Predicted path of Tropical Storm Isaac. (Photo : National Weather Service)
Tropical Storm Isaac could become a hurricane by Thursday or Thursday night according to an advisory released by the National Hurricane Center in Miami on Wednesday morning.
The storm, which by Wednesday had reached maximum sustained winds near 45 mph, is moving west at 21 mph and is expected to continue its trajectory for the next couple of days.
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A tropical storm warning is currently in effect for Puerto Rico, the U.S and British Virgin Islands, along with islands across the Caribbean. Puerto Rico, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic and Haiti are also under a hurricane watch the advisory noted.
The Washington Post reported that Gov. Luis Fortuno of Puerto Rico declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard. Other government officials throughout the Caribbean closed down government agencies and advised the public to stay indoors.
Rain accumulations could reach a maximum of 6 inches over Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands the advisory said. The Miami Herald added that the islands, along with the Dominican Republic and Haiti, could see heavy rains, flooding and mudslides from up to 20 inches of rain.
According to the Miami Herald, computer models predict Isaac will begin turning more to the northwest allowing it to make landfall in South Florida or the Keys.
This turn has the Republican National Convention on high alert. "We're monitoring the situation very closely," Republican National Convention spokesman Kyle Downey said in a CNN report. "We are working closely with state, federal and local officials and plan on putting on a great convention." The convention will be held in Tampa starting Monday.