FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The disturbance now called Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine has not yet become Tropical Storm Isaias, the National Hurricane Center said in its 11 a.m. EDT Wednesday public advisory.
The storm still lacks a well-defined center of circulation, but it is still expected to become a tropical storm Wednesday or Wednesday night, Senior Hurricane Specialist Daniel Brown wrote in the latest forecast discussion describing the meteorological conditions of the storm.
The projected path of the storm has been edging slightly west on Wednesday, still all of Florida remains in the forecast cone. Whereas the center of the cone on Tuesday was aiming for Florida's southeastern Atlantic Coast, that center on Wednesday has veered slightly west to Florida's Gulf Coast as of the 11 a.m. outlook.
But it's still early in the forecast for both the storm's path and intensity. So far the disturbance is projected to remain a tropical storm for its foreseeable duration, meaning it was not expected to strengthen into a hurricane.
But because the future Isaias (ees-ah-EE-ahs) still lacks a center, or eye, uncertainty is unusually high, said Robert Molleda, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Miami.
"It still must be stressed that since the system lacks a well-defined center and remains in its formative stage, uncertainty in the specifics of the track forecast remain high in both the short and longer range," Brown said in the discussion.
The storm was expected to continue on a west-northwest track, possibly turning northwest as it gets closer to Florida, the National Weather Service Miami said in its 11 a.m. briefing, adding that "interaction with land, as well as strong upper level winds before approaching Florida, could play a major role in what impacts are felt in South Florida."
Tropical storm-force gusts could arrive here as early as Friday night, but Saturday is much more likely, NWS Miami said Wednesday.
South Florida's chances for experiencing tropical storm-force winds (speeds of at least 39 mph) stand at 15% to 25% in the next five days, the weather service said.
It also said that "ahead of any impacts from the (impending) tropical system, most of the rainfall this week will be over the interior and Gulf coast of southern Florida," with rain chances increasing for Florida's east coast on Friday.