TS Isaac forms in Atlantic
And Isaac makes three — adding to Tropical Storm Helene and a strengthening Florence.
A powerful hurricane could strike part of the U.S. East Coast in the coming days as Tropical Storm Florence kept strengthening Saturday in the Atlantic.
Florence is most likely to hit the southeast U.S., possibly the Carolinas, the latest models show. It was about 1,500 miles east of Florida and its path remained unclear five days out from expected landfall.
The storm, which already was the first major hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season, had weakened, but was expected to again become a hurricane by early today.
“Florence is forecast to be a dangerous major hurricane near the southeast U.S. coast by late next week, and the risk of direct impacts continues to increase,” the National Hurricane Center said Saturday.
Two other tropical storms, Isaac and Helene, also are spinning in the Atlantic and could become hurricanes in the next few days, though none posed an immediate threat to Florida.
Bryan Norcross, a meteorologist with WPLG-Ch. 10, likened the three storms’ trajectories to a pool-ball break, where all are expected to spin off in different directions.
While Florence could hit land north of Florida, Helene likely will present no threat to land as it goes north, said Norcross, who talked South Florida through Hurricane Andrew’s pounding on television 46 years ago.
And Isaac, well, that’s anyone’s guess.
“Isaac is just too far away” to predict, he said.
To have this many storms simultaneously in the Atlantic is not at all unusual for this time of year, meteorologists say. September is the peak month for tropical weather — and Sept. 10 is the statistical peak day, said Dennis Feltgen, a meteorologist and spokesman for the National Hurricane Center.Here’s a look at the storms:
Florence’s maximum sustained winds kicked up a notch — to 70 mph — and kept up a westward movement at 5 mph. A Category 1 hurricane has winds of 74 to 95 mph.
The center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday, and approach the southeastern U.S. coast on Thursday.
Tropical Storm Helene, about 3,800 miles east of Florida, is strengthening. Helene has maximum sustained winds of 65 mph and is moving to the west at 13 mph, kicking up its speed in the last few hours, as of the latest hurricane center advisory.
Forecasters expected the storm to bring tropical storm conditions to parts of the Cabo Verde Islands on Saturday night. Officials say heavy rainfall on the islands could produce lifethreatening flash floods. Helene is predicted to miss the U.S. mainland.
A tropical depression that was upgraded to Tropical Storm Isaac on Saturday is headed toward the Caribbean and brings a chance of curving north toward Puerto Rico and the U.S. mainland, potentially as a hurricane.
Isaac is expected to turn into a hurricane by Monday, according to National Hurricane Center. The storm has maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and is moving west about 7 mph, according to a 5 p.m. advisory. Isaac is estimated to be 2,900 miles east of Florida.
In addition to the three tropical storms, there also is a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms southwest of Bermuda. It has only a 10 percent chance of forming into a tropical storm.
Information from The Associated Press was used to supplement this report.