WTH! Just as the Caribbean begins to reopen they’re faced with another challenge.
Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti are currently experiencing heavy rain and wind gusts, which could hit 50 mph or higher. Fallen trees, mudslides, and flooding in southwest Puerto Rico, as well as power outages, were reported. Sad news for Puerto Rico as they haven’t fully recovered from the devastation of Hurricane Maria.
A tropical cyclone becomes a hurricane once sustained winds hit 74 mph or higher and Isaias has reportedly reached 60-mph today.
These same areas plus the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos will be affected through Friday with rainfall and wind hazards that will likely extend further out from the center of this system.
Will this storm strengthen due to the warm water in the Caribbean?
According to the National Hurricane Center, it’s still too soon to know what further impact Tropical Storm Isaias will have based on its current location over Hispaniola (Dominican Republic & Haiti). It could get disorganized due to the higher terrain in this area.
Where will Tropical Storm Isaias go next?
Tropical Storm or hurricane watches could be announced for South Florida later today. Florida could then be impacted on Saturday followed by the U.S. East Coast next.
According to Florida’s Division of Emergency Management, COVID-19 testing sites will close starting tonight until possibly next Wednesday. There’s also concern about physical distancing should shelters be needed in South Florida, one of the hardest-hit areas for the pandemic.
As if this storm isn’t enough to cause concern, there’s another one.
Coming behind Tropical Storm Isaias is Tropical Storm Gonzalo heading toward the Lesser Antilles (islands of Anguilla, Antigua, St. Martin to name a few). This could become a hurricane on Saturday before reaching the Windward Islands (islands of Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Grenada).
Gonzalo would be the first hurricane of 2020. We’re certainly hoping it dissipates.
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