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Tropical Depression 29 has formed over the central Caribbean Sea and is forecast to become a hurricane in a couple of days as it approaches Nicaragua and Honduras, the US National Hurricane Center said in its latest advisory Saturday.
The NHC said strengthening is forecast, and the depression is expected to become a tropical storm Saturday night. The system is then expected to strengthen to a hurricane by Monday.
It said the depression is 315 miles southeast of Kingston, Jamaica, and is registering maximum sustained winds near 35 miles per hour, with higher gusts. Its present movement is west, or 270 degrees, at 15 mph.
“This westward motion is expected to continue through Sunday night,” the NHC said. “A slower motion toward the west-southwest and then southwest is forecast on Monday and Tuesday. On the forecast track. The center of the cyclone is expected to be near the northeastern coast of Nicaragua by Monday night,” it said.
While there are no coastal watches or warnings in effect, the NHC in Miami said the system through Thursday afternoon is projected to bring 5 to 10 inches of rain, with 15 inches expected across Jamaica and possibly the southern coast of Hispaniola.
“Across portions of Central America, 10 to 15 inches of rain, with local amounts to 25 inches are expected. This rainfall should lead to flash flooding and river flooding, and could cause landslides in areas of higher terrain,” the NHC said.
Interests in Nicaragua and Honduras should monitor the progress of the depression. Hurricane or tropical storm watches will likely be required for portions of these countries later tonight or early Sunday, according to the centre.
Cayman’s National Weather Service, in its afternoon forecast, said isolated showers are expected with moderate northeasterly winds and seas across the Cayman area for the next 24 hours in association with a tightening pressure gradient over the Western Caribbean. Radar images show isolated showers in and around the Cayman area which are moving towards the southwest.
The outlook is for moderate-to-fresh east-to-northeast winds and rough seas from Monday as Tropical Depression 29 moves south of the Cayman Islands.