Tropical Storm Joyce form in Atlantic
The storm is forecast to turn west-northwest and pass well northeast of the Cayman Islands. The National Hurricane Center in Miami said the global forecasting models were in agreement that Isaac would turn west-northwest or northwest sometime Thursday, but that turn had not happened by 11am EDT.
Although the storm was a minimal tropical storm with 40mph winds, it is predicted to strengthen and make landfall in Haiti on Friday as a Category 1 hurricane. With hundreds of thousands of people still living in makeshift abodes because of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the storm poses a significant threat to that country.
Even if Isaac turns as expected, the weather in the Cayman Islands is forecast to be affected by the large storm starting Saturday.
Hazard Management Cayman Islands issued a statement Thursday morning stating that Tropical Storm Isaac did not pose an imminent threat to the Cayman Islands.
“On the current forecast track, the Cayman Islands may experience rough seas on Saturday and Sunday and it is anticipated that a small craft warning will be in effect over the weekend,” the statement said. “Also, northeast winds of 15 to 20 knot winds are forecast for Saturday and northerly winds of 15 to 20 knots on Sunday. Heavy rainfall is anticipated on Sunday and this could lead to flooding of low lying areas.”
Tropical Storm Isaac was centred at 15.6 N. 65.4 W. – or about 200 miles south southeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico – as of 11am EDT Thursday. It had actually drifted 0.2 degrees south over the previous 12-hour period.
Atlantic hurricanes beginning with the letter ‘I’ have been notoriously bad over the past decade. Since 2004, four hurricanes starting with the letter ‘I’ have had their names retired because of the deaths, damage and destruction they caused, starting with Hurricane Ivan – which caused massive damage to Grand Cayman, Grenada and the United States in 2004. Other bad ‘I’ hurricanes since then have included Hurricanes Ike (2008), Igor (2008) and Irene (2011).
In addition to Isaac, Tropical Depression 10 was upgraded to Storm Joyce in the Atlantic Ocean Thursday morning. That storm, however, is expected to recurve into the northern Atlantic, potentially only impacting Bermuda.