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Disturbance en route to the Caribbean likely to become tropical storm

Wednesday, July 29th 2020, 8:59 pm - Should it reach tropical storm status, it will take the name Isaias, the ninth named storm of the 2020 hurricane season.

It's looking increasingly likely that a disturbance entering the eastern Caribbean Sea may become the next named storm of the 2020 hurricane season.

If it does cross that threshold, it will take the name Isaias, but as of Wednesday evening, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) is calling the disturbance Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine.

The system boasts winds of 75 km/h, with higher gusts, and is located 225 km south of Ponce, Puerto Rico. The system is moving toward the west-northwest 30 km/h and this general motion with a reduction in speed is expected over the next few days.

"On the forecast track, the system will continue to pass south of Puerto Rico tonight, near or over Hispaniola on Thursday, near eastern Cuba and the southeastern Bahamas on Friday, and approach the northwestern Bahamas and southern Florida Friday night.," the NHC said.

Potential Tropical Cyclone 9 track

Some increase in strength is forecast today, with weakening likely on Thursday due to land interaction with Hispaniola, though restrengthening is possible late week.

Tropical storm warnings have been issued for numerous islands in the storm's path, including Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy, Saba and St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, Dominican Republic entire southern and northern coastlines, north coast of Haiti from Le Mole St Nicholas eastward to the northern border with the Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos Islands, southeastern Bahamas including the Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, the Inaguas, Mayaguana, and the Ragged Islands.

The NHC warns that part of the region could see 75-150 mm of rainfall, and as much as 300 mm in the worst-affected areas, along with dangerous storm surge and strong winds. The rainfall amounts could lead to life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides, as well as potential riverine flooding.

Beyond, it's still somewhat early to tell, but some models have the storm continuing even deeper into the Caribbean, potentially affecting Cuba, Florida and the U.S. southeast.

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