Tropical Storm Isaac nears Dominican Republic

TS Joyce weakens into tropical depression

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MIAMI - S. Fla. remains in the forecast track as Tropical Storm Isaac made a turn to the west-northwest as it moved south of Puerto Rico.

In the 11 p.m. advisory Thursday, Isaac had sustained winds of 45 mph and was moving west-northwest at 18 mph. Isaac was about 145 miles south-southeast of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

A hurricane watch is in effect for Haiti.

Tropical storm warnings have been issued for the Dominican Republic, Haiti, the Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Las Tunas, Granma, Holguin, Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo; the southeastern Bahamas including the Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, The Inaguas, Mayaguana and the Ragged Islands; and Turks and Caicos.

Tropical storm watches are in effect for the Cuban provinces of Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus and Villa Clara; Andros Island; the central Bahamas including Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador.

As Isaac approaches South Florida, read what Hurricane Specialist Max Mayfield suggests residents do to prepare. Mayfield also took a look at Isaac's intensity forecast and what to expect.

Isaac is expected to continue moving west-northwest through Saturday. On the forecast track, the center of Isaac will be near or over Hispanola Friday, and move over southeastern Cuba on Saturday.

In anticipation of Isaac's approach, the Florida State Emergency Response Team was partially activated Thursday, Gov. Rick Scott said.

"Obviously we are hoping Isaac doesn't hit Florida, but we must take every precaution," Scott said. "That's what we're doing on a state level, and it's what everyone should be doing on a family and personal level. If you haven't already, get prepared and get a plan."

Regardless of where you live in Florida, state emergency officials said you can be impacted by a tropical weather system. It is so important that everyone does their part to prepare for a storm because it could happen at any time, the governor said. Hurricane Andrew serves as a strong reminder that "it only takes one."

Joyce weakens, becomes Tropical Depression

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Joyce weakened Thursday night into a tropical depression. In the 11 p.m. advisory Thursday, Joyce was about 1,200 east of the Leeward Islands with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph. No watches or warnings were in effect.

Joyce, which was moving west-northwest at 14 mph, was expected to continue that general motion for the next few days. The storm had become less organized Thursday afternoon, said forecasters at the National Hurricane Center.

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