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Met Office watches tropical storm

Published:Tuesday | August 18, 2015 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin

Evan Thompson, the head of the weather branch at the Meteorological Service of Jamaica, has indicated that while Jamaicans should be alert, the newly formed tropical storm, Danny, is not a threat to Jamaica at this time.

According to the National Hurricane Center, Danny, which was formed in the eastern Atlantic Ocean about 1,665 miles east of the Windward Islands, could develop into a hurricane today as it moves slowly to west-northwest. This is the first active tropical storm in the Atlantic this season, which runs from June 1 to November 30. Thompson told The Gleaner that the Meteorological Service is watching the developments closely and should be better informed by the end of the week as to the potential danger it poses to the country.

"We have been talking about the area of unstable weather for the past couple of days that developed this morning (yesterday). There is the potential for it to further develop into a tropical storm and possibly even a hurricane over the next couple of days," he said.

"I wouldn't want to encourage anyone to worry, but to be prepared. It could become a threat, but at this time, it is not considered a threat. It's in an area where it could pose a threat, but it is so far away. It's actually 2,500 kilometres from the Lesser Antilles, but anything could happen. While we are not sure how close it will get to Jamaica, the forecast is that it could get pretty close to the Caribbean," he said.

The 2015 Atlantic hurricane season is projected to be one of the least active since the middle of the 20th century. The forecast for this year is for seven named storms compared to the average of 12. Three of the storms are expected to develop into hurricanes.