The National Hurricane Center (N.H.C.) said in its 5:00 a.m. advisory the U.S. Virgin Islands could experience up to 1.5 inches of rain and up to 3 inches in scattered areas as Tropical Storm Isaac passes south of St. Croix Friday. By then, the storm is expected to further deteriorate, and its tropical storm-force winds, which on Tuesday extended 175 miles out, has shrunk to 160 miles. This latest update bodes well for the territory, but residents are urged to continue monitoring the system as it moves past the Lesser Antilles and into the Eastern Caribbean Sea.
A tropical storm warning remains in effect for Dominica, Guadeloupe and Martinique. A tropical storm watch is in effect for Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saba and St. Eustatius, St. Martin and St. Maarten.
According to N.H.C.’s 5:00 a.m. advisory, the center of Tropical Storm Isaac was located near latitude 15.4 North, longitude 59.7 West. Isaac is moving toward the west near 17 mph (28 km/h). This general motion is forecast to continue for the next several days. 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.
Earlier data from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph (75 km/h) with higher gusts. Little change in strength is expected over the next several hours as Isaac moves through the Leeward Islands. Gradual weakening is forecast after that as Isaac moves through the eastern Caribbean.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 160 miles (260 km) from the center.
The estimated minimum central pressure is 1006 mb (29.71 inches).
Rainfall: Tropical Storm Isaac is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 2 to 4 inches with isolated amounts up to 6 inches across Martinique, Dominica, and Guadeloupe, especially over elevated terrain. Rainfall of 0.5 to 1.5 inches with isolated amounts to 3 inches are forecast across Puerto Rico and the southern United States Virgin Islands, with up to an inch anticipated across the remaining Windward and Leeward Islands. This rainfall may cause dangerous flash flooding.
Wind: Tropical storm conditions are expected within the tropical storm warning area beginning within the next few hours through the afternoon. Tropical storm conditions are possible within the tropical storm watch area, also beginning later this morning.
Storm Surge: Some coastal flooding is possible in areas of onshore winds. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large waves.
Surf: Swells generated by Isaac are affecting portions of the Lesser Antilles. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Please consult products from your local weather office.