MIAMI, Florida–Initial reports from a Hurricane Hunter aircraft on Thursday evening indicated that Tropical Depression Thirteen did not yet appear well-organised.
At 11:00pm the disturbance was centred a little less than 505 miles (815 kilometres) east of the Northeast Caribbean. The Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS) at 5:00pm had put it at about 620 miles east-southeast of St. Maarten.
Tropical Storm Watches were in effect for Puerto Rico, Vieques and Culebra, the US Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Saba and St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy, Antigua & Barbuda, St. Kitts & Nevis, and Anguilla.
The centre of the poorly organised depression was located near latitude 17.3 North, longitude 56.4 West at 11:00pm. The system was moving toward the west-northwest near 22 miles per hour (mph) (33 kilometres per hour (km/h)), and this motion is expected to continue for the next few days.
On the forecast track, the depression should move near or north of the northern islands by late Friday, with the centre expected to pass about 50 miles north of St. Maarten late Friday into Saturday.
Maximum sustained winds were near 35mph (55km/h) with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is forecast, and the depression is expected to become a tropical storm on Friday.
The estimated minimum central pressure based on US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hurricane Hunter data was 1,008 millibars (29.77 inches).
The depression is expected to produce one to three inches of rain with isolated maximum totals of five inches over the northern islands. This rainfall could result in flooding in low-lying areas and rock falls. Some of this rainfall may be heavy at times and may be accompanied by thunderstorms, according to MDS.
Windy conditions are expected over the local area increasing to tropical-storm-force gusts by late Friday.
Rough seas can be expected by Saturday with swells up to 10 feet. A small craft advisory will be issued this (Friday) morning.
Residents in areas prone to flooding or near the coast should finalise preparations to protect life and property.
Bron: Daily Herald