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The Cayman Islands National Weather Service has said the Sister Islands could be impacted from Sunday and into next week by the weather system, currently named potential cyclone five, located east-southeast of the Windward Islands.
In its tropical outlook issued Wednesday afternoon, the NWS said currently models vary in terms of “both this system’s potential track and intensity” with some models having a potential strong hurricane near the Sister Islands by late night Sunday (4 July) to other models showing the storm making landfall across Hispaniola.
However, the NWS said given the wide variation its current projections “are a bit conservative and calls for an increase in heavy shower activity, fresh winds and rough seas impacting mainly the Sister Islands from Sunday through early next week”.
The US National Hurricane Center, in its Wednesday afternoon report, has said it will begin issuing advisories on the weather system, located over the central tropical Atlantic, later this evening.
As of 4:20pm, the system was moving toward the west-northwest near 21 miles per hour and this motion is expected to continue with an increase in forward speed during the next couple of days, the NHC said.
“Interests elsewhere in the Windward Islands, Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti should monitor the progress of this system. Warnings and additional watches will likely be required tonight and on Thursday,” the NHC added.
The Miami-based centre has said the Meteorological Service of Barbados has issued a tropical storm watch for Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The Meteorological Service of St. Lucia has issued a tropical storm watch for St. Lucia.
France has also issued a tropical storm watch for Martinique.
“On the forecast track, the system will pass near or over portions of the Windward Islands or the southern Leeward Islands on Friday, move into the eastern Caribbean Sea late Friday and Friday night, and move near the southern coast of Hispaniola on Saturday,” the NHC advisory stated.
Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph with higher gusts.
“Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours and the disturbance is expected to become a tropical storm tonight or on Thursday,” the NHC said.
Formation chance through 48 hours remains high at 70% and through five days at 90%.
The NWS has said Global Forecast System (GFS) weather models indicate the tropical wave depicted in yellow in the image above has a very low chance of tropical cyclone formation (0%) through day five as the system moves across the Caribbean Sea.
“At this point there is uncertainty as to whether this tropical wave may be absorbed into the better organized system behind it or it will manage to sustain itself as it reaches the western Caribbean by the weekend,” the NWS said.
“Nonetheless, the Cayman area may experience some showers and thunder activity along with moderate winds and seas from the weekend onwards with further deterioration depending on the forecast path of the second system.”
Potential tropical cyclone five, the NWS said, is showing signs of getting better organised.
“National Weather Service will continue to monitor the progress of the more organized system and will make updates to our forecast and release additional information as necessary,” it added.
The public, the NWS said, is asked to continue to monitor the progress of this system. Since this is hurricane season, the public is also advised to make sure they continue to make preparations, not only for this potential storm but for any other storms in this season.