Showers, thunderstorms, gusty winds expected as Laura passes near Jamaica
The Meteorological Service of Jamaica continues to monitor conditions associated with Tropical Storm Laura very closely, as the storm now dumps heavy rains on the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
CMC reports that the storm began dumping rains over the two countries, which, together, form the isle of Hispaniola, late yesterday evening.
In Haiti, it is estimated that up to 2 million people could be affected. The General Directorate of Civil Protection has activated the National Risk and Disaster Management Plan.
In the neighbouring Dominican Republic, the centre of the storm made landfall in the province of San Pedro de Macorís, in the east of the country.
According to the Miami-based National Hurricane Centre (NHC), at 8 a.m. (local time), the centre of Tropical Storm Laura was located near latitude 19.1 North, longitude 72.1 West.
Laura is moving towards the west-northwest near 18 miles per hour, and this general motion is expected over the next few days.
Based on the forecast track, the centre of Laura is moving across Hispaniola this morning and will be near or over Cuba by tonight into Monday. It will reach the southeastern Gulf of Mexico Monday night or Tuesday.
The Met Office says as it passes close by, Jamaica should expect periods of showers, thunderstorms and gusty winds over the island today and tomorrow.
Maximum sustained winds are near 45 miles per hour with higher gusts and no significant change in strength is forecast during the next 36 to 48 hours, as Laura moves over or near Hispaniola and Cuba.
Strengthening is expected, as Laura moves into the Gulf of Mexico.
Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles from the centre, the CMC reports.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands and sections of Cuba.
A Tropical Storm Watch is also in effect for other sections of The Bahamas and the Florida Keys.
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