NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Tropical Storm Isaias is bringing heavy rain to parts of Caribbean, including Puerto Rico, after the weather system developed into a tropical storm last night.
Meteorologists have maintained there is still a chance the storm could develop into a hurricane as the atmosphere was “quite complex”, but it was “highly improbable”.
“On the forecast track, the center of Isaias will move over Hispaniola later today and near the southeastern Bahamas by tonight or early Friday,” the National Hurricane Center said.
Tropical storm conditions are expected to be experienced across portions the southeastern Bahamas and Turks and Caicos this afternoon.
Tropical storm conditions were also expected in the central Bahamas beginning Friday morning and possibly in the northwest Bahamas beginning Friday night, according to the Department of Meteorology.
As of 8am, Isaias was located 125 miles west of Puerto Rico and 105 miles east-southeast of the Dominican Republic.
It had maximum sustained winds of 60 miles per hour.
It was moving northwest at 20 miles per hour, losing some forward momentum compared to the 25 miles per hour it was travelling on Wednesday.
As of 9am, the department advised Isaias was causing life-threatening flash floods and high winds over Puerto Rico.
Director of the Department of Meteorology Trevor Basden said yesterday there was a 75 percent chance Isaias will remain a tropical storm as it passes over The Bahamas this weekend.
“All of the models are agreeing, in good agreement, that development is not likely even to hurricane force,” he said during a National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) press conference.
“Obviously, we will be watching it, but it is so close to land now that even if it does develop or try to develop with rapid intensification, its interaction with the land mass…especially with how hilly and mountainous [it’s] going to meet with Hispaniola and Cuba, we should be fine.”
Basden continued: “I assure you in this case, the supporting mechanisms are not there to indicate rapid intensification. Now, to be honest with you when it comes to track forecasting, the models are very good. When it comes to intensifications, as you were eluding to, they are not very good. But noting what happened with Dorian, the scientist tweaked the models and we are trying to get it all right. And obviously this came to mind; say ‘what if, what if’. For the most part we are looking at, I think they say the 75 percent probability that this would not develop into even a hurricane.”
A tropical storm warning remains in effect for the southeastern Bahamas including the Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, Inagua, Mayaguana, and Ragged Islands; the central Bahamas, including Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island, Rum Cay, and San Salvador
Countries including Puerto Rico; the U.S. Virgin Islands; the British Virgin Islands; Dominican Republic; the north coast of Haiti; and Turks and Caicos Island also remain under tropical storm warning.
A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.
A tropical storm watch is in effect for the northwestern Bahamas.
These include Andros, New Providence, Eleuthera, the Abacos, the Berry Islands, Grand Bahama and Bimini.
A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.