POND HILL, Nevis – Isaac has turned into a poorly-organized tropical storm with highest sustained winds now at 60 mph.

This morning, Isaac is 500 miles east of Martinique. Tropical storm watches are in effect for St. Kitts and Nevis, Antiqua, and Saba and St. Eustatius.

According to the US National Hurricane Center in Miami, Isaac’s outer cone is expected to reach its nearest position to St. Kitts and Nevis Thursday morning between 2 and 6 a.m. It predicts Isaac’s eye will arrive over Fort-de-France at the same time.

Isaac is expected to remain at tropical storm intensity as it moves across the Lesser Antilles. Tropical storm warnings are in effect for Martinique, Dominica and Guadeloupe.

According to Nevis forecaster Frank Goodwill, forecast models have settled down and now show only one direct path.

“It doesn’t look as if TS Isaac will make it back up to hurricane status,” said Goodwill. “It is barely holding on in the face of increasing wind shear.

“However, it could strengthen slightly while the storm moves over warmer seas, into a more moist and unstable environment just east of the Lesser Antilles.

“These conflicting factors are creating difficulties in forecasting how Isaac will behave/develop.”

Goodwill said this is not unusual with storms that are small in size.

Isaac is feeling the effects of wind shear and global models suggest the shear will likely remain moderate to strong during the next couple of days.

These hostile winds combined with nearby dry air will likely cause Isaac to gradually weaken during the next several days.

Hurricane Hunters are scheduled to investigate Isaac later this morning, and that data should provide a better assessment of the storm’s intensity and structure.