Dean forecast to be dangerous hurricane threat to Caribbean
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, August 14, 2007 - People living in the southern and eastern Caribbean have been told to closely monitor Tropical Storm Dean which formed Tuesday.
The National Hurricane Centre in Miami has said that computer models have indicated that Dean will become a major hurricane as it approaches the Lesser Antilles by the weekend.
The tropical storm, with sustained winds of 40mph, is still travelling slightly south of due west and today the centre reformed a little further south and west thatnwas previously indicated, the centre said.
That would make it appear on tracking maps to have suddenly made a big dash towards the Caribbean.
The tracking forecast remains the same as Monday, that is, it will make landfall somewhere in the central Caribbean islands around Saturday or Sunday. What is different Tuesday is that the hurricane centre is forecasting it to be a strong hurricane or on the verge of being a major hurricane with winds of more than 100mph.
The weather service in Puerto Rico has said that Dean should become a hurricane by Saturday as it approaches the islands and it has urged interests "across the region" to monitor the evolution of the system.
The position of Tropical Storm Dean was fixed by satellite estimates at 1100am EST to be near 11.7 north and 39.4 west or about 1490 east of the Lesser Antilles. Dean is moving briskly towards the west near 23mph with wind speeds near 40mph. Tropical storm force winds extend outwards up to 35 miles.
If it continues on course as forecasted, watches would be required for parts of the Caribbean as early as Thursday.