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Tropical Storm Watch issued for Jamaica

Monday, October 22, 2012 | 11:50 AM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — A Tropical Storm Watch is now in effect for Jamaica as the area of low-pressure over the southern Caribbean has developed into a Tropical Depression and is expected to further strengthen while heading northward towards the island.

At 10:00am the centre of Tropical Depression Number 18 was located about 515 kilometres (320 miles) south-southwest of Kingston, Jamaica or 320 kilometres (235 miles) south of the Pedro Cays.

 

The Meteorological Service says that the Tropical Depression is moving towards the southwest near 7 km/h (five mph) and expected to maintain a drift towards the west today and tonight before turning towards the north-northeast with an increase in forward speed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

On this forecast track, the centre of the Depression would approach Jamaica’s mainland on Tuesday night or early Wednesday.

The system could become a Tropical Storm later today or tonight and be near hurricane strength near Jamaica on Wednesday.  

Over the next couple of days, showers and thunderstorms are expected to increase over Jamaica, accompanied by gusty winds, eventually becoming sustained at tropical storm strength late Tuesday.  Marine interests will experience winds primarily out of the east and becoming southerly by Tuesday evening and must move swiftly to secure livelihoods.

Fishers on the cays and banks are strongly advised to evacuate immediately and start returning to the mainland.  Other small craft operators in our coastal waters are advised to return to port and small craft operators who are in port are advised not to venture out.

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