Jamaica and parts of the Dominican Republic are under tropical storm watch this Thursday due to the advance of Elsa through Caribbean waters, a system that could experience “additional strengthening” in the next 48 hours, reported the National Hurricane Center (NHC , for its acronym in English) of the USA.
Elsa, the fifth tropical storm of the year in the Atlantic basin , is moving rapidly towards the Lesser Antilles and is located about 345 miles (560 km) east-southeast of Barbados and about 460 miles (735 km) east-southeast of San Vicente, indicated the NHC in its bulletin of 20.00 hours (00.00 GMT).
A tropical storm watch (pass in 36 hours) has been issued for the southern coast of the Dominican Republic, from the border with Haiti to Punta Palenque, and for Jamaica. A tropical storm watch remains for Barbados, Martinique, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
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The system is moving to the west northwest, has maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour (75 km / h), and is moving rapidly at a speed of 28 miles per hour (44 km / h).
According to NHC projections, Elsa will pass near or over portions of the Windward Islands on Friday or through the southern Leeward Islands (the southern islands of the Lesser Antilles), to then advance towards the east of the Caribbean Sea and on Saturday locate near the southern coast of Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti). Early on Sunday, the storm will move near parts of eastern Cuba, meteorologists noted.
According to a probable trajectory pattern, both Cuba and South Florida could fall within their radius of action , which would mean an added problem for the search and rescue efforts of the victims of the partial collapse of an apartment building in Surfside ( Miami-Dade), where at least 18 people have died and there are more than 145 missing. In addition to wind, the system will produce total rainfall of 3 to 6 inches (76 to 152 millimeters) with maximum totals of 10 inches (250 mm) on Friday across Windward and the southern Leeward Islands, including Barbados. This rainfall can lead to isolated flash floods and landslides.