Hurricane Isaac could hit The Bahamas by Thursday and develop into a category two or three system by the weekend, according to forecasters.
Senior Meteorological Officer Geoffrey Greene said Tuesday that Tropical Depression nine is expected to develop into a named storm with its projected path to hit those most southerly islands soon.
Based on predictions up to press time, Mr. Greene said Tropical Depression nine was located about 580 miles east of Guadeloupe.
“Right now in the projected track we want the Southeast Bahamas to pay strict attention to our news items to make sure they are not in harm’s way,” he said. “At least by Thursday we will know exactly where this storm will be moving.
“But right now, the projected track has it moving around the southern part of Haiti into eastern Cuba, which will affect the Southern Bahamas and later on the Central Bahamas.”
Mr. Greene said the weather system is expected to turn into Tropical Storm Isaac and quickly turn into Hurricane Thursday.
“By Friday into Saturday we expect that it would turn into a strong category two hurricane,” he added. “If it develops even stronger it will turn into a category three hurricane.”
“It is a storm that is potentially dangerous to The Bahamas as it develops and moves south of us.”
On Tuesday forecasts showed that the depression was moving toward the west at 20 miles per hour with that general motion expected to continue for the next 48 hours.
Predictions indicated that the cyclone should move through the central Lesser Antilles Wednesday afternoon or evening and emerge over the eastern Caribbean Sea by Thursday morning.
Maximum sustained winds are near 35 miles per hour with higher gusts.
Strengthening is forecast and the depression became a tropical storm late Tuesday.