All eyes on Don
BARBADOS was placed on a storm watch last evening as Tropical Storm Don headed towards the region.
It was the fourth named storm of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season and meteorologists have indicated that sometime today the system should affect the island.
“On its present track, the centre of Tropical Storm Don is expected to pass about 100 miles to the south of Barbados tomorrow afternoon (today). [As such] pockets of moderate to heavy showers, thunderstorms and occasional gusty winds in association with this system will move across Barbados tomorrow (today) and into early [tomorrow].”
The alert said there was a possibility of rainfall of up to one or two inches and sea swells of around of 2.5 to three metres (eight to ten feet), and urged Barbadians to monitor the tropical storm’s progress and take all necessary precautions, the Barbados Meteorological Service said in its bulletin.
With winds of 40 miles per hour a tropical storm warning was in effect for Grenada, while St Vincent and the Grenadines and St Lucia, like Barbados, were under a watch.
A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, in this case within the next 18 to 24 hours.
Don formed in a nurturing environment with low wind shear and warm water, so some strengthening is possible Tuesday.
This weather system was moving west at a speedy 17 mph and will run into strong upper-level westerly winds with strong low-level easterly flow in the eastern Caribbean. The duelling winds at different heights are expected to tear Don apart within 72 hours, the National Hurricane Centre in Miami reported.
An Air Force hurricane hunter flew into the system yesterday afternoon, finding it had gained tropical storm status.
“The associated convection is not particularly well organised, but there is a curved band located to the north of the centre and a couple of bursts have formed closer to the small circulation centre,” hurricane centre forecasters reported.
Don follows Tropical Storm Arlene, which formed in the far off Atlantic in April, and Tropical Storms Bret and Cindy, which formed in June.
The peak of the hurricane season begins in August and runs through November. (ES/CA/PR)