Leeward Islands brace for tropical storm conditions today

The latest on Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine, as at 7:00 am Eastern Standard Time (EST) on Wednesday.

Sections of the Lesser Antilles are expected to come under a battering on Wednesday (July 29) as potential tropical cyclone nine ominously gathers momentum on the fringes of the Caribbean Sea.

According to a 7:00 am Eastern Standard Time (EST) advisory from the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the system currently located at latitude 15.1 North, longitude 62.1 West—or 90 kilometres west-southwest of Dominica.

The massive low-pressure disturbance currently has maximum sustained winds near 75 kilometres/hour, with higher gusts and maintains a west-northwest motion at 37 kilometres/hour.

Some increase in strength is forecast today, the NHC continued, with weakening likely on Thursday due to land interaction, and some re-strengthening possible later this week.

The tropical storm warnings remain in effect for: Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Monserrat, St Martin, Sint Maarten, Saba, St Eustatius, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint-Barthélemy, as well as sections of the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

The tropical storm warning for Dominica has been discontinued.

What’s more, a tropical storm watch has been activated for the Turks & Caicos Islands and the southeast Bahamas, while interests in Cuba and the northeast Bahamas have been urged to continue to monitor the system’s progress.

Environmental conditions are expected to be conducive for additional development, the NHC forecast that a tropical storm is likely to form later today.

The Florida-based NHC further indicated that tropical storm-force winds extend outward from the system up to 445 kilometres, primarily to the north and northeast of the centre.

A wind gust of 74 kilometres/hour was reported on St Kitts.