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Tropical Storm Isaac likely to be a hurricane by Monday

From NBC – 2

Tropical Storm Isaac continues to strengthen after being named on Saturday. While it is the weakest of the three systems in the Atlantic presently, it’s also a storm we’ll have to keep an eye in the days to come.

Tropical Storm Isaac is almost a hurricane as we close out the weekend.

The storm continues to strengthen with 70 mph winds as of 5 p.m. Sunday.
Isaac continues to have a lopsided structure compared to Helene and Florence, the other storms in the Atlantic, but is on track to become a more powerful system in the days ahead. Isaac has also begun to speed up, moving west at 12 mph.

The forecast for Isaac has changed little since the storm was named on Saturday, keeping the storm headed straight west toward the Leeward Islands and becoming a hurricane before arriving there late in the week.

The forecast for Isaac long term takes it into the Caribbean, with Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, and the Virgin Islands on the extreme northern end of the forecast cone.

The exact track of Isaac late in the week is largely dependent on the same area of high pressure that will be steering Hurricane Florence towards the U.S. East Coast. The same uncertainty that’s holding up a more precise forecast for Florence will also hold up a better forecast for Isaac over the next day or two. As this high moves into place near Bermuda, winds around Isaac will begin to come out of the north as the storm moves west. This is a scenario for weakening as the storm approaches the Caribbean beyond Wednesday. How strong this high is and where it’s exactly placed will be important for how Isaac evolves in the days ahead.

What can be reasonably said about Isaac, however, is that it will get into the Caribbean. If the storm were to continue to head due west without any northward component to its motion, strong wind shear will likely tear the storm apart next weekend. A little northwest shift, however, could hold the storm together as a weak system that would need to be monitored into next week. We’ll continue to provide updates on Isaac from the First Alert Hurricane Tracking Center.

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