Dominica, Guadeloupe, Martinique placed under Hurricane Watch

Two of the three major systems in the Atlantic are expected to hit landfall later this week and the other poses no real threat.

Here are the latest updates from the National Hurricane Centre on all three. The updates were published at 11 am today.

Tropical Storm Isaac

Located about 775 miled east of the Lesser Antilles.

Maximum sustained winds of 70 MPH or 110 KM/H

The government of France has issued a Hurricane Watch for Guadeloupe and Martinique.

The government of Barbados has issued a Hurricane Watch for Dominica.

The meteorological service of Antigua and Barbuda has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for Antigua and Montserrat.

A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area.  

A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.

A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours. 

Interests elsewhere in the Leeward Islands should monitor the progress of Isaac as additional watches could be issued this afternoon or evening.

At 1100 AM AST (1500 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Isaac was located near latitude 14.6 North, longitude 49.7 West. 

Isaac is moving toward the west near 16 mph (26 km/h) and this motion is expected to continue for the next few days.  

On the forecast track Isaac is anticipated to move near or over the central Lesser Antilles on Thursday and move into the eastern Caribbean Sea Thursday night.

Maximum sustained winds remain near 70 mph (110 km/h) with higher gusts.  

Isaac is expected to be near hurricane strength when it moves through the central Lesser Antilles, with some weakening forecast afterward on Friday.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km) from the center.

Isaac is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 3 to 5 inches with isolated amounts near 10 inches across the southern Leeward Islands late this week, with 1 to 2 inches anticipated across portions of the Windward Islands.

A storm surge of 2 to 4 feet above normal tide levels is possible near and to the north of where the center moves through the Lesser Antilles.  

Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.

Hurricane conditions are possible within the hurricane watch area by Thursday morning, with tropical storm conditions possible early Thursday in both the hurricane and tropical storm watch areas.

Swells generated by Isaac will begin to affect portions of the Lesser Antilles on Wednesday afternoon.  

These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Hurricane Florence - Category 4

Location - 26.7N 65.3W which is about 390 miles South of Bermuda. Maximum sustain winds are 130 MPH or 215 KM/H.

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for..

* Edisto Beach South Carolina to the North Carolina-Virginia border
* Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, including the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for...
* Edisto Beach South Carolina to the North Carolina-Virginia border 
* Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds

At 1100 AM AST (1500 UTC), the center of Hurricane Florence was located near latitude 26.7 North, longitude 65.3 West. Florence is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 km/h).

A west-northwestward to northwestward motion with a slight increase in forward speed are expected during the next couple of days. 

On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas through Wednesday, and approach the coast of North Carolina or South Carolina in the hurricane watch area Thursday and Friday.

Florence is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.  Florence is expected to begin re-strengthening later today and continue a slow strengthening trend for the next day or so. 

While some weakening is expected on Thursday, Florence is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane through landfall.

Hurricane Hellene - Category 1

Located about 670 miles west of the Southernmost Cabo Verde Islands.

Maximum sustained winds are 110 MPH or 175 KM/H.

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

At 1100 AM AST (1500 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Helene was located near latitude 16.5 North, longitude 34.3 West.

Helene is moving toward the northwest near 12 mph (19 km/h).

This motion is expected to continue today with a turn toward the north-northwest and northward thereafter.

Maximum sustained winds remain near 110 mph (175 km/h) with higher gusts. 

Gradual weakening should begin tonight, and Helene is forecast to become a tropical storm on Thursday.

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