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Tropical Storm Watch remains in effect - Fishers should prepare to evacuate cays and banks

Published:Sunday | October 28, 2007 | 12:36 PM

The Meteorological Service has continued the Tropical Storm Watch for Jamaica as the developing Tropical Depression #16 moves closer to the island. This means that tropical storm conditions pose a possible threat within 36 hours.

At 10:00 a.m. the centre of Tropical Depression Number 16 was located near Latitude 16.5 degrees North, Longitude 72.5 degrees West. This is about 235 kilometres (145 miles) south of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, or 420 kilometres (260 miles) east-southeast of Morant Point, Jamaica.

The tropical depression is moving towards the west-northwest near 10 km/h (6 mph) and this general motion is expected to continue during the next 24 hours.

Maximum sustained winds are near 55 km/h (35 mph), with higher gusts, and the depression is likely to become a tropical storm later today.

The current projection is for Tropical Depression #16 to pass over the waters between the western Haitian Peninsula and Jamaica by early Monday morning before continuing north of Jamaica towards central Cuba later in the day. It is, however, expected to produce an increase in rainfall over Jamaica, starting tonight, as well as gusty winds and above-normal waves, especially along the eastern and northern coastline.

Fishers on the cays and banks are strongly advised to commence preparations and be on the alert to evacuate at short notice, should it become necessary. Sea conditions are expected to deteriorate in showers, thunderstorms and strong northeasterly winds as the tropical depression draws closer to the east coast.

The Meteorological Service will continue to monitor the progress of this system and all interests, especially small craft operators, should pay special attention to subsequent Releases.

The next Bulletin on Tropical Depression #16 will be issued at 2:00 p.m.