Tropical Storm Isaac is Approaching the Leeward Islands


Tropical Storm Isaac became the 9th named storm of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season on Tuesday, August 21. The storm is about 140 miles east of Guadeloupe and is approaching the Leeward Islands with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph. Isaac is expected to strengthen and become a hurricane by Thursday night, August 23. Based on the current storm trajectory, Isaac is likely to make landfall on the southwestern coast of the Dominican Republic as a Category 1 hurricane on Friday, August 24. Isaac is forecast to move toward South Florida on Sunday, August 26 as a hurricane. Currently, there is significant uncertainty in the storm intensity and its track to generate a reliable forecast on the impact of the storm on the US mainland.

Tropical Storm Isaac Potential Storm Track - August 22, 2012

Tropical Storm Isaac Potential Storm Track - August 22, 2012
Source: National Hurricane Center (NHC)

As of 11 am EDT, Wednesday, August 22nd, the center of Isaac was located at latitude 15.9N, longitude 59.3W, about 140 miles east of Guadeloupe. Maximum sustained winds are 45 mph, and some strengthening is expected over the next day or two. Isaac could become a hurricane sometime on Thursday.

Isaac is moving quickly to the west at 21 mph, and this motion is forecast to continue for the next several days as the storm moves over the Leeward Islands this evening and into the northeastern Caribbean Sea. By Friday, Isaac is forecast to begin a slow shift to a more west-northwest to northwesterly course.

On the current forecast track, Isaac should pass near, or south of, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Thursday, and approach the Dominican Republic Thursday night or Friday. A landfall is forecast on Friday morning on the southwestern coast of the Dominican Republic, with Isaac predicted to be a Category 1 hurricane at that time.

Tropical storm warnings are in effect for the Leeward Islands as well as the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. A hurricane watch is also in effect for Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and portions of the southern coast of the Dominican Republic.

After crossing over the Dominican Republic and Haiti on Friday, Isaac should weaken again to a tropical storm by the time it emerges back over water. On Saturday, Isaac is expected to cross eastern Cuba and emerge into the Florida straits on Sunday morning, August 26. Isaac may re-intensify to a hurricane as it moves to the southern tip of Florida by Monday morning. Any specific location for a Florida landfall, if any should occur, is still too far off in the future to reliably predict.

EQECAT will continue to monitor this event.

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