Tropical Storm Isaac Passes Lesser Antilles, Heads for Western Caribbean

Tropical Storm Isaac is just 50 miles southwest of Dominica and 100 miles south-southwest of Guadeloupe, according to the latest update from the National Hurricane Center (NHC). The storm is currently moving at 20 mph towards the west with maximum sustained winds at 45 mph.

The NHC says, on the forecast track, Isaac should move farther away from the Lesser Antilles Thursday, before moving across the eastern and central Caribbean Sea through the weekend. The NHC adds that little change in strength is expected over the next several hours as Isaac moves through the Leeward Islands, and that gradual weakening is forecast after that, as Isaac moves through the eastern Caribbean.

Hazards affecting land include rainfall of from eight to 10 inches over Dominica (in isolated areas), up to six inches over elevated terrain across Martinique and Guadeloupe, as well as the southeast of Puerto Rico. Additional islands, which includes the U.S. Virgin Islands, can see two to four inches of rain with the possibility of flash flooding.

The NHC has also released the following watches and warnings:

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • Martinique
  • Dominica
  • Guadeloupe

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:

  • Antigua
  • Barbuda
  • Montserrat
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • Saba and St. Eustatius
  • St. Martin and St. Maarten

Isaac is expected to remain a tropical storm through Monday, when it will have passed Jamaica and will be south of Cuba

Accuweather adds that impacts from Isaac include flooding rains, damaging winds, rough seas and coastal flooding. While the NHC expects Isaac to remain at its current strength or weaken, Accuweather warns there is the potential for it to strengthen to a hurricane over the weekend.

"Waters remain very warm over the western Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico," says AccuWeather senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski. "Provided wind shear is low, there is the potential for Isaac to gain strength and possibly ramp up to a hurricane before approaching any land in along the U.S. Gulf Coast next week."

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