(News Nation/WFLA) — Tropical Storm Isaias is expected to strengthen and become Hurricane Isaias later this week as it continues moving toward Florida.
Tropical Storm Isaias, previously Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine, formed late Wednesday in the eastern Caribbean.
While the National Hurricane Center says there’s still a lot of uncertainty with Isaias’ track and how strong it will get, the 5 p.m. EDT update says it is expected to become a hurricane on Friday.
“After the interaction with mountainous terrain, we’ll continue to have a clearer idea what impacts the U.S. could see,” News Nation affiliate WFLA’s Meteorologist Julie Phillips said Thursday afternoon.
As of 5 p.m. Thursday, Isaias was about 155 miles west-northwest of Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Maximum sustained wind speeds are staying consistent at 60 mph and the storm is moving northwest at 20 mph.
According to the NHC, Isaias could start impacting Florida on Saturday. A tropical storm watch has been issued for the east coast of Florida from Ocean Reef to Sebastian Inlet. A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible in the area, generally within 48 hours.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:
- Dominican Republic entire southern and northern coastlines
- North coast of Haiti from Le Mole St Nicholas eastward to the
northern border with the Dominican Republic
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- Southeastern Bahamas including the Acklins, Crooked Island, Long
Cay, the Inaguas, Mayaguana, and the Ragged Islands
- Central Bahamas, including Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island,
Rum Cay, and San Salvador
- Northwestern Bahamas including Andros Island, New Providence,
Eleuthera, Abacos Islands, Berry Islands, Grand Bahamas Island, and
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:
- East Coast of Florida from Ocean Reed to Sebastian Inlet