Isaias will fortunately be picking up steam around the time of arrival, which means the effects will generally be the worst for about a 4-6 hour window. Slow weakening is forecast after Isaias makes landfall in the Carolinas and moves across the US mid-Atlantic region tonight and Tuesday.
Isaias is piling another burden on communities already hard-hit by previous storms and the pandemic.
State officials have closed beaches, parks and coronavirus testing sites in preparation for the storm, which killed power and snapped trees in its path. DeSantis said that with Florida entering the season's most active time for hurricanes, residents should have a week's supply of water, food and medicine on hand.
Meanwhile, the state is now the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. There were over 9,600 new cases of the coronavirus reported on Saturday, and 179 new deaths from the disease, according to the Florida Department of Health.
A hurricane warning is in effect from the South Santee River in SC to Surf City, N.C. Shelters had opened at 2 p.m. Saturday.
On the forecast track, the center of Isaias will pass well east of the Georgia coast through this morning.
The storm also did not affect the successful return of two astronauts aboard the SpaceX Dragon capsule, which splashed down into calm waters in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola. If this does strengthen into a depression or storm later this week, it is expected to stay away from the United States.
The most severe wind might come as the sun comes out just as the storm leaves late Tuesday afternoon, Rowland said.
Isaias killed two people in the Caribbean and roughed up the Bahamas but remained at sea as it brushed past Florida during the weekend, providing some welcome relief to emergency managers who had to accommodate mask-wearing evacuees in storm shelters.
Florida is on the west side of Isaias. It recently barred travelers from the US following a surge in cases after it reopened to global tourism.
Tropical storm warnings were issued further north including areas near New York City, which was battered by Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
A state of emergency is in effect for much of North Carolina as the tropical storm approaches.
Coronavirus cases have surged in Florida in recent weeks, and the added menace of a storm ratcheted up the anxiety.
Natalie Betancur, stocking up at a grocery in Palm Beach Gardens, said that the storm itself doesn't cause her a great amount of concern.
"The last really significant impact we had was Hurricane Matthew but we don't feel the storm is near that magnitude", Graham said, referring a Category 5 storm in 2016.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper is cautioning residents not to overlook the potential threats of Isaias.