Tropical Storm Isaac made its closest approach to St. Croix Thursday night, passing almost 200 miles to the south and having no apparent impact on the territory as it made its leisurely way across the Caribbean.
All watches and warnings that had been issued on neighboring islands were canceled Thursday. The storm, which just days earlier had been a hurricane, weakened significantly as it approached the the Lesser Antilles and passed with little notice in the USVI, stirring some winds and bringing some hit-or-miss showers to the territory but little else.
Top winds for the weather system were about 40 miles per hour Thursday night.
The storm is tracking to the west at 16 miles per hour. It will continue to move to the west and away from the V.I. during the overnight hours.
According to the National Hurricane Center, a burst of deep convection developed Thursday and covered the previously exposed center of Isaac Thursday evening, but there was evidence of northwesterly shear over the cyclone, causing some of the cloud cover to quickly blow off toward the southeast.
Moderate to strong northwesterly shear and dry mid-level air are likely to cause Isaac to weaken to a tropical depression or even become an open wave within the next day or so, the NHC reported. When Isaac reaches the west-central Caribbean Sea in a couple of days, the shear may relax somewhat and the global models suggest that there will be an increase in mid-level moisture. These conditions could allow for regeneration of the system as it approaches Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula, but given the uncertainty in whether Isaac will survive long enough to take advantage of these conditions, the official forecast still calls for dissipation, the NHC said.