Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Hurricane hunter investigating Isaac

Hurricane hunter investigating Isaac

Hurricane and tropical storm watches have been posted for several Caribbean islands as a weakening Tropical Storm Isaac continues its trek toward the Leeward and Windward Islands.

Tropical storm conditions are expected within the tropical storm warning area beginning within the next few hours through the afternoon.

Tropical Storm Isaac made its closest approach to St. Croix Thursday night, passing nearly 200 miles to the south and having no apparent impact on the territory as it made its leisurely way across the Caribbean.

The storm remained a Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 100 miles per hour. It's expected be south of Jamaica by Sunday morning. The hurricane center is giving the system a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm within the next five days.

A tropical storm warning is in effect from Duck, North Carolina, to the North Carolina/Virginia border, with a watch in effect from there to the Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort.

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"Just because we have a landfall to the south doesn't mean your out of the woods because the wind around this storm is huge", National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said Wednesday morning.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km) from the centre. A Category 4 hurricane at its strongest, Olivia spent about a week swishing around in the Pacific Ocean without making landfall before it weakened into a tropical storm.

In an update on Thursday, September 13, 2018, the Met Office said the centre of Tropical Storm Isaac passed through the northern Lesser Antilles at approximately 9:00 am Thursday and was passing over the eastern Caribbean Sea.

Bridges, airports and ferry services in the affected areas face closure if winds grow too violent, while roads and rail routes might also be cut off. "These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions". Flash flooding is going to be a big issue soon - certainly catastrophic. A hurricane hunter plane is scheduled to investigate the system Thursday.

The storm is expected to produce 3 to 5 inches of rain across Martinique, Dominica, and Guadeloupe, with near 10 inches possible in isolated areas, forecasters said. "Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other unsafe conditions", the hurricane center briefing said.

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