 p.m. Friday update from the National Hurricane Center showed a storm that is slowing down and getting better organized, despite a struggle against higher wind shear, as it passed through the warm waters of the central Bahamas.

The latest projection showed Hurricane Isaias scraping along the coast near Riviera Beach Sunday at 2 a.m. with 80 mph winds and 100 mph gusts, triggering a round of upgraded hurricane warnings for Florida's coast.

Boca Raton to Brevard County is now under a hurricane warning, which means hurricane-force-winds are expected in the next 36 hours. A hurricane watch, which means hurricane conditions are possible in the next 48 hours, has been issued from Hallandale Beach to just south of Boca Raton, as well as Brevard and Volusia County.

Southeast Florida from Ocean Reef north to Boca Raton and Lake Okeechobee are under a tropical storm warning.

As of the 5 p.m. EDT update, Isaias was less than 200 miles south of Nassau and was packing 75 mph winds. The hurricane center said it expected the storm to strengthen over the next 24 hours to maximum sustained wind speeds of 85 mph as it nears Florida.

Forecasters predicted Isaias will weaken as it rides Florida's coast Sunday, before eventually downgrading to a tropical storm early Monday as it crosses the border to Georgia.

Models and meteorologists point to wind shear and an approaching trough of air from the west as factors that could send Isaias' path wobbling toward or away from Florida. The general consensus is a more organized storm will stay east, toward the Bahamas, and a weaker, more ragged storm could stray west, toward Florida.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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