Isaac Approaches Cuba, Threatens South Florida
By Donna Thomas, BrowardNetOnline Meteorologist - Tropical Storm Isaac is moving toward Cuba Saturday morning. As of 11 am, a somewhat disorganized Isaac was located at 20.1 North, 74.6 West, or 40 miles east of Guantanamo, Cuba. Isaac’s maximum sustained winds remain near 60 miles per hour, and the storm is moving northwest at 17 miles per hour. Its exact track and forward speed during the day on Saturday are critical for South Florida. How long Isaac’s core remains over land before entering the warm waters of the Florida Straits will determine intensity as it nears the area early Sunday. Isaac is forecast to reach hurricane strength in the Florida Straits before its closest approach to any part of South Florida.
The Florida Keys and the west coast south of Bonita Beach remain under a hurricane warning. Miami-Dade remains under a hurricane watch and tropical storm warning, and a tropical storm warning remains in effect for Broward and Palm Beach counties. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department is advising visitors to the Keys to leave during the day on Saturday as long as it is safe to do so. ALL of South Florida can expect periods of heavy rains, lightning, and gusty winds during the day on Saturday. All outdoor preparations should be completed by sundown on Saturday. Tropical storm force winds will arrive early Sunday morning. During Sunday into Monday, expect high winds, some damaging gusts, flooding rains, and possible power outrages throughout South Florida, regardless of Isaac’s exact strength and course.