Tropical storm warning issued for Puerto Rico as cyclone approaches
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A tropical storm warning was issued for Puerto Rico as still-forming Tropical Storm Isaias approached the Caribbean island, meteorologists said Tuesday.
The storm is expected to touch down in Puerto Rico on Wednesday.
The cyclone system is packing winds of 40 miles (65 kilometers) per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), which has not officially named the storm yet and has identified it as “Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine.”
When the storm strengthens, which is expected to occur Tuesday night or Wednesday before reaching the Leeward Islands, or Lesser Antilles, it will form Tropical Storm Isaias.
The Miami-based NHC issued a tropical storm warning for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, which it said the storm will hit Wednesday night.
Local governments also issued tropical storm warnings for Antigua, Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, Guadeloupe, Martinique and St Maarten.
The storm’s so-called “forecast cone,” a model depicting the storm’s probable path, shows the cyclone crossing Cuba between Thursday and Friday and reaching the southeast coast of Florida on Friday night.
“It is way too early to know the mainland US future of PTC 9, but not too early to take some precautions,” NHC hurricane specialist Eric Blake tweeted, using an abbreviation for “potential tropical cyclone.”
Meteorologists predicted in May that this year’s Atlantic hurricane season would be particularly active, with as many as a dozen storms forming. An average season has six.
The first hurricane of the Atlantic season, Hanna, formed last Saturday in the Gulf of Mexico and had reached Category 1 intensity by the time it made landfall in Texas later that day.
Hanna was downgraded to a tropical depression Sunday. (AFP)