Isaac winds slow to 45 miles per hour, heavy rain, high surf expected


Tropical Storm Isaac made its closest approach to St. Croix Thursday night, passing nearly 200 miles to the south and having no apparent impact on the territory as it made its leisurely way across the Caribbean.

As of 10 a.m. CDT Tropical Storm Isaac was located about 420 miles east of Martinique and was moving west at 17 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

U.S. authorities on Friday downgraded Florence from a hurricane to a tropical storm, as the still risky weather system unleashed torrential rains but saw its wind power weaken slightly, reported AFP.

Forecasters on Friday warned of flash flooding and wind gusts of 25 to 40 miles per hour.

The government of the Netherlands has discontinued the Tropical Storm Watch for Saba and St. Eustatius.

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All watches and warnings that had been issued on neighboring islands were canceled Thursday. High Surf Advisory for all beaches today. A warning means tropical-storm-force winds (39-plus mph) are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours. As the system progresses westward into the eastern Caribbean Sea, more organised convection trailing Isaac is expected to affect Barbados, bringing moderate to heavy showers and occasional gusty winds from early Thursday morning and into Friday.

According to the NHC 11 p.m. Tuesday update, Tropical Storm Isaac's center is "outrunning" the deep convection by about a degree due to strengthening westerly shear.

Joyce moves west-southwest with a travel speed of 13 kilometers per hour and a turn of the system towards the northeast is forecast over the weekend.

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In the Atlantic, while Joyce is far out to sea and poses no immediate threat to land, 70-mph Helene is forecast to roar near the Azores on Saturday and Sunday, the National Hurricane Center said. Locally higher amounts for storm surge are possible along the rivers and sounds near New Bern, NC.