FIG. 4. GOES-12 visible satellite image of Hurricane Isabel at 1315 UTC 12 Sep 2003. Maximum winds are estimated at 140 kt at the time of this image (courtesy of CIMSS, University of Wisconsin—Madison).
speed at landfall on 18 September is 90 kt, based on GPS dropsonde and stepped frequency microwave ra- diometer data.
Isabel brought hurricane conditions to portions of eastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia. The highest observed sustained wind over land (Table 5) was 69 kt with a gust to 85 kt at an instrumented tower near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, at 1622 UTC 18 September. A tower in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, observed 64 kt with a gust to 84 kt at 1853 UTC. The National Ocean Service (NOS) station at Cape Hat- teras reported 68 kt with a gust to 83 kt before contact was lost. The Coastal Marine Automated Stations (C- MAN) at Chesapeake Light, Virginia, and Duck, North Carolina, reported similar wind speeds. Elsewhere in Virginia, Gloucester Point reported 60-kt with a gust to 79 kt at 2200 UTC 18 September, while the Norfolk Naval Air Station reported 50 kt with a gust to 72 kt at 2100 UTC that day. Unofficial reports from the affected area include a gust of 102 kt at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, 93 kt at Gwynns Island, Virginia, 91 kt at
Ocracoke, North Carolina, and 88 kt at New Bern, North Carolina. The wind record from the most seri- ously affected areas is incomplete, as several observing stations were either destroyed or lost power while Isa- bel passed.
Isabel brought tropical storm conditions to a large area from eastern North Carolina northward to the eastern Great Lakes and western New England. The C-MAN station at Thomas Point, Maryland, reported 42 kt with a gust to 58 kt at 0850 UTC 19 September. Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., re- ported 39 kt with a gust to 50 kt at 0139 UTC that day. Tropical-storm-force winds were reported at Kennedy and LaGuardia Airports in New York City, while a gust of 52 kt was reported in Middletown, Pennsylvania. Ex- tratropical Isabel brought gale-force winds to portions of the eastern Great Lakes and southeastern Canada.
The lowest pressure observed by reconnaissance air- craft was 920 mb at 1712 and 1901 UTC 12 September. The lowest pressures observed on land were unofficial reports of 957 mb at Arrowhead Beach, North Caro-