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Isaac weakens to a tropical storm behind Florence, Helene

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Hurricane Isaac is swirling in the eastern Atlantic behind Hurricanes Florence and Helene. Image courtesy National Hurricane Center

UPI

As Hurricane Florence heads toward the East Coast, two other storms are bringing up the rear -- Helene and Isaac.

Isaac weakened into a tropical storm Monday, forecasters said, and is moving toward the Lesser Antilles.

Isaac is located about 960 miles east of the Lesser Antilles and has maximum sustained winds of 70 mph, the NHC said in its latest update Monday. It is moving west at 14 mph.

Isaac was previously designated as a hurricane Sunday night and is expected to be at or near hurricane strength when it reaches the Leeward islands.

A tropical storm becomes a hurricane when maximum sustained winds reach 74 mph.

A westward motion with a slight increase in forward speed is expected through the end of the week. Based on the current forecast, Isaac will move across the Lesser Antilles and into the eastern Caribbean Sea Thursday.

Tropical-storm force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center, the NHC said.

The storm could bring heavy rainfall and localized flooding to the Lesser Antilles, Accuweather reported, as well as tree and power line damage.

"There is a growing consensus that this system could threaten the Lesser Antilles during the middle or latter part of the week," AccuWeather forecaster Dan Kottlowski said.

Experts said residents in the Caribbean -- including Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Cuba, Jamaica and the Bahamas -- and the United States mainland should stay aware of Isaac's path beyond the Lesser Antilles.

It's unclear whether Isaac has the potential to make landfall on the U.S. mainland. No coastal watches or warnings were in effect and no hazards affecting land.

"Isaac is a small hurricane and uncertainty in the forecast is higher than normal, NHC Forecaster John Cangialosi said in Monday's forecast discussion. "Although Isaac is forecast to begin weakening when it approaches the Lesser Antilles, it is still expected to be at or near hurricane intensity when it reaches the islands."

"Interests in the Lesser Antilles should continue to monitor Isaac during the next few days."

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U.S. - U.S. Daily News: Isaac weakens to a tropical storm behind Florence, Helene
Isaac weakens to a tropical storm behind Florence, Helene
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