As of 11AM Sub-Tropical Storm Otto has been re-categorized as Tropical Storm Otto and was located near 23.8N/68.0W, or about 620 miles south-southwest of Bermuda. Otto is moving slowly to the northeast. Maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph. Otto has made the transition to a fully tropical system with thunderstorm activity more concentrated near the center. Rain bands associated with Otto continue to move through the eastern Caribbean region.
Otto is expected to accelerate to the northeast this evening. It should maintain a northeast heading across the Atlantic Ocean. As it moves away, squalls that trail south of the storm across the islands of the eastern Caribbean will begin to diminish.
Now that Otto has become a fully tropical weather system, it has a greater chance of becoming a hurricane on Friday. By Saturday, Otto should begin to weaken as it accelerates out to sea.
Although Otto’s center will remain well-away from any land areas, a large band of squalls extends from the eastern half of Otto out to 500-600 miles south and east of the center. These squalls are impacting the islands of the northeastern Caribbean Sea. Additional heavy rainfall is expected across the islands of the northeast Caribbean today through Friday morning. By Friday afternoon, squalls across the northeast Caribbean should be diminishing as Otto begins to accelerate out to sea to the northeast. Some scattered showers could linger into Saturday. In addition to the flooding, mudslides are also possible.
While many of the roads experienced mudslides and flooding, the Public Works Department has started clearing the main roads. Public and private schools remain closed today.
Additional periods of heavy rain and thunderstorms will still be possible during today. DDM weather station in the Road Town area has collected 17.4 inches of rain since 5th October 2010.
Residents and visitors are reminded to continue to EXERCISE EXTREME CAUTION as some roads have become impassable or dangerous to drive on. However, if driving becomes necessary, please be extremely careful when doing so.
DDM will continue to monitor this system and provide releases as necessary. Please visit the Department of Disaster Management’s website at www.bviddm.com for continuously updated information.
Disclaimer: The 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.