August 2, 20121215Views

Tropical Depression Five has been upgraded to
Tropical Storm Ernesto and is located at 13.0N/56.6W or about 490 miles East of
St. Lucia with movement toward the West at 18mph. 

Model guidance remains relatively
tightly-clustered on a west to west-northwest track for the next 5 days. This
would take the center near St. Lucia around noon on Friday and about 100 miles
south of Jamaica on Monday morning.

There are some indications that high pressure to
its north will weaken by Monday, allowing for a gradual northwesterly turn
toward the Southern Gulf next Tuesday or Wednesday.

Moderate westerly wind shear continues to impact
the northern half of the depression this morning. This wind shear should
continue for another 12-24 hours, preventing much significant strengthening
prior to the center reaching the Caribbean. Once in the Eastern Caribbean,
conditions aloft become favorable for strengthening. According to Forecasters,
the depression will probably become a weak tropical storm by the time it passes
St. Lucia on Friday, and quite possibly a hurricane by the time it is passing
southwest of Jamaica early next week.

Heavy squalls will begin impacting the Eastern
Caribbean region on Friday morning and continue through Friday evening. These
squalls may spread northwestward to the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and
Puerto Rico on Saturday, though the heaviest squalls should remain south of
Puerto Rico and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. Expect wind gusts to 50
mph in heavier squalls, along with heavy rainfall. These conditions are likely
even if the system does not develop into a tropical storm.

The DDM is monitoring the weather conditions and
will provide updates where necessary. Residents are advised to remain in a high
state of readiness as we are in the third month of the six month hurricane
season. Please visit the DDM’s website at and subscribe for
future updates.

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.