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Thursday, October 11, 2012


The National Hurricane Center is reporting a broad area of low pressure associated with a tropical wave located about 350 miles east-southeast of the Windward Islands. 

Satellite imagery shows shower and thunderstorm activity has increased a little near the low during the last few hours. Environmental conditions appear conducive for gradual development of this large disturbance over the next couple of days and up to 8 am Thursday, the experts predicted that system had a 50% chance of becoming a tropical depression or tropical storm during the next 48 hours.  

It is moving to the west-northwest at 10-15 mph and forecasters have predicted that it should be between Dominica and Martinique by Friday night if this current motion and speed continue.

Although wind gusts are reported to be approaching tropical storm force, the system is not fully organized yet with its "wind field and thunderstorms totally wrapped about its low-level center". Further organization is however expected and the system is likely to become a depression (or storm) over the next couple of days.

If this should happen, it will be named Patty or Raphael. Eventually, this system should take a more northward turn early next week away from the Caribbean and could possibly threaten Bermuda late next week.

It is possible for the system to bring strong gusty winds and heavy rainfall across portions of the Lesser Antilles during the next couple of days.

St. Lucia and the rest of the OECS should keep a close watch, because this system has some shared characteristics with its predecessor, Tomas. 

Firstly, satellite imagery shows the system covers a very wide area estimated 500 mile-diameter (51 - 58 degrees W).

Secondly, it has slowed down from 15-20 mph at 10-15 mph, suggesting it may (like Tomas) spend “some time” with us. 

The forecast predicts that the system will bring gusty winds and the potential for very heavy rainfall should not be ruled out.

Persons living on hillsides and low-lying areas prone to flooding and landslides should take extra precaution especially as the ground is approaching saturation point with rainfall.

Residents of Soufriere, Fond St. Jacques and Saltibus in particular should continue to monitor and pay close attention to the development of this system.

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