The next 48 hours will prove to be critical for the eastern Caribbean as meteorologists continue to monitor a large weather disturbance brewing in the central Atlantic.
According to an advisory to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) on Tuesday (July 28), the system is roughly 805 kilometres east of the Windward Islands as at 7:00 am Eastern Standard Time (EST).
The US-based NHC noted that while recent satellite imagery suggest the disturbance does not yet have a defined centre, data from its network of buoys indicate that the system is producing winds at or near tropical-storm-force.
According to the hurricane monitoring agency, environmental conditions are expected to be conducive for additional development with the next 48 hours.
“[A] tropical depression or tropical storm is likely to form during the next couple of days while the system moves west-north-westward at 24 to 32 kilometres/hour,”
The system now has an 80 per cent chance of further development and via its official Twitter account, the NHC said it will initiate advisories on Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine at 12:00pm EST.
The low-pressure system is currently projected on a path that approaches portions of the Lesser Antilles, especially the Leeward Islands.
The NHC further explained that regardless of development, heavy rain is likely across sections of the eastern Caribbean, “beginning later today and continuing through Wednesday, especially in the Leeward Islands”.
The agency said that deteriorating weather conditions will spread westward to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico as early as Wednesday night into Thursday.
“An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate the system this afternoon and will provide more information about the current state of the disturbance,” the NHC advised.