All eyes on Isaac as it heads toward the Yucatán Peninsula

Graphic: National Hurricane Center
Graphic: National Hurricane Center

It’s too early to know exactly where Tropical Storm Isaac is heading, although as of Tuesday morning it was still tracking west, toward the Caribbean, and then on to either the Yucatán Peninsula or Central America.

It is expected to be at near hurricane strength as it nears the Lesser Antilles on Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

At 4 a.m. CDT Tuesday, Isaac was about 880 miles east of the Lesser Antilles, moving west at 14 mph, the NHC said.

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Isaac had winds just below 70 mph; hurricane winds begin at 74 mph. The official forecast shows Isaac becoming a hurricane again briefly before weakening again on Thursday.

Despite conditions that would have favored it, Isaac has not strengthened, but the hurricane center noted that forecast confidence is on the low side.

Isaac is a small storm, which makes intensity forecasting particularly challenging.

“Although there remains a fair amount of spread in the models, the usually more reliable GFS and ECMWF models continue to show a westward motion during the next several days,” forecasters said Tuesday morning.

But there’s another system that could put a tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico this week. The hurricane center has been tracking an area of disturbed weather that could become a tropical depression on Thursday or Friday as it moves into the western Gulf.

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The hurricane center warned those along the Gulf Coast from northeastern Mexico to Louisiana to keep an eye on the system.

Sources: AL.com, National Hurricane Center (U.S.)

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