BrowardNetOnline - Tropical Storm Isaac is moving west at a quicker pace Thursday morning. As of 11 am, Isaac’s center was estimated near 15.6 North, 65.4 West, or 200 miles east-southeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Maximum sustained winds were 40 miles per hour. Isaac’s forward speed has increased to 15 miles per hour.
Thursday and early Friday will be a critical time for Isaac. That will be its opportunity to strengthen as it turns more to the northwest and approaches Haiti on Friday. Enviromental conditions are expected to be more favorable, as sheer relaxes and the dry air that’s been preventing strengthening becomes more moist. Isaac is forecast to pass over eastern Cuba late Saturday and into Sunday. The storm’s interaction with both Hispaniola and Cuba should cause at least temporary weakening. Just how much Isaac weakens will make all the difference for South Florida.
Isaac remains a concern for South Florida. While the 4 to 5 day risk area has shifted slightly westward again, Isaac is a large system. Whatever the exact track, South Florida has a significant chance of seeing at least tropical storm force winds and heavy rains late Sunday and Monday. Everyone in the entire state of Florida should keep an eye on Isaac’s track and strength throughout the weekend.