Tropical Depression Nine this afternoon churned into Tropical Storm Isaac about 1,640 miles or 2,640 kilometres east of the Windward Islands.
At 5p.m. the center of Tropical Storm Isaac was located near latitude 14.5 north, longitude 36.6 west, moving towards the west near 7 miles per hour (11 kilometres per hour).
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 40 miles per hour (65 kilometres per hour) with higher gusts. Forecasters at the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) say: “additional strengthening is forecast during the next few days and Isaac could become a hurricane by Monday”.
Meantime the NHC said Tropical Storm Florence is now “a little stronger” and is expected to become a hurricane again tonight or early Sunday.
The 5p.m. update placed the centre of the system near latitude 24.6 north, longitude 54.7 west or about 810 miles (1,305 kilometres) southeast of Bermuda or some 695 miles (1,120 kilometres) northeast of the northern Leeward Islands.
On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and The Bahamas, Tuesday and Wednesday, and approach the southeastern U.S. coast on Thursday.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 70 miles per hour (110 kilometres per hour) with higher gusts.
“Florence is expected to become a hurricane tonight and rapid intensification is likely to begin on Sunday. Florence could become a major hurricane by Monday,” the NHC said.
The third system – tropical Storm Helene is also strengthening.
At 5p.m. Helene was located near latitude 13.6 north, longitude 21.7 west or 155 miles (250 kilometres) southeast of the Praia in the Cabo Verde islands. On the forecast track, Helene will pass very close to the southern Cabo Verde Islands tonight and early Sunday.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 60 miles per hour (95 kilometres per hour) with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is expected during the next few days and Helene is forecast to become a hurricane on Sunday.