29th August 2010 – At 8pm, the center of Hurricane Earl was located near Latitude 17.6 North/Longitude 60.3 West or approximately 271 miles east of the Virgin Islands. It is moving west-northwest near 14 mph, with maximum sustained winds near 85 mph with higher gusts. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 175 miles. The latest minimum central pressure is 972 MB.
A Hurricane Warning is now in effect for the British Virgin Islands.
A hurricane warning means that hurricane conditions are expected within the warning area in 36 hour. At this time, tropical-storm-force winds make outside preparations difficult or dangerous. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.
On the forecast track, the center of Earl will pass very near the Virgin Islands tonight and Monday. This Category One hurricane is expected to strengthen during the next 48 hours, and is further forecast to become a powerful Category 3 hurricane by Monday. Anegada is expected to experience the strongest effects from the system with hurricane force winds when Earl makes its closest approach, carrying winds that are expected to near 115 mph.
Beginning late tonight and into Monday tropical storm force winds will begin to spread across the British Virgin Islands followed by rapidly deteriorating conditions exposing the Territory to hurricane force winds.
Storm surge is expected to raise water levels as much as 2-4 feet above ground level near the coast line. The surge will be accompanied by large, dangerously battering waves. Earl is expected to produce rainfall accumulations of 3-5 inches over the northern Leeward Islands with isolated amounts that can cause which could cause life threatening flash flood and landslides. Outer rain bands and squalls have already begun to affect the islands of Antigua and Barbuda.
All preparations should have been completed by now.
The National Emergency Operations Center was formally activated by His Excellency the Governor at 5pm today following an emergency meeting with all Essential Services. Weather releases and advisories will continue to be posted and broadcast throughout the passage of Earl. Please visit the Department of Disaster Management’s website at www.bviddm.com for continuously updated information. In the event that persons wish to contact DDM officers, they can do so by calling the following numbers 468-4200, 468-9121, 468-9416, 468-9854 and 468-9665.