BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – It’s called Emily – the newest storm of the Atlantic hurricane season which formed Monday night just west of Dominica and put the northern Windward and Leeward islands on alert, forecasters have announced.
In the first advisory on the storm issued at 1930 East Caribbean Time (2330 GMT), the United States National Hurricane Centre in Miami estimated the storm’s centre to be located 15.2 degrees north, 62.5 degrees west – about 80 kilometres west-southwest of the Windward Island of Dominica, now under tropical storm warning.
“A tropical storm warning is in effect for Dominica, Guadeloupe, Desirade, Les Saintes and Marie Galante, Puerto Rico, Vieques and Culebra (and) the Dominican Republic,” the advisory said.
The Barbados meteorological office placed the Leeward Islands of St Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, and Antigua under tropical storm watch, suggesting that storm conditions could affect those islands over the next 48 hours, the NHC advisory added.
The advisory continued: “At 7.30 pm (Eastern Caribbean Time), 2330 (GMT), the center of Tropical Storm Emily was located near latitude 15.2 north, longitude 62.0 west. Emily is moving toward the west near 17 mph (28 km/h). A turn toward the west-northwest and a slight decrease in forward speed are expected over the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the center of Emily will move across the northeastern Caribbean Sea tonight and approach the island of Hispaniola Tuesday night and Wednesday.
“Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours.
“Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km), mainly to the north of the center.
“Estimated minimum central pressure is 1006 millibars (29.71 inches).”
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