Geographic Reference: 12 miles west of St. Lucia
Movement: Northwest at 13 mph
Max Sustained Winds: 35 mph
Organizational Trend: Slowly increasing
Chance of Development Beyond 48 Hours: 80 percent
There are no significant changes.
Strong wind shear continues to impact this system, with the low level center west of the associated squalls. This wind shear should prevent any rapid organization over at least the next 24-36 hours as the disturbance tracks northwestward across the eastern Caribbean. The center will pass near the Virgin Islands and just east of Puerto Rico on Saturday. A more northward track is expected after leaving the Caribbean Sea. This system should stay well east of the Bahamas and the East Coast of the U.S. However, there could be an impact in Newfoundland in 7-8 days.
The wind shear in the area will decrease after about 36 hours. There is a good chance that the disturbance could become a tropical depression or a weak tropical storm just before exiting the Caribbean Sea. It is likely to become a tropical storm once it is north of the Caribbean on Sunday. By the time it reaches Newfoundland late next week it will most likely be transitioning to an extratropical storm.
Regardless of whether or not the disturbance becomes a depression or a tropical storm in the Caribbean, the effects across the islands will be just about the same. All of the islands from Trinidad northward through the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico will see occasional heavy squalls from today through Saturday evening. These squalls will result in sustained winds of 30 mph to 40 mph with gusts of 50 mph to 60 mph along with heavy rainfall.
Expected Impacts on Land
Windward and Leeward Islands, including St. Lucia: Thunderstorms will continue to impact the southern and central Windward Islands through today. Sustained winds of 30 mph to 40 mph with gusts to 60 mph can be expected, along with rainfall amounts of 3-6 inches.
Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the Northern Lesser Antilles: Squalls will begin to impact the region by late today and continue through Saturday. Winds of 30 mph to 45 mph are possible, along with gusts to 60 mph. Rainfall amounts may average 3-6 inches, though higher amounts will be possible in some areas.
Expected Impacts Offshore
Offshore St. Lucia: Sustained winds of 30 mph to 40 mph with gusts to 60 mph in squalls are possible through tonight.
Offshore Trinidad: Sustained winds of 20 mph to 30 mph with gusts to 45 mph in squalls are possible today.
Residents should pay close attention to this system as it has the potential of being a Tropical Storm when it approaches or pass close to the territory.