Caribbean Tropical Storm Threatens Islands with Heavy Rain, Winds, and Flooding Risk

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Alerts for Caribbean tropical storm watches have been raised for Jamaica, Haiti, and segments of Cuba as the system draws closer.

Caribbean Tropical Storm Threatens Islands with Heavy Rain, Winds, and Flooding Risk
Caribbean Tropical Storm Threatens Islands with Heavy Rain, Winds, and Flooding Risk ( Photo: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration )

A Caribbean tropical storm looms over the region, poised to unleash heavy rain and powerful winds across various islands in the coming days, the National Hurricane Center cautioned in its Friday morning update

Yet, despite its trajectory, this system currently designated as Potential Tropical Cyclone 22 is not anticipated to intensify into a formally named Caribbean tropical storm, according to experts at the center. They’ve assigned it a mere 40% probability of gaining strength.

Presently, this disorganized Caribbean tropical storm hovers approximately 200 miles west-southwest of Kingston, Jamaica, steadily moving northeast at 10 mph. Projections suggest an acceleration in its pace over the weekend. With sustained winds clocked at 35 mph and higher gusts, its development into Tropical Storm Vince remains uncertain.

Forecasts predict the system’s path to traverse Jamaica later today, southeastern Cuba by early Saturday, and the southeastern Bahamas along with the Turks and Caicos Islands on Saturday. Despite diminished prospects of cyclone formation, the specter of heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding persists as a significant hazard.

This looming threat translates into anticipated rainfall ranging from 4 to 8 inches, potentially reaching a maximum of 16 inches in select zones of Jamaica, southeast Cuba, and southern Hispaniola by Sunday

The combination of copious rainfall and the topography of larger Caribbean islands heightens the risk of perilous flash floods and landslides, as highlighted by AccuWeather. Moreover, beyond heavy downpours, the system is expected to usher in strong winds, storm surges, and turbulent seas across multiple Caribbean islands throughout the weekend. Coastal regions may witness minor flooding due to onshore winds, primarily in the southeastern coasts of Cuba, the southeastern Bahamas, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The hurricane center underlines the potential dangers of rough surf, cautioning about life-threatening surf and rip currents along portions of Jamaica, Haiti, and southeastern Cuba in the ensuing day or so.

However, relief may be in sight for the United States, as steering winds and a forthcoming cold front are poised to redirect the system into the Atlantic by the weekend’s end or early next week. Even in the event of its development and continuity, AccuWeather’s meteorologist Alex DaSilva assures that the system is unlikely to impact the United States.


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