A new tracking path released by the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami is now showing that the approaching weather pattern may not directly pass over Trinidad but will still produce substantial rainfall and gusty winds.
The NHC released its latest statement at 2 pm today, as a Hurricane Hunter was preparing to report on whether the system has turned into a cyclone.
However, the NHC says data from buoys have registered wind speeds near Tropical Storm force.
Earlier projections yesterday and today showed the projected path of the system covering the entire islands of Trinidad and Tobago. The 2 pm update shows the projected path still over Tobago but just barely over Trinidad.
The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service will also give an update this afternoon. Both the Met Office and the ODPM have warned that severe showers will affected T&T regardless of where the system passes.
The following is the NHC's latest update.
"Showers and thunderstorms associated with a tropical wave located about 350 miles east of Barbados continue to show signs of organisation.
Buoy data indicate that the system is producing winds to near tropical storm force, and an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft is just beginning its mission to determine if the system has a closed circulation.
Environmental conditions appear to be favorable for Development, and a tropical depression or tropical storm is likely to form later today or tonight.
This system is moving westward to west-northwestward at 15 to 20 mph, and is expected to pass over the Windward Islands on Wednesday morning, and move over the southeastern Caribbean Sea late Wednesday and Thursday.
Interests in the Windward and Southern Leeward Islands, Bonaire, Curacao, Aruba, and along the northern coast of South America should monitor the progress of this disturbance, and consult products issued by your national meteorological service, which could include tropical storm warnings or watches.
Regardless of whether the system is a tropical wave or tropical cyclone, heavy rains and tropical-storm-force winds in squalls are expected to spread over the Windward Islands and portions of the Southern Leeward Islands, beginning tonight and continuing through Wednesday.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...high...90 percent
* Formation chance through 5 days...high...90 percent"
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