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Tropical Storm Maria forecast to begin affecting SVG Sunday night

Tropical Storm Maria forecast to begin affecting SVG Sunday night

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St. Vincent and the Grenadines remains under a Tropical Storm Watch. A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are likely to affect the island…..in this case in the next 48 hours.

According to latest update from the St. Vincent and The Grenadines Meteorological Services, Tropical Depression # 15 was upgraded to Tropical Storm Maria. At 5.00 pm, the centre of Tropical Storm Maria was located near 12.3°N 52.6°W or about 580 miles (935km) to the East- Southeast of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Tropical Storm Maria is moving west at 20mph (32 km/h) and a slower west- northwest motion is expected during the next 24 hours. Maximum sustained winds have increased to 50mph (80 km/h) with higher gust. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 45miles (75km) from the centre. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1002 millibars…29.59 inches.

On its present track, the centre is forecast to pass north of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on Monday. Instability is forecast to begin affecting Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Sunday night into early Monday, resulting in an increase in cloudiness with moderate to heavy showers, periods of rain, thunderstorms and occasionally gusty winds. Feeder bands are forecast to continue affecting the islands Tuesday into Wednesday. Rainfall accumulations up to 8 inches (200mm) are possible with the passage

As the system approaches, light variable winds are anticipated for Sunday increasing in strength by Monday with gale force winds of approximately 45mph (74km/h) now possible. Strong westerly to south-westerly winds on Tuesday and Wednesday as the system moves away from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. In addition, deterioration in sea conditions by Sunday afternoon with swells peaking to 4 – 6meters (13ft -20 ft) by Monday is likely. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

The National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) urges the public to be vigilant and increase preparedness. Residents living in areas prone to flooding, landslide and storm surge are asked to be vigilant and prepare to evacuate at short notice. Sea bathers and other users of the sea are advised to stay out of the water and boat operators are asked to secure their boats Sea bathers and other users of the sea are advised to stay out of the water during the passage of Maria. A high- surf advisory and small craft warning is in effect as of 6:00 pm today, Saturday 16th 2017.

The National Emergency Management Organisation is also appealing to all persons to pay attention to the information from the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Meteorological Services and to ensure that they are prepared at all times.

-END-

Preparedness Tips

• Trim or cut all overhanging trees and branches

• Clean or clear all drains around your house

• Ensure that your roof is securely fastened

• Ensure that you have emergency supplies

• Have extra clean containers available to store water

• Know where the nearest Emergency Shelter is located

• Ensure that you have a plan for your family in the event of an emergency.

This information will be updated at 8:00 pm tonight. The Saint Vincent Meteorological Office will continue to monitor this system.

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