As expected, tropical storm Isaac has formed in the tropical Atlantic, about 500 miles east of Guadeloupe in the Lesser Antilles. The storm is expected to intensify into a hurricane Thursday or Friday in the Caribbean.
Link: Hurricane Tracker
Tropical storm warnings remain in effect for the northern two-thirds of the Lesser Antilles and tropical storm watches are posted for the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico according to the National Hurricane Center.
Since this morning, track guidance hasn’t changed substantially, but more models tend to suggest a Florida (or Gulf Coast) hit early next week compared to a landfall north of Florida along the East Coast. But this far out all options remain on the table including a track up the East Coast or even out to sea.
Other than a near-term expectation for steady strengthening, the storm’s ultimate intensity - should it make landfall in the U.S. - is unknowable at this time. Large fluctuations in strength are possible, especially as the storm may well interact with Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Cuba.
Stay tuned for the next update tomorrow.