LIVE UPDATES: Tropical disturbance nearing small islands of the eastern Caribbean

ORLANDO, Fla. — The latest forecast for a tropical disturbance churning in the Atlantic has the system somewhere off the coast of Florida this weekend.

Channel 9 chief meteorologist Tom Terry said the system is set to develop into a named storm. When it does, it will be called Tropical Storm Isaias.

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11 p.m. update

The tropical disturbance could lead to some watches for the area by Thursday.

PTC9 reformed under some deep convection farther south and west tonight and it will be moving into the Caribbean overnight and in Wednesday morning. This shift west isn’t surprising, and is common in developing systems. 

The consequence of the jump/shift it had tonight makes the track shift a bit more south & west as well, but still brings a tropical storm through/near PR and the Dominican Republic over the next 24 to 36 hours. 

The high mountains of the Dominican Republic could still play havoc with the storm’s circulation and weaken it.  Until we have a clearly defined center, which is still forming, models won’t have a good handle on this, but overall motion still brings it closer to Florida by the weekend as a tropical storm. 

Weekend impacts are expected with possible watches for the state by Thursday.

If the storm tracks over the Dominican Republic, we’ll probably have a tropical storm but can’t rule out a hurricane.

9:30 p.m. update

Channel 9 meteorologist Tom Terry said the storm has reformed west of last position, and nearing small islands of the eastern Caribbean. Winds still 40mph, hurricane hunter mission set for later tonight.

5:15 p.m. update

Channel 9 meteorologist George Waldenberger said as of the 5 p.m. National Weather Service advisory hurricane hunters still cannot find a well-defined center in the tropical disturbance, there for Isaias still has not officially formed.

He said it is expected to consolidate and form its center tonight or by tomorrow.

3:30 p.m. update

Channel 9 chief meteorologist Tom Terry said he’s expecting heavy rain and tropical storm conditions to hit the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Wednesday.

2:20 p.m. update

Channel 9 meteorologist George Waldenberger said as of the 2 p.m. National Weather Service advisory, hurricane hunters are beginning to investigate the disturbance.

Winds are sustained at a maximum of 40 mph, which is tropical-storm-force, but since the system is not fully organized as of 2 p.m., it is still being called “potential tropical cyclone nine” as opposed to getting a name.

READ: Tracking Isaias: How to stay informed about the storm

He said the disturbance is moving at a current speed of 23 mph to the west. That puts in on track to move over the Leeward Islands on Wednesday and near the Virgin Islands/Puerto Rico Wednesday night and near Hispanola Thursday.

Waldenberger said the current chance of complete formation is 90% and system is forecast to fully organize into a tropical storm, gaining the name Isaias, by tonight or Wednesday.


Posted by NOAA NWS National Hurricane Center on Tuesday, July 28, 2020

11:30 a.m. update

Channel 9 meteorologist Tom Terry said the system is forecast to move through the northern islands of the Caribbean Wednesday through Friday before approaching the Bahamas and coast of Florida this weekend.

“It could get close to Florida and The Bahamas by the weekend, but there are some obstacles (land & wind shear) in its path,” said meteorologist Brian Shields. “For now, we watch it for 24 hours and see how it develops.”

Shields said Puerto Rico is now under a tropical storm warning related to the system.

Stay tuned to Channel 9 Eyewitness News for live updates.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson,

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.