Havana, Aug 23.- Tropical storm Isaac will keep intensifying and could reach hurricane status by Friday, regional climate reports indicate.
The tropical storm, the ninth atmospheric phenomenon of the current hurricane season, is moving westward at 13 mph, maintaining maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and a minimum pressure of 1003 hPa.
Although, latest readings indicate Isaac could strengthen during the next 48 hours, becoming a hurricane on Friday before it reaches Hispaniola.
Isaac's center was estimated at 16.0 degrees north latitude and 59.6 degrees west longitude, 127 miles east of Guadalupe Island, in the northern group of the Lesser Antilles.
The center of the storm should pass to the south of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Thursday, then approach the Dominican Republic tonight and Friday.
The forecast cone still has Isaac's eye passing over Cuba on Sunday and near or over South Florida early Monday.
Cuba is keeping a close eye on the evolution and future trajectory of Isaac, which may represent a potential threat to the island.
So far during this hurricane season in the Atlantic basin, which began on June 1, nine tropical storms have formed.
The tenth tropical depression formed today, with maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour and higher gusts, and may be strengthened in coming hours, reaching storm status. It will be named Joyce.(Radio Cadena Agramonte).