TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A potential tropical cyclone is churning in the Atlantic and is forecast to become Tropical Storm Isaias, the ninth named storm, sometime this week, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The NHC has given the system a 90% chance of development over the next 48 hours and a 90% chance of development over the next five days.
As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, the system is about 350 miles east-southeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico, with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph. It’s moving west-northwest at 23 mph.
The system is expected to move through the Leeward Islands on Wednesday, bringing heavy rain and gusty winds in the area. It will head toward the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico Wednesday night before it reaches Hispaniola on Thursday, according to the NHC.
Although Florida is in the middle of the forecast path, it’s still too early to determine how it will impact the state, but the storm is expected to weaken as it moves toward land.
“It will continue to interact with land, encounter some wind shear, and pass through Saharan dust. All that leads to the system remaining weak even as it heads toward Florida,” said Max Defender 8 Meteorologist Leigh Spann. “This track is a little farther west than previous forecasts, but expect more changes as the system develops and the models get a better handle on it.”
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:
- Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra
- U.S. Virgin Islands
- British Virgin Islands
- Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Anguilla
- Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Martin, and St. Barthelemy
- Saba and St. Eustatius
- St. Maarten
- Dominican Republic from Cabo Caucedo eastward to Cabo Engano and
then westward along the northern coast to the Dominican
- North coast of Haiti from Le Mole St Nicholas eastward to the
northern border with the Dominican Republic
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:
- Dominican Republic from the southern Haiti border eastward to
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- Southeastern Bahamas