Americas: Hurricanes Isaac and Florence Information Bulletin N° 1

N° of National Societies currently involved in the operation (if available and relevant): Red Cross Movement actors currently involved in the operation: The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the French Red Cross-PIRAC (Regional Intervention Platform for the Americas and the Caribbean), Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross, British Red Cross overseas branches, Dominica Red Cross Society, Haiti Red Cross Society, Netherlands Red Cross overseas branches, Saint Kitts and Nevis Red Cross Society; Partner National Societies (PNSs) such as American Red Cross, the Canadian Red Cross Society, German Red Cross, Italian Red Cross, Norwegian Red Cross and Spanish Red Cross.

N° of other partner organizations involved in the operation (if available and relevant): Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA)

This bulletin is being issued for information only; it reflects the current situation and details available at this time.

The situation

HURRICANE ISAAC

According to the United States of America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s National Hurricane Centre (NHC), Hurricane Isaac continued to track westward and toward the Caribbean on Monday morning (10 September 2018) on a path that could bring it across the Lesser Antilles by Thursday, 13 September 2018. As of 11 AM Atlantic Standard Team (AST) (1500 Coordinated Universal Time [UTC]) on Monday, Hurricane Isaac was located about 1,150 miles east of the Windward Islands, and it was moving west at 14 mph. Isaac had winds of 75 mph, making it a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

The hurricane is expected to move westward through the week, and it is forecasted to strengthen and become a category 2 hurricane before weakening and impacting the islands between Antigua and St Lucia by Thursday. Isaac is a small hurricane, as hurricane-force winds extend outward up to only 10 miles (20 km) from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to just 45 miles (75 km).

• Isaac is a small hurricane and uncertainty in the forecast is higher than normal. 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 over the next few days

HURRICANE FLORENCE

The NHC issued an alert at 11 AM Atlantic Standard Team AST (1500 UTC) on 10 September 2018 that Hurricane Florence’s centre was located near latitude 25.0 North, longitude 60.0 West. Florence is moving toward the west near 13 mph (20 km/h). The alert indicated that the hurricane is moving in a west-north-westward motion with an increase in forward speed expected over the next couple of days. A turn toward the north-west is forecast to occur late Wednesday night (12 September 2018). On the forecast track, the Florence’s centre will move over the south-western Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas Tuesday, 11 September 2018 and Wednesday and approach the coast of South Carolina or North Carolina on Thursday. According to the NHC, satellite data indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 115 mph (185 km/h) with higher gusts. Florence is a category 3 hurricane. Further strengthening is anticipated, and Florence is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the centre, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles (220 km). The estimated minimum central pressure is 962 mb (28.41 inches).

Watches and Warnings

HURRICANE ISAAC

  1. The NHC has not put any coastal watches or warnings in effect for Hurricane Isaac. Météo-France has placed all French territories under a Hurricane watch.

  2. Isaac is expected to be a hurricane when it moves through the Lesser Antilles on Wednesday, and the chance of some islands receiving a direct impact from wind and rainfall are increasing; however, Isaac is a small hurricane, and it is too early to determine exactly where it will make landfall.

  3. Due to its small size, there is greater than usual uncertainty about Isaac's current intensity, and confidence in the official intensity forecast is also lower than normal. Rapid increases or decreases in intensity, which are difficult to predict, are possible over the next couple of days.

  4. The NHC is also monitoring a disturbance in the Caribbean that could become a tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico later this week.

HURRICANE FLORENCE

  1. According to the NHC, there are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

  2. Interests in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states should monitor Florence’s progress.

  3. Storm Surge and Hurricane watches could be issued for portions of these areas by Tuesday morning.

  4. Hurricane Florence is currently located about 500 nautical miles south-south east of Great Britain’s Overseas Territory Bermuda and moving west at 11 knots; a small craft warning will be in effect from tonight into Wednesday night. There are strong rip currents and swells anticipated along the island’s South Shore