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Tropical Storm warning likely to be lifted today as threat of Hurricane Matthew diminishes

Published:Tuesday | October 4, 2016 | 10:00 AM

The Meteorological Service is likely to lift the Tropical Storm warning for Jamaica today as the threat posed by Hurricane Matthew continues to diminish.

Matthew, a powerful category four hurricane is about 215 kilometres (135 miles) east of Morant Point, Jamaica or 15 kilometres (10 miles) east of Tiburon, Haiti.

The Met Service says given the current proximity of tropical storm-force winds to the island, the warning remains in effect at this time as tropical storm conditions, including possible sustained wind speeds of 63-118 km/h (39-73 mph), are expected to affect Jamaica in 36 hours or less.

Matthew is moving toward the north near 15 km/h (9 mph) and this general motion is expected to continue today.

The Met Service says a turn toward the north-northwest is expected by Wednesday, followed by a northwest turn Wednesday night.

On this track, the eye of Matthew will be back over water in the Gulf of Gonave this morning and then move over the Windward Passage.

The eye of Matthew will move near eastern Cuba later today, before going over portions of southeastern and central Bahamas tonight and Wednesday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 230 km/h (145 mph), with higher gusts.

Some fluctuations in intensity are possible during the next couple of days, but Matthew is expected to remain a powerful hurricane through at least Wednesday night.

However, as Matthew continues to move northward, the risk of tropical storm-force winds affecting eastern parishes will diminish.

Doppler radar indicates that mainly scattered, light to moderate showers are continuing over sections of eastern parishes.

Heavier rainfall has been detected over offshore waters east of the island. As a result, severe flooding is less likely today.