Tropical Storm Ophelia is centered near 14.5N/51.0
W, or about 575 miles east of Barbados. Maximum sustained winds are now near 45
mph with higher wind gusts of up to 60mph. Movement is to the West-Northwest at
13 mph. Ophelia is forecast to move just north of the northern Leeward Islands
by this weekend.
Forecasters have said that Ophelia is a heavily
sheared tropical storm and slow weakening is expected over the next 24 hours.
Ophelia is now expected to weaken to a tropical depression by Saturday morning
and remain weak into Monday. There is a chance that Ophelia could be reduced to
a remnant low in the next 48-72 hours if the shear is stronger than forecast.
If Ophelia survives, conditions may become a bit more favorable for
strengthening late in the forecast period.
Ophelia should track to the west-northwest into the
weekend. As it does so, it will gradually slow, shifting to the northwest on
Monday. On this path, the center should remain to the northeast of the Leeward
Squalls are likely to impact the Leeward Islands
from Sunday evening into Monday. Most of the squalls should remain to the east
of the Virgin Islands, as Ophelia is forecast to be a sheared system with the squalls to the east
of the center.
The outermost squalls are expected to impact the
Northeast Caribbean Sea by Sunday night and could last through Monday. Forecasters
believe that the worst conditions are likely to remain in the Atlantic.
All residents should continue to monitor the
progress of Ophelia and make necessary preparations. The Department of Disaster
Management will continue to monitor the storm and provide updates when
necessary. Please visit the Department of Disaster Management’s website at
www.bviddm.com and subscribe to the notification link.
Department of Disaster Management (DDM) is not an official Meteorological
Office. The Information disseminated by the Department is gathered from a
number of professional sources used or contracted by the DDM to provide such
information. This information is to be used as a guide by anyone who has
interest in local weather conditions. By no means can the DDM or the BVI
Government be held accountable by anyone who uses this information
appropriately for legal evidence or in justification of any decision which may
result in the loss of finances, property or life.