Tropical Storm Maria threatens Leeward Islands
Several watches and warnings are in effect as the system continues on a track that will see it reaching the Leeward Islands tomorrow.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Friday September 9, 2011 – Heavy rains from Tropical Storm Maria are this morning affecting the Lesser Antilles as the storm begins to slow as it approaches the islands.
The storm is expected to dump up to eight inches of rain on the Lesser Antilles and gusty winds should reach by late today.
“The centre of Maria will reach the Leeward Islands early Saturday and be near the Virgin Islands by Saturday night,” the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami said in its 2 p.m. bulletin.
“Some slight strengthening is possible during the next 48 hours.”
A tropical storm warning is in effect for Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, the British and US Virgin Islands, Guadeloupe, St. Maartin, Saba and St. Eustatius. A tropical storm watch has been issued for Dominica, St. Barthelemy, St Marteen, Martinique and Puerto Rico.
The NHC has also advised interests elsewhere in the Lesser Antilles, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the southeastern Bahamas and the Dominican Republic to monitor the progress of Maria which is carrying maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour.
Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 175 miles the NHC said.
At 2p.m. AST the storm was located 135 miles northeast of Barbados. It was moving toward the west-northwest near 14 miles per hour – a motion expected to continue during the next two to two and a half days. Track the latest weather in the Storm Centre.