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The National Hurricane Center (N.H.C.) in its 5:00 p.m. advisory said all tropical storm watches and warnings for Isaac have been discontinued, news that will be welcomed by interests in the Caribbean.
The storm, however, is still projected to bring heavy rainfall, with 2 to 4 inches forecast across southeastern Puerto Rico, while totals of 1 to 2 inches with maximum amounts of 3 inches possible across the remainder of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This rainfall may cause dangerous flash flooding, N.H.C. said.
“We do not anticipate experiencing any tropical storm or hurricane force winds, but we could experience rain and will be placed under a flash flood watch,” said Governor Kenneth Mapp in a release issued late Thursday.
According to Government House, Mr. Mapp, who spoke with the National Weather Service and Virgin Islands Emergency Management Agency officials again this morning, said two to four inches of rain are expected on St. Croix beginning Thursday evening. If the rain bands persist, the National Weather Service may raise the flash flood watch to a flash flood warning triggering the emergency alert system.
“Please do not be alarmed if you receive an alert on your phone,” he said. “Intermittent rain bands are expected on St. Croix as Isaac passes south of the big island.”
Less rain is predicted for St. Thomas, St. John and Water Island. “Please stay safe and enjoy the weekend,” the governor concluded.
N.H.C. said at 5:00 p.m. that the center of Tropical Storm Isaac was located near latitude 14.9 North, longitude 63.2 West. Isaac is moving toward the west near 16 mph (26 km/h), and this general motion with a decrease in forward speed is expected for the next few days. Isaac should move farther away from Lesser Antilles today, and then move across the eastern and central Caribbean Sea through the weekend.
Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. Isaac is forecast to gradually weaken over the next few days, and could degenerate into a tropical wave during that time.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km) from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1006 mb (29.71 inches).
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