Tropical Storm Isaac is nearing the Lesser Antilles this morning, and a hurricane watch has been issued for the Puerto Rico and the US & British Virgin Islands. As of 11:00 AM Isaac is moving west around 21 MPH with maximum sustained winds around 45 MPH with higher gusts. Isaac is expected to strengthen and continue on it’s current course for the next couple days. The center of the storm will move through the Leeward Islands this evening passing near or south of the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Thursday as it intensifies into a hurricane before approaching the Dominican Republic Thursday night and Friday.
Some models, particularly the European model, are pushing the system further west into the Gulf of Mexico, then up the West Coast of Florida. This scenario would be better for next week’s cruise schedule, but it is too early to tell for sure. This westward scenario would still generate strong winds on the east coast of Florida. Hopefully, the models will converge and give us a better idea this weekend once Cuba’s topography begins to affect the system.
The future forecasts continue to estimate a course between Cuba and the Bahamas. It is now looking like Isaac will make landfall in South Florida which could pose indirect problems for the [Disney_Dream] and the [Disney_Magic]. The Dream will be ending a 5-Night cruise and leaving on a 4-Night from Port Canaveral on Wednesday. The Magic is scheduled to call on Port Canaveral with the majority of guests traveling to Walt Disney World for the day on Thursday. Even with landfall coming early in the week outer wind and rain bands could remain as the system progresses later in the week.
The system developing behind Isaac, which was at 60% yesterday, is now Tropical Depression 10. TD10 is moving west-northwest at 16 MPH with maximum sustained winds of 35 MPH. The good news is the system is projected to stay in the Atlantic.