JUST IN: Tropical Storm Watch issued for Jamaica, fishers urged to evacuate cays
The Meteorological Service has now issued a Tropical Storm Watch for Jamaica as a strong Tropical Wave over the central Caribbean continues to move closer to the island and shows signs of developing into a tropical storm.
This means that tropical storm conditions pose a possible threat to Jamaica within 48 hours.
Fishers on the cays and banks are strongly advised to evacuate immediately and start returning to the mainland.
Other small craft operators in Jamaican coastal waters are urged to return to port and those in port are advised not to venture out.
The Met Service says as the Tropical Wave moves into the western Caribbean Sea, heavy rains, thunderstorms and gusty winds are expected to reach Jamaica later today.
Flash flooding is, therefore, likely to spread across the island tonight and Tuesday, especially over low-lying areas of southern parishes.
The Met Service also says although a closed circulation has not yet been confirmed, the large area of heavy showers and thunderstorms associated with the tropical wave now spans a distance of over 500 kilometres (300 miles) and is located just south of Hispaniola and the Mona Passage.
Reliable estimations indicate that tropical-storm-force winds are already occurring on the northern and eastern areas of the large disturbance and it is expected to be classified as a tropical storm later today.
Next update by 11.30 am