UPDATE: TS Isaac on Track to Hit Florida; Strengthening Expected

August 23, 2012

The most recent update from the National Hurricane Center in Miami (5:00 a.m. AST) located the center of tropical storm Isaac southwest of Puerto Rico. The NHC said the storm is “moving toward the west near 12 mph, 19 km/h,” and that “some erratic motion toward the west-northwest to northwest could occur this morning,” with a “steady motion toward the west-northwest is expected to begin by this afternoon or tonight and continue into Friday.”

On the forecast track Isaac’s center should “pass to the south of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico today and approach the Dominican Republic tonight and Friday.

“Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 40 mph, 65 km/h with higher gusts.” However, the NHC warned that “re-strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Isaac could still become a hurricane on Friday before it reaches the Island of Hispaniola,” where both Haiti and the Dominican Republic are located. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles, 220 km, from the center.

Tropical storm warnings and hurricane watches are in place across much of the northeast Caribbean where Isaac could cross land. If the storm continues on the forecast track it would strike the Florida Keys early Monday morning and would move further into the Gulf of Mexico up the east coast of Florida.

On this path it would threaten the city of Tampa, which is schedule to host the Republican Party’s convention, beginning Monday.

Source: National Hurricane Center

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