Tropical Storm Isaias forms in the Caribbean Sea; takes aim at DomRep

Tropical Storm Isaias as seen from space. (Photo: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

No longer a potential cyclone, Tropical Storm Isaias formed over the Caribbean and is primed to deliver life-threatening rains and heavy winds to northwest sections of the region on Thursday (July 30).

According to the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the eye of Tropical Storm Isaias was located at latitude 17.6 North, longitude 68.5 West—or 175 kilometres east-southeast of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic as at 7:00 am Eastern Standard Time (EST).

The system is moving northwest at 31 kilometres/hour and packing maximum sustained winds around 95 kilometres/hour, with higher gusts.

Isaias has slowed in forward speed since becoming the ninth-named tropical storm of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season, as the NHC expecting the massive low-pressure system to slow further over the next 48 hours.

Tropical storm warnings have been discontinued across most sections of the Leeward Islands, having been spared the worst of its effects.

The warnings are still at their highest level for Puerto Rico; the British and US Virgin Islands; the entire northern and southern coast of the Dominican Republic; Haiti’s north coast; southeast and the central Bahamas; as well as the Turks & Caicos Islands.

What’s more, a tropical storm watch has been activated for the northwest Bahamas, which effectively covers the entire archipelago; while interests in Cuba and southeast Florida being urged to continue to monitor developments in the coming days.

In the meantime, the US-based NHC noted that it anticipates little change in strength for Tropical Storm Isaias until landfall in Dominican Republic later today, with re-strengthening forecast on Friday and Saturday.

The current forecast for Tropical Storm Isaias’ trajectory, which would see the storm barrel past The Bahamas into Florida later this weekend. (Photo: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for Google Maps)

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 665 kilometres from Isaias’ centre.

The hurricane watchdog further indicated that Isaias is could produce up to six inches of rain accumulation in British and U.S. Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos.

Conditions up to six inches could also be experienced in Puerto Rico and northern Haiti, with isolated maximum totals of eight inches being possible.

The Dominican Republic could see the worst of Isaias, up to eight inches of rainfall, with isolated maximum totals closer to 10 inches.

Between four and eight inches of rain could be experienced in The Bahamas, while up to four inches for Cuba, with isolated maximum totals of six inches.