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Barbados remains under storm watch as Maria moves closer


Barbados remains under storm watch as Maria moves closer

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AT 8 A.M. THE CENTER of Tropical Storm Maria was located near 13.3°N, 55.6°W at or about 250 miles or 400km east of Barbados. The system is moving west-northwestward near 15 mph (24 km/h), and this motion with a further reduction in forward speed is expected over the next couple of days.

On this present track, the center is expected to pass approximately 130 miles to the north of Barbados Monday morning. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 65 mph (100 km/h) with higher gusts and further strengthening is forecast. Maria is forecast to become a hurricane by the time it reaches the Leeward Islands. Minimum central pressure was 994 mb or 29.36 inches.

As the system draws closer to the region, pockets of moderate to heavy showers, thunderstorms and gusty winds are expected to spread across Barbados from later this morning into Monday.

Rainfall accumulations of 3 to 5 inches (75 to 125 mm) are possible.

Due to the already saturated nature of the soil a Flood Warning may be required at short notice. Thus, residents are urged to be on the alert and take all necessary precautions.

In addition, large easterly swells of at least 4 to 6m (13 to 20 ft) are also forecast to accompany the system.

Hence, a High-Surf Advisory and Small-Craft Warning remains in effect until 12:00 noon Tuesday, Septemberv19. (PR)