The tropics are increasingly active this weekend — as one might expect in September during hurricane season — with three named storms.
Tropical Storm Isaac was expected to continue strengthening, the National Hurricane Center said in its 11 p.m. advisory.
The storm was moving west at 8 mph in the eastern Atlantic, about 1,580 miles east of the Windward Islands. Isaac reached maximum sustained winds of 50 mph.
It’s still too early to forecast whether Isaac could be a threat to South Florida, but it is expected to be a hurricane by early next week.
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In the 11 p.m. advisory, the center also said Tropical Storm Florence, which had weakened a bit due to wind shear, was expected to strengthen into a hurricane overnight. Maximum sustained winds hit 70 mph and the storm was moving west at 6 mph about 790 miles southeast of Bermuda. Conditions are such that Florence “is expected to become a major hurricane again early next week,” the center said.
Florence is still not expected to be a threat to South Florida, but with potential winds of 145 mph sometime Thursday, residents of the Carolinas ought to watch its movement closely.
Tropical Storm Helene also got better organized as it moved toward the southern Cabo Verde Islands, with tropical storm conditions expected to reach portions of the islands Sunday.
Helene is also gaining speed and intensity, moving westward steadily at 13 mph but with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph.
Helene is about 155 miles from the islands. But increasing wind shear as it drifts further west should weaken it at the start of the work week. Helene is expected to become more of a sea event than land event.
The National Weather Service reported a funnel cloud in the Homestead area amid strong storms at 4:30 p.m. That thunderstorm was not related to Florence, Issac or Helene.