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Tuesday 12 December 2017

Lesser Antilles on new hurricane watch

Pedestrians walk through the streets of downtown Philipsburg in St Maarten on Saturday, one week after Hurricane Irma devastated the island.

Tropical Storm Maria was upgraded to a hurricane on Sunday. She follows in the wake of Irma, Jose and Lee, who has been downgraded to a tropical depression and poses no immediate danger.

According to the Trinidad and Tobago Metorological Office, Maria was moving west-north west at 24 kilometres per hour.

Meteorologist Anton Wiltshire said Dominica was under a hurricane warning rather than a hurricane watch while St Lucia was under a tropical storm warning.

TS Maria is expected to be passing over Dominica and Guadeloupe, but because of the size of Maria she could affect other islands north of Dominica as well as south as far as St Vincent. He said TT would not be directly affected by Maria, but there was the possibility that we could be affected with instability associated with the passage of storm.

He explained that instability in the atmosphere could generate showers and thunder showers.

No more storms have been forcecasted after Maria, at least for now, which would be a relief after several islands were devastated after the passage of Irma and Jose, especially Antigua and Barbuda, St Martin and also the Florida Keys.

Barbuda was declared 95 per cent demolished as most of the buildings were destroyed. A hurricane warning is in effect for Dominica, while a hurricane watch was upgraded for Antigua, Barbuda, St Kitts, Monsterrat, Guadeloupe, Saba, St Eustatius, St Maarten, St Martin, St Barthelmy and Anguilla.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for St Lucia while a tropical strom watch is on for Martinique, Barbados, St Vincent and the Grenadines. Asked about the tremendous heat TT has been experiencing these past few days, Wiltshire attributed this to TS Maria.

“She would be drawing a lot moisture into her and as she draws that moisture she is going to pull that moisture from over us and most of the islands that are south of her right now”, he said.

Before 10 am yesterday, the Met Office had registered 34.6 degrees Celsius.


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