Bad weather rolling through the Caribbean
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday August 2, 2012 – The Caribbean is battening down the hatches as two tropical waves sweep the region in quick succession.
Further north, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and the Bahamas, are bracing against thunderstorms and high winds as one tropical wave has started to batter those islands and is expected over a 48-hour period to bring the most significant and widespread rainfall in months to those islands.
The second area of low pressure that gathered in the Atlantic, south-east of the Windward Islands, is causing concerns for Martinique and Guadeloupe, Dominica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and Barbados. A tropical storm watch is now in effect for those islands.
The wet weather is moving west over the coming days but according to America's National Hurricane Center (NHC), the 'disorganised' showers are unlikely to develop into a hurricane. However, if it does, it will be named “Ernesto”.
This fifth tropical depression of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season is packing winds of just 35 MPH but strengthening is anticipated and it is expected to become a tropical storm by late tonight as it makes its way gradually toward the Lesser Antilles.
In Barbados, revellers and business people alike are keeping a close eye on weather reports as the system is expected to start causing havoc right in the middle of the climax of that island’s annual Crop Over carnival celebrations.
Heavy rains are almost certain to sweep across this country tomorrow morning, but indications are Barbados will escape a direct hit from the latest weather system to approach the island, according to the DAILY NATION, which interviewed acting senior meteorologist Clairmonte Williams, who told the newspaper that if the system continued on its present track it could pass to the north of the island.
This suggests that patrons planning to attend Friday’s popular Pic-O-De-Crop Finals could be in for a wet and stormy evening and those who attend the following ‘Foreday Morning’ street carnival and Bridgetown Market over the weekend are likely to fare no better. However, the system is expected to be well on its way north by Monday, possibly sparing those who attend the grand finale Kadooment Day parade.
By Sunday or Monday the system could reach near Jamaica but beyond Jamaica, it is highly unclear where it will go.
And, while not in a direct path of danger, authorities on Trinidad and Tobago are not taking any chances and the Meteorological Services there are keeping a close eye on the system.
According to the Trinidad Express, the system is also being closely monitored by the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM), which has placed all first responder agencies and emergency support organisations on alert so that immediate assistance can be rendered if needed.
The Meteorological Services said they are will advise the ODPM if there are any noteworthy changes and citizens have been advised to monitor the ODPM website, Facebook page, and all media for the most current information.