Laura to drench sections of Jamaica with heavy rains, storm-force winds

The latest on Tropical Storm Laura, as at 1:41 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST). (Photo: Weather.com)

The Meteorological Service of Jamaica has advised that the outer bands of Tropical Storm Laura will begin to affect sections of the island as early as Sunday afternoon (August 23).

According to a statement, the Jamaican Met Service projected that Tropical Storm Laura will induce a trough across the island as it completes movement across Hispaniola, before heading towards the easternmost tip of across Cuba this afternoon through to late Monday.

“Expect an increase in shower and thunderstorm activity across Jamaica today and Monday. Additionally, gusty winds are expected tonight and Monday,” the agency further observed.

As weather conditions deteriorate in eastern and central Jamaica, the met service, activating a flash-flood watch, said it anticipates cloudy skies and periods of thundershowers across the country.

Cloudy conditions are expected to persist with periods of thundershowers, becoming windy into tonight.

As at 1:00 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST), Tropical Storm Laura was located at latitude 19.4 north, longitude 74.3 west or roughly 90 kilometres south of Cuba’s easternmost tip.

According to the US-based National Hurricane Center (NHC), the system is moving west-northwest at 33 kilometres/hour; packing maximum sustained winds of 85 kilometres/hour, with higher gusts.

While a tropical storm warning or watch has not been activated for Jamaica, the NHC indicated that Laura could dump up to six inches of rainfall in the next 24 hours. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 220 kilometres from the centre.

The hurricane watchdog further noted that it expects little change in strength is while Laura moves near Cuba tonight, however, strengthening is forecast after the storm moves over the Gulf of Mexico, and Laura is could to become a hurricane by late Tuesday or Tuesday night.