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BULLETIN #10 issued by the Meteorological Service at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 26, 2006.

Published:Saturday | August 26, 2006 | 9:42 PM

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING and A HURRICANE WATCH REMAIN IN EFFECT FOR JAMAICA.



The Meteorological Service has continued its TROPICAL STORM WARNING and HURRICANE WATCH for Jamaica as Tropical Storm Ernesto continues to strengthen and head towards the island. This means that tropical storm conditions, including possible sustained wind speeds of 63-117 km/h (39-73 mph), are expected to affect Jamaica in 24 hours or less, while hurricane conditions now pose a possible threat within 36 hours.



At 7:00 p.m. the centre of Tropical Storm Ernesto was located near Latitude 16.5 degrees North, Longitude 72.2 degrees West. This is about 235 kilometres (145 miles) south-southeast of Port Au Prince, Haiti, or 440 kilometres (275 miles) east-southeast of Morant Point, Jamaica.



Ernesto is moving towards the west-northwest near 22 km/h (14 mph) and this general motion is expected to continue for the next 24 hours. This motion is now projected to bring the centre of the tropical storm between Jamaica and Haiti throughout the day tomorrow.



Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 95 km/h (60 mph), with higher gusts, and additional strengthening is possible during the next 24 hours and Ernesto could be near hurricane strength as it approaches Jamaica Sunday morning.



Tropical storm force winds now extend outward up to 150 kilometres (90 miles) from the centre, and satellite imagery indicates that spiral bands associated with the system now extend as far as 400 km (250 miles) from the centre. Residents should, therefore, expect storm-force winds to spread over the island, along with heavy rainfall and thunderstorms, beginning on Sunday morning. Extensive flash flooding, landslides and above normal tide levels are likely.



All small craft operators including fishers from the cays and banks should by now have completed all the necessary safety precautions and are advised to remain in safe harbour until all warning messages have been lifted and wind and sea conditions have returned to normal.



All interests should pay special attention to subsequent Releases from the Meteorological Service.



The next Bulletin on Tropical Storm Ernesto will be issued at 11:00 p.m. tonight.