Tropical storm warning issued for Puerto Rico, Caribbean

James Marshall
July 30, 2020

"All sites have free standing structures including tents and other equipment, which cannot withstand tropical storm force winds, and could cause damage to people and property if not secured", the emergency management's statement said.

The storm, which would be named Isaias if it reaches tropical storm strength, was expected to move through the Leeward Islands on Wednesday, and near or over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Wednesday night. When it was a hurricane, the center of circulation missed making landfall on Oahu by just 30 miles with tropical storm force winds roaring just 10 miles offshore. "There is still room for the storm to turn east of Florida and the Carolinas, or even be pulled up farther west over the Gulf of Mexico". "While this system could bring some rainfall and wind impacts to portions of Cuba, the northwestern Bahamas, and Florida later this week and this weekend, it is too soon to determine the location or magnitude of those impacts". Forecasters stress the uncertainty of the current long-range forecast as the system does not have a well-defined center. "Interests there should monitor its progress and updates to the forecast over the next few days".

Many anxious about whether Puerto Rico's fragile power grid, which was destroyed by Maria, would withstand tropical storm-force winds.

Isaias became the earliest storm with an "I" name on record.

Late Tuesday night, the storm system had maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour (65 kph).

Tropical storm warnings have been issued for numerous islands in the storm's path, including the USA and British Virgin Islands, Antigua and Barbuda, Monserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Martin, Saba and St. Eustatius, and St. Maartin.

A weather system heading for the eastern Caribbean was predicted to develop into a tropical storm on Wednesday as forecasters warned Puerto Rico and other islands to prepare for the possibility of risky heavy rains and strong winds.

The system will produce heavy rain and "potentially life-threatening flash floods and mudslides across the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic", according to the NHC.

The Dominican Republic, Haiti and the Turks and Caicos could get up to six inches of rain as well.

A potential tropical cyclone is a disturbance that is not yet a defined tropical cyclone, but has a high chance of formation.

Meteorologists predicted in May that this year's Atlantic hurricane season would be particularly active, with as many as a dozen storms forming.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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