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As tempting as it is to cackle at the GOP for choosing to host their convention in Florida during hurricane season, and then actually being threatened by one, keep in mind that there are millions of other people who will be impacted by this storm. Keep them in mind before you go all schadenfreudey.

Tropical Storm Isaac has formed just east of the Lesser Antilles in the central Atlantic Ocean this afternoon, becoming the 9th named storm of the 2012 hurricane season. The storm has 40 MPH winds and is moving generally west-northwest into the Caribbean Sea.

Isaac will continue to move through the northern Caribbean over the next week or so, battering the Greater Antilles with high winds, high surf, some storm surge, and very heavy rainfall. As with all tropical systems, there will be a fairly high risk of flash flooding, mudslides, and waterspouts/tornadoes along the islands the system hits, including Puerto Rico.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* MARTINIQUE
* DOMINICA
* GUADELOUPE AND THE SURROUNDING ISLANDS...AND ST. MARTIN
* ST. KITTS...NEVIS...ANTIGUA...MONTSERRAT...ANGUILLA...AND BARBUDA
* SABA...ST. EUSTATIUS...AND ST. MAARTEN

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
* PUERTO RICO...VIEQUES...CULEBRA...AND THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN 36 HOURS.

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...GENERALLY WITHIN 48 HOURS.

INTERESTS ELSEWHERE IN HISPANIOLA AND CUBA SHOULD MONITOR THE
PROGRESS OF ISAAC.

The rest of the NHC track has Isaac strengthening into a hurricane and making landfall in southern Florida by early next week. The storm will traverse the state on Tuesday and Wednesday, eventually impacting the Tampa area.

Keep in mind that there is some degree of disagreement between the hurricane forecasting models right now, and the models are spread out between everyone from Mobile AL to Charleston SC. The official track has it moving through Cuba 5 days from now as it approaches Florida, but even a small shift in its path now could mean a 100 or 200 mile difference a week down the road.

From the NHC: "Users are cautioned that five-day track errors average about 258 miles."

If by some chance you've landed on the wrong website and you're planning on attending the Republican National Convention in Tampa between August 27 and 30th, be prepared to have to leave if this thing strengthens or threatens.

I'll post more updates either tonight or tomorrow as Isaac continues to strengthen and move closer to the United States.

My Facebook page

National Hurricane Center
National Weather Service
Storm Prediction Center

National Weather Service San Juan PR
National Weather Service Tampa FL
National Weather Service Key West FL
National Weather Service Miami/South FL
National Weather Service Melbourne FL
National Weather Service Tallahassee FL
National Weather Service Mobile AL

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