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The Tropics are heating up

Front Pages 30 Jun, 2022 Follow News

The Tropics are heating up


What could possibly be the first hurricane for this year continues an unusual track in the far southern Caribbean islands moving westward toward the coasts of Venezuela and Colombia.

It was expected to be declared a tropical cyclone by midweek as it moves closer to Trinidad and Tobago before being upgraded to hurricane strength and named Bonnie.

The system is forecast to make landfall in Central America but is also expected to bring severe storm conditions to Trinidad and Tobago which is normally not in the path of these storms.

The US National Hurricane Centre reports that conditions appear conducive for development if the disturbance remains over water, and it will likely become a tropical storm near the southern Windward Islands or while moving westward across the southern Caribbean Sea.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 1009 millibars and the maximum sustained wind speed is 35 knots with gusts to 45 knots.

On the forecast track, the system was expected pass near or over portions of the southern Windward Islands and move over the southern Caribbean Sea or near the northern coast of Venezuela and the northeast coast of Colombia.

The southern Dutch Caribbean islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao are in the storm’s path and are preparing for an onslaught of severe weather quite unlike what they would normally experience.

The NHC also advises that regardless of development, locally heavy rainfall is possible over the Windward Islands and the northeastern coast of Venezuela Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Tropical storm warnings have been issued for parts of the Caribbean. The NHC says this is a procedure that allows it to issue advisories, watches and warnings for a system that hasn’t yet developed but poses a threat of tropical-storm-force or hurricane-force winds to land areas within 48 hours.

The latest watches and warnings are shown stretch from northern Columbia to the Windward Islands and northern Venezuela to Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. These areas should see bands of potentially flooding rainfall and strong wind gusts from this system as it tracks through over the next couple of days.

For what is expected to be another busy hurricane season, there’s already been one early storm.

Alex started as a tropical depression early this month in the Gulf of Mexico and grew into a tropical storm. It churned north-northeast into the Atlantic Ocean and brought storm conditions to Bermuda although it turned out to be less severe than initially feared.

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