FLORIDA, United States, Wednesday September 28, 2016 – Tropical storm warnings are in effect for Barbados, Dominica, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Guadeloupe and Martinique as Tropical Storm Matthew emerged.
In his first advisory on the storm at 11 a.m. which formed in the Windward Islands, the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami said reports from the Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft that investigated the system indicated that maximum sustained winds are near 60 miles per hour with higher gusts.
Gradual strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days, and Matthew could become a hurricane by Friday, it said.
Tropical Storm Matthew is located about 35 miles southeast of St. Lucia and the same distance east northeast of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205 miles primarily to the northeast of the centre.
“Matthew is moving toward the west near 21 mph. A westward motion with some decrease in forward speed is expected during the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the centre of Matthew will move through the Windward Islands during the next couple of hours, and move over the eastern Caribbean Sea through Friday,” the NHC said.
Tropical storm conditions are expected to spread over the southern Leeward Islands and northern Windward Islands within the next few hours and continue into this evening, the 11 a.m. advisory stated.
Tropical Storm Matthew is expected to produce total rainfall of four to eight inches across the Windward Islands and southern portions of the Leeward Islands through tomorrow. Those rains may produce life-threatening flash floods and mud slides. Rainfall totals of one to two inches are expected farther to the north into the northern Leeward Islands, including the British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.