FLORIDA, United States, Monday September 10, 2018 – Forecasters say Hurricane Isaac, one of three hurricanes churning in the Atlantic, could threaten the Lesser Antilles later this week.
Churning in the Atlantic are Hurricanes Florence, Helene and Isaac.
No watches or warnings are in effect for any of them. But the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami has advised interests in the Lesser Antilles to monitor the progress of Isaac.
At 5 a.m., the small hurricane, carrying maximum sustained winds near 75 miles per hour, was located about 1,230 miles east of the Windward Islands and moving towards the west at 13 miles per hour.
“A westward motion with a slight increase in forward speed is forecast through the end of the week. On the forecast track, Isaac is forecast to move across the Lesser Antilles and into the eastern Caribbean Sea on Thursday,” the NHC said. That track would take it south of the areas that bore the brunt of Hurricane Irma’s wrath last year.
The NHC said additional strengthening is expected over the next day or two, but weakening is forecast to begin by the middle of the week as Isaac approaches the Lesser Antilles.
However, it noted that uncertainty in the forecast is higher than normal, and Isaac “is still expected to be at or near hurricane intensity when it reaches the islands”.
Of note is that Isaac is not a big hurricane. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 10 miles from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles.
Behind Isaac is Hurricane Helene which is about 305 miles west of the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands, and moving towards the west north-west at 17 miles per hour.
Maximum sustained winds are near 85 miles per hour and Helene is expected to resume strengthening today, and then start to weaken Wednesday morning.
Helene is forecast to move more toward the northwest over the open waters of the central Atlantic through the week, posing no direct threat to land.
Meantime, Florence, currently carrying maximum sustained winds near 105 miles per hour, is expected to become a Category 4 hurricane as it continues on a path that will see it passing between the Bahamas and Bermuda.
Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall along the US Southeast or Mid-Atlantic coast near the end of the week.
At 5 a.m., it was about 625 miles southeast of Bermuda, and 535 miles north north-east of the northern Leeward Islands, and moving towards the west north-west at nine miles per hour. It’s expected that there will be a west-northwestward motion with an increase in forward speed during the next couple of days before there is a turn toward the northwest Wednesday night or Thursday.
“On the forecast track, the centre of Florence will move over the
southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas Tuesday and Wednesday, and approach the southeastern coast of the United States on Thursday,” the NHC said.
“Rapid strengthening is forecast, and Florence is forecast to become a major hurricane this morning, and is expected to remain an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday.”
Swells generated by Florence are already affecting Bermuda.