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Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine has made its way into the Caribbean, and is continuing on a west-northwesterly direction towards the island of Hispaniola.
As of 10am, the tropical disturbance was located less than 200 miles west of the Leeward Islands.
In an advisory bulletin, the National Hurricane Centre in Miami, Florida, issued a warning that heavy rainfall is to be expected, which could cause potentially life-threatening flash floods and landslides in the northern regions of the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
Initial predictions showed the tropical disturbance developing into a tropical depression by 8am today. However, the tropical disturbance has not yet organised itself enough to be classified as a tropical depression, or storm, making it hard for forecasters to predict when and where it will travel next.
“The details of the long-range and intensity forecasts remain more uncertain than usual since the system does not have a well-defined center and it is expected to move near or over portions of the Antilles later this week,” reads an NHC bulletin.
Despite not having formed into a tropical depression, the system is currently producing tropical-storm-speed winds of up 45 miles per hour. It is moving towards the west-northwest at 23mph, and is expected to make landfall over Puerto Rico, the Bahamas and Hispaniola by tomorrow morning.
Cayman’s National Weather Service is continuing to monitor the weather system.
Original story (28 July): A Hurricane Hunter aircraft will be deployed this afternoon to gather data on a potential tropical cyclone that is developing in the Atlantic Ocean.
The system, which is currently a tropical disturbance, is being monitored by the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida. It first developed off the African coast on Thursday and has since drifted across the Atlantic Ocean at around 15 to 20 miles per hour.
As of 11am today (Tuesday), the tropical disturbance was located about 500 miles east of the Windward Islands.
The NHC said in a forecast that although the system had not yet organised itself to form a tropical depression or storm, buoys in the area had registered wind speeds of up to 40mph, speeds akin to that of a tropical storm.
“An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate the system this afternoon and will provide more information about the current state of the disturbance,” said the NHC in its 11am forecast.
The NHC said the tropical disturbance has an 80% chance of developing into a tropical depression or tropical storm within the next 48 hours, and a 90% probability over the course of the next five days.
A projected storm path released by the NHC shows the tropical depression veering upwards in a west-northwesterly direction, and arriving over the Leeward Islands by 8am on Wednesday, where it is expected to cause flash floods and landslides.
“[The tropical disturbance] will produce heavy rains and potentially life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides across the northern Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico,” warned the NHC in it initial advisory bulletin, earlier today.
The storm currently poses no threat to the Cayman Islands.