Tropical storm watch lifted

The tropical storm watch that was in effect for the Cayman Islands from 10pm Friday night was lifted Saturday afternoon as Tropical Storm Isaac skirted Cuba’s north coast heading in a northwest direction at 17 mph.

The storm, which had maximum sustained winds of 60 mph on Saturday afternoon, will stay north of Cuba and not come close to any of the Cayman Islands. However Isaac is large enough that it is still expected to impact Cayman’s weather with rain showers that could be heavy at times. Flooding is low-lying areas is possible.

It is also expected to bring rough seas with wave heights of 4 to 6 feet. A small craft advisory is in effect through Sunday night.

Isaac made landfall about 50 miles west of Port au Prince, Haiti as a strong tropical storm late Friday night and dumped more than 10 inches of rain on the island nation that is still recovering from the devastating effects of an big earthquake in 2010. At least three deaths were reported and with heavy rain still falling in Haiti on Saturday afternoon, the misery for that country continued.

After crossing the eastern tip of Cuba Saturday morning, Isaac headed through the Florida Straits and is forecast to make another landfall as a Category 1 hurricane near the upper Florida Keys and Southwest Florida on Sunday afternoon. After that, Isaac is forecast to strengthen to a Category 2 hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico and a make yet another landfall, this time on the Florida Panhandle late Tuesday.

In addition to Isaac, the National Hurricane Center in Miami was tracking two other areas with potential to become tropical cyclones, one the remnants of Tropical Storm Joyce about 700 miles east-northeast of the Leeward Islands and a tropical wave southwest of the Cape Verde Islands that came off the coast of Africa earlier this week.

The Hurricane Center only gave the remnants of Joyce a 10 per cent change of reorganising and even if it did, it would stay out to sea. It gave the tropical wave, which has been designated Invest 97L, a 30 per cent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone by Monday afternoon. However, that weather system is expected to pass north of the Caribbean Sea. if that weather system develops into a tropical storm, it would be called Kirk.

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