Officials with Monroe County Emergency Management, the Key West National WeatherService and the National Hurricane Center (NHC) continue to closely monitor the progress ofTropical Storm Isaac which is now officially projected to intensify to hurricane strength sometimeFriday.
Most of Florida, including the Florida Keys, is within the NHC’s five-day forecast cone.The region’s presence in the five-day cone is an indication that Keys residents and visitorsshould be acutely aware of the storm and closely monitor its progress.
It is also a good time to review and adjust personal and business hurricane safety strategies andfor residents to check on supplies such as bottled water and nonperishable food items, officialssaid.
The current storm track shows the center of Isaac, as a Category 1 hurricane, just off the MiddleKeys early Monday. However, Bill South, a meteorologist at the Key West weather office, said thatthe storm is still more than 1,200 miles away and the track and intensity forecasts are not acertainty this far out. He said the next 24 hours are critical regarding the future strength of Isaac.Keys emergency management and other officials are to conference later today to discussresponse strategies, but are not expected to decide on possible protective actions until sometimeFriday when the forecast becomes clearer, according to Emergency Management Director IreneToner.
Visitors in the Keys and those with near-term plans to visit the region should be well aware ofIsaac and be prepared to adjust their trip plans, if needed.
The next advisory is scheduled to be be issued Friday, earlier if needed.