C’bean urged to closely monitor depression that could become hurricane by next week

Caribbean countries, particularly those in the Windward Islands, are asked to closely monitor the passage of a tropical depression that is expected to become a hurricane by early next week.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said that the Tropical Depression Nine was located 1,720 miles east of the Windward Islands – Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines – with maximum sustained winds of 35 miles per hour.

September is usually the most watched month of the hurricane season in the Atlantic with several Caribbean countries, including Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, the British Virgin islands, still recovering from the passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria last September that caused widespread death and destruction.

The NHC said that while there are no coastal watches or waning in effect to date, the depression is expected to become a tropical storm as it moves over the Eastern Tropical Atlantic on Saturday.

“The depression is moving toward the west-northwest near five mph. A turn toward the west is expected later today, and that general motion at a slightly faster forward speed is forecast to continue through the weekend and into early next week.

“Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is forecast during the next few days, and the depression is expected to become a tropical storm later today and a hurricane by early next week,” the NHC warned.