At 8 AM AST Wednesday, Tropical Storm ISAAC was centered 210 miles east of Guadeloupe, moving west at 19 mph with 45 mph winds.[/caption]
It’s too early to tell the outcome of the 5th day of ISAAC’s journey across the northern Caribbean. The fact that the National Hurricane Center’s consensus shows the chance of ISAAC being over Cuba around that time takes me back to the history of interactions of hurricanes with the mountains of Hispaniola and Cuba.

Obviously, a path that continues over that mountainous territory produces copious amounts of rain and resistance to the low level winds of a hurricane.
Some storms like DAVID in 1979 which was a category 5 storm south of the islands was reduced to a category 1 or 2 after crossing Hispnaiola. Hurricane CLEO in 1964, a category 4 hurricane before crossing Cuba, was also reduced to a category 1 and 2 storm.

Two of Florida’s most deadly hurricanes came across the Lesser Antilles and passed over the warm waters inimpeded just north of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola. In 1926, a category 4 hurricane slammed into a Miami with a population much less than today, causing a reported 372 fatalities. Two years later, Florida’s most deadly storm ripped across Palm Beach and Lake Okeechobee, taking more than 2,000 lives. The category 4 storm caused the large lake’s water to spill over its banks, submerging adjacent communities.
Residents attempted to escape the churning waters by climbing trees that also contained snakes and other wildlife.

Our Channel 4 meteorologists John Gaughan, Richard Nunn, Rebecca Barry, Blake Matthews and I will be keeping you informed on this developing hurricane and any effect it would have on us, especially from Sunday into the first part of next week.



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