EASTERN NC - Tropical Storm Isaac is getting better organized as it makes its way through the Carribbean.
The storm's maximum sustained winds Wednesday were near 45 mph, and the National Hurricane Center forecasts Isaac to be named a hurricane by Thursday.
StormTrack 12 Meteorologist Skip Waters has forecasted that storm could play a role in next week's weather here in Eastern North Carolina.
"Everybody is talking about Tropical Storm Isaac and for good reason," Waters said. "This tropical system is a long way off from Eastern NC, but computer forecast models are making me feel more and more confident that Isaac will be producing some weather issues for us early next week."
Tropical storm warnings are already in effect for Puerto Rico, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and several other islands throughout the Caribbean.
"The National Hurricane Center's official forecast track is right into south Florida around eight Sunday morning, (but) here's my concern -- if you look at the satellite pictures you will see a steady, strong flow of clouds moving from west to east across the Gulf of Mexico and I think that flow is what will push Isaac east of the official forecast track," Waters said. "My concern is that Isaac will stay just east of Florida and eventually make landfall somewhere between Charleston and Myrtle Beach, SC, and then move north."
Waters' forecast would have the storm running north through central North Carolina and bringing a large amount of rain to an already saturated part of the state. Effects from the storm could be seen as early as Monday, with increased rain and wind into Tuesday.
Currently, the official forecast of the National Hurricane Center has Isaac cutting up through central Florida.
"I am not arguing with that, but I want to make sure you remain alert that there could be an eastward shift in that track," Waters said. "Some of the models still want to take it to the Gulf of Mexico."
Officials in Florida are on alert for Isaac as the storm presents a threat for next week's Republican National Convention in Tampa.
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