ISAAC STRENGTHENS OVER NORTHERN CARIBBEAN

At 8 PM EST Friday, Tropical Storm ISAAC was centered 270 miles southeast Guantanamo, Cuba. It was moving towards the northwest at 10 mph. Peak winds were 65 mph.

ISAAC’s winds have finally increased over the north central Caribbean. It may briefly reach hurricane strength before encountering the mountains of Haiti and eastern Cuba. After crossing Cuba, it will still be a Tropical Storm but beginning to strengthen over the Gulf Stream waters near the lower Florida Keys early Monday.

Having continued westward in the Caribbean longer than expected, its track in the Gulf of Mexico should be farther west of Tampa and more in the direction of the Florida Panhandle. The uncertainty in the track after the first of the week means that it could make landfall anywhere between Panama City, FL and Gulfport, MS late Tuesday or Wednesday morning.

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