TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tropical Storm Isaias formed late Wednesday in the eastern Caribbean and could make landfall in Florida sometime this weekend.
The latest update from the National Hurricane Center shows the storm slowly strengthening as it moves south of Puerto Rico, bringing heavy rain and high winds to the area.
As of 8 a.m. Thursday, Isaias was centered about 125 miles west-southwest of Ponce, Puerto Rico and about 105 miles southeast of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph. It’s moving northwest at 20 mph.
The forecast track shows the system making landfall in Hispaniola sometime before noon Thursday and reaching the Bahamas by Friday.
As it advances, “interests in Cuba and the Florida peninsula should monitor the progress of this system,” the NHC said.
Although the storm could reach Florida and the Carolinas, it’s still too early to determine exactly where the storm might hit, as there is “large uncertainty after it leaves the Caribbean,” the NHC said.
The storm is forecast to dump 3 to 8 inches of rain across the British and U.S. Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico, the Dominican republic, northern Haiti, eastern Cuba and the southeastern Bahamas. The rainfall could lead to life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides, and strong winds could lead to life-threatening surf and rip current conditions in the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:
- Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra
- U.S. Virgin Islands
- British Virgin Islands
- 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
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:
- Northwestern Bahamas including Andros Island, New Providence,
Eleuthera, Abacos Islands, Berry Islands, Grand Bahamas Island, and