Tropical storm Grace was expected to pass well to the north of Cayman in the coming days but could trigger heavy rainfall and rough seas locally.
If it continues on its present track as expected, the weather system is expected to cross the southern tip of Puerto Rico during Monday, making its way across Santo Domingo and Haiti through Tuesday before skirting south-east Cuba.
However, weather experts at the US National Hurricane Centre and various other storm trackers are uncertain about the future of Grace.
While storm warnings have been scaled down or discontinued for parts of the Eastern Caribbean as Grace made her way from the Atlantic Ocean into the Caribbean Sea, there is a particular concern for Haiti.
A tropical storm watch is in effect for Haiti, which was slammed by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake on Saturday where the death toll is over 300 and rising. It caused extensive damage to the fragile infrastructure in the area of Les Cayes located southwest of the capital Port Au Prince.
Haiti and the Dominican Republic could be swamped with four to seven inches of rain (locally up 10 inches) adding to the woes of the people of Haiti struggling with the effects of Saturday’s quake.
Between three and six inches of rain (locally up to eight inches) is forecast for in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands through early this week. 10 inches). This rainfall could trigger flash flooding and mudslides.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, where tropical storm conditions are expected on Sunday.
According to the Weather Channel, the long-term forecast path for Grace shows that the system could track into the Gulf of Mexico as a tropical storm later this week. However, it emphasised that this forecast is not set in stone.
It notes that this track is a common one with tropical waves frequently tracking westward through the "Main Development Region," a stretch of the southern Atlantic between Africa and the Caribbean.
Both Elsa and Fred formed from tropical waves and made the voyage across the Atlantic as tropical waves.
In a Sunday morning update on tropical storm Grace, the US National Hurricane Centre(NHC) tagged the storm over the eastern Caribbean Sea
near 16.9N 64.4W or about 50 nm SSE of St. Croix in the United States Virgin Islands.
The storm is moving WNW at 14 knots with an estimated minimum central pressure of 1010 millibars. The maximum sustained wind speed is 35 knots with gusts to 45 knots churning up waves between 9 and 13 feet high.
The NHC's satellite imagery shows that Grace is not a well organized
tropical cyclone. It is forecast to move toward the west-northwest with a
gradual decrease in forward speed during the next several days.
It says some strengthening is expected before Grace reaches Hispaniola(Haiti and the Dominican Republic) on Monday but weakening is forecast as the system crosses the landmass through Monday night.
Little change in strength is expected on Tuesday.
The storm is still expected to bring heavy rainfall and gusty winds early this week, but forecasters say the long-term outlook for later this week remains highly uncertain. They expect Grace to track into the Gulf of Mexico if it remains intact.