Depression strengthens into Tropical Storm Laura

Tropical Depression 14 bringing heavy rains to Cayman

This path for Tropical Storm Laura, updated at 10am, shows the predicted route of the storm and the times impacted locations can expect winds to hit. - Image: NOAA/NHC

For the latest information on storm activity in the Cayman Islands, as well as information on how to prepare for hurricane season, visit Storm Centre.

UPDATED, 10:15am: The US National Hurricane Center reports that the centre of Tropical Storm Laura is expected to move near or over the Leeward Islands later today.

It is continuing on a west-northwesterly path at a speed of almost 18 miles per hour.

Its maximum sustained winds are nearly 45 mph, with higher gusts.

Forecasters predict some slow strengthening of the storm during the next 48 hours.

Tropical-storm-force winds are extending outward, at up to 150 miles from the centre, according to the NHC.

Laura is expected to produce 3 to 6 inches of rain over Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, and the southern Haitian peninsula through Sunday.

NHC forecasters have also advised interests in Cuba and the Bahamas to monitor the storm.

Cayman’s National Weather Service, in a 10am weather notification, said Tropical Storm Laura poses no immediate threat to the Cayman Islands.

ORIGINAL STORY:

The National Hurricane Center has upgraded Tropical Depression 13 to Tropical Storm Laura as the system’s wind speeds strengthened to 45 miles per hour.

The system is located about 230 miles east-southeast of the northern Leeward Islands.

In its latest bulletin, issued at 8:05am this morning, the National Hurricane Center, in Miami, Florida, reported that data from a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicated that the centre of the storm is located south of its previously estimated position.

The predicted path of the storm appeared to show it passing north of the Cayman Islands. However, forecasters said they intend to release a new map, showing revised track and intensity information, at 10am.

Laura is currently moving in a westerly direction at 21 miles per hour.

Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect in the Southern Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Saba and St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy, Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Anguilla.

The forecast track for Tropical Depression 14. – Image: NOAA/NHC

Meanwhile, the NHC reports that Tropical Depression 14, with sustained wind speeds of 35 miles per hours, is located just off the northeastern coast of Honduras. The system is moving is moving toward the west-northwest at almost 12 mph.

Cayman’s National Weather Service advises that due to the proximity of Tropical Depression 14, heavy rains and possible flooding of low-lying areas is expected locally.

The local weather forecast is for cloudy to overcast skies, with a 80% chance of showers with some thunder mainly over Grand Cayman. Showers may be locally heavy with possible flooding of low lying areas. Seas will be moderate to rough with heights of 4 to 6 feet and NWS is advising that small craft should exercise caution over open water.

Tropical Depression 14 has led to a Hurricane Watch being put into effect from Punta Herrero to Cancun, Mexico, while a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Honduras/Nicaragua border westward to Punta Castilla Honduras, the  Bay Islands, and Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua northward to the Honduras/Nicaragua border.

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