By Caribbean News Now contributor
MIAMI, USA — Tropical Storm Isaac moved across the Lesser Antilles on Thursday, headed west for the eastern and central Caribbean Sea through the weekend. All tropical storm watches and warnings for Isaac have ended; the threat of heavy rain remains, however.
According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, at 5:00 pm EDT on Thursday the centre of Tropical Storm Isaac was located about 220 miles (355 km) south-southeast of St Croix and about 510 miles (815 km) east-southeast of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, moving toward the west near 16 mph (26 km/h).
This general motion with a decrease in forward speed is expected for the next few days.
Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. Isaac is forecast to gradually weaken over the next few days, and could degenerate into a tropical wave during that time.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km) from the centre.
Tropical Storm Isaac is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 2 to 4 inches with isolated amounts up to 8 to 10 inches over Dominica. Rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches with isolated amounts up to 6 inches over elevated terrain are forecast across Martinique and Guadeloupe. Rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches are forecast across southeastern Puerto Rico, while totals of 1 to 2 inches with maximum amounts of 3 inches are possible across the remainder of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. This rainfall may cause dangerous flash flooding.
Swells generated by Isaac are affecting portions of the Lesser Antilles. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.