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TS Isaac to become hurricane tonight; Florence, Helen upgraded to hurricanes

Sunday, September 09, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Tropical Storm Isaac is expected to become a hurricane tonight and continue to strengthen during the next few days, while Florence and Helen have both been upgraded to hurricanes.

The Meteorological (Met) Service of Jamaica said at 4:00 pm, Isaac was centred 2240 km east of the Windward Islands and is moving toward the west near 19 km/h. It is expected to accelerate during the next 36 hours.

At the same time, Florence was centred 1160 km southeast of Bermuda while the centre of Helene was located 230 km southwest of the Southernmost Cabo Verde Islands.

Isaac is expected to move across the Lesser Antilles and into the eastern Caribbean Sea Wednesday night or Thursday as it continues to move westward through the end of the week.

The storm's maximum sustained winds have increased to near 110 km/h with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast, and Isaac is expected to become a hurricane tonight. Weakening is anticipated to begin by the middle of the week while the storm approaches the Lesser Antilles.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Florence is forecast to rapidly strengthen to a major hurricane by Monday, and is expected to remain an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday.

It is moving toward the west near 11 km/h, and this general motion is expected to continue today. A west-northwestward motion with an increase in forward speed is expected by Monday, and that motion is forecast to continue through mid-week.

On the forecast track, the centre of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas Tuesday and Wednesday, and approach the southeastern coast of the United States on Thursday.

The hurricane's maximum sustained winds have increase to near 140 km/h with higher gusts.

On the other hand, Hurricane Helene is moving toward the west near 20 km/h, and a turn toward the west-northwest is expected on Monday, with a continued west-northwestward motion through Tuesday.

On the forecast track, the centre of Helene will continue to move away from the Cabo Verde Islands.

Helene's maximum sustained winds have increased to near 120 km/h with higher gusts and additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

The Met Service said neither of the storms are a threat to Jamaica at this time.

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