Weather system upgraded to Tropical Storm Matthew; six Caribbean countries under Tropical Storm warnings

Date: 
Wednesday, September 28, 2016 - 12:15

The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami has now confirmed that the Tropical Wave has been upgraded to a Tropical Storm and Tropical Strom warnings are now in effect for six Caribbean countries.

Trinidad and Tobago is not listed as one of the countries to be severely affected by the storm but the Met Office has warned that heavy showers should be expected today.

The following is the NHC's latest bulletin. 

"A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...

* Guadeloupe and Martinique
* St. Lucia
* Dominica, Barbados, St. Vincent, and the Grenadine Islands

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK

At 1100 AM AST (1500 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Matthew was located near latitude 13.4 North, longitude 60.7 West. Matthew is moving toward the west near 21 mph (33 km/h). A westward motion with some decrease in forward speed is expected during the next couple of days.  On the forecast track, the center of Matthew will move through the Windward Islands during the next couple of hours, and move over the eastern Caribbean Sea through Friday.

Reports from an Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph (95 km/h) with higher gusts.  Gradual strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days, and Matthew could become a hurricane by Friday.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205 miles (335 km) primarily to the northeast of the center.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 1008 mb (29.77 inches).

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND

WIND:  Tropical storm conditions are expected to spread over the southern Leeward Islands and northern Windward Islands within the next few hours and continue into this evening. 

RAINFALL: Matthew is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 4 to 8 inches across the Windward Islands and southern portions of the Leeward Islands through Thursday.

These rains may produce life-threatening flash floods and mud slides. Rainfall totals of 1 to 2 inches are expected farther to the north into the northern Leeward Islands, including the United States and British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

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