Tropical storm watches in effect as system nears Windward Islands
A hurricane hunter aircraft is investigating tropical depression seven as it races towards the Caribbean.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Saturday August 11, 2012 - Tropical Depression seven continued to cross the western Atlanic quickly overnight as it continued on a projected path north of St Lucia and south of Martinique.
"Tropical depression seven is located near 14.0 N 57.5 W or about 150 miles east-northeast of Barbados" according to the 8 am AST advisory from the National Hurricane Center (NHC).
The hurricane center reports that tropical depression seven "is moving to the west at 24 miles per hour and and this general motion is expected to continue through Sunday."
The NHC report indicated "tropical storm watches are still in effect for Guadeloupe, Martinique, Dominica, St. Lucia, Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines."
"Maximum sustained winds are near 35 miles per hour with higher gusts. Although the depression could still become a tropical storm before reaching the Windward Islands the chances of this occurring appear to be decreasing" said the report.
The estimated minimum central pressure for the system has dropped to 1008 mb.
According to Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray of the Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane season is expected to see about 13 named storms, including 5 hurricanes, with two of them being major.