Met Office: Isaac now a weak tropical storm

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At 800 AM AST (1200 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Isaac was located near latitude 14.4 North, longitude 54.1 West. Isaac is moving toward the west near 15 miles per hour (24 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue through the weekend. Sustained winds remained at 90 miles per hour, but the storm - which was never expected to threaten the USA coast - should begin to weaken over the next day and become a tropical storm on Thursday, forecasters said in an 11 a.m. advisory. Storm winds could intensify through the day and tonight, but weaken slightly Thursday as it nears the coast.

Florence is expected to make landfall late Thursday night or early Friday morning, Mountain Time, somewhere between Atlantic Beach, NC and Savannah, GA.

"As it tracks towards the United Kingdom it will degrade - it will become an ex-tropical storm".

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The Met Office said a Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for Guadeloupe, Dominica and Martinique but was expected to be discontinued by Thursday evening. Isaac is expected to dissipate within the next few days.

The National Hurricane Center said in its 11 a.m. ET advisory that up to 5 inches of rain could fall in Puerto Rico. The winds of Isaac are not expected to affect the Virgin Islands.

"This storm will bring destruction to North Carolina", Gov. Roy Cooper said Thursday morning.

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The storm is about 775 miles east of the Lesser Antilles. A NOAA hurricane hunter aircraft will soon fly through the centre of Isaac, and will provide a better assessment of the intensity of the tropical storm and the extent of its winds.

Forecasters said Isaac could bring as many as 10 inches of rain to some locations, 2 to 4 feet of storm surge, and life-threatening surf conditions.

There is the potential for damaging winds with gusts up to 70mph possible, with sustained winds of 30 to 40mph. "There will be some rain but at the moment it doesn't look as though that's going to be the issue".

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With the ground already saturated from recent rain, another drenching from Florence combined with winds could easily lead to trees being uprooted and widespread power outages, he said. "It's just not anywhere near a level of Maria", forecaster Eric Blake said.