Tropical Storm Isaac’s Winds Nearing Leeward Islands

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Joyce, previously a sub-tropical storm, has transitioned to a tropical storm in the central Atlantic, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Thursday.

"Gradual weakening is forecast while Florence moves farther inland during the next couple of days, and it is expected to weaken to a tropical depression" by Saturday night, the center said in a bulletin. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 160 miles from the center.

Surf swells from Isaac could be life-threatening and coastal flooding is a risk in the Lesser Antilles.

Hurricane Florence remained a risky Category 4 storm with winds of 130 miles per hour as of 5:00 a.m. Wednesday.

Death toll continues to rise in southeastern NC due to Hurricane Florence
Forecasters said the onslaught could last for days, leaving a wide area under water from both heavy downpours and rising seas. By Friday evening, Florence was downgraded to a tropical storm, its winds weakening to 70 miles per hour as it pushed inland.

Tropical Storm Watches were also discontinued for St. Maarten, St. Martin, Saba and Eustatius. If Isaac survives, some forecast models want to turn it to the northwest towards the Gulf next week, so we'll keep watching this one closely. Although the storm is expected to weaken, it has followed a wavering path and could still pose a threat to Cayman early next week. The Saffir-Simpson scale that meteorologists use to measure hurricanes reflects only the wind speeds involved in the storm, and right now Hurricane Florence's winds are hovering at maximum speeds of about 110 miles per hour (175 km/h). It is classified as a strong category 2 hurricane with wind speeds of 150 kilometers per hour.

On the forecast track, Isaac is forecast to move across the central Lesser Antilles and into the eastern Caribbean Sea later today, and then move across the eastern and central Caribbean Sea through the weekend. If the two systems become tropical storms, it would be the first time the Atlantic has had five named storms at once, Colorado State University meteorologist Phil Klotzbach said. Expect winds to increase on Saturday to 15-30mph across the entire CSRA, with the 30mph more likely in the northern/eastern areas. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large waves.

Latest Isaac tropical storm image from Harry Halstrom, Pond Hill forecaster.