29th October 2010 – 11AM: Tropical Disturbance 67 was located about 460 miles east of Trinidad near 9.4N/54.2W. Movement is to the west-northwest at 15 mph. Maximum sustained winds are 40 mph with gusts to 60 mph. Satellite imagery indicates increasing spiral banding, suggesting that the disturbance may already be a tropical storm. The nearest squalls are now about 140 miles east of Trinidad. A reconnaissance plane is scheduled to investigate the disturbance early this afternoon.
A west-northwest movement is expected for the next 3-4 days. This would take the center just north of Trinidad tomorrow morning and across the southeastern Caribbean Sea to about midway between the coast of Venezuela and the Dominican Republic by next Tuesday. Thereafter, southwesterly winds aloft ahead of an approaching cold front should steer the storm north and northeastward, probably between Jamaica and Puerto Rico next Thursday or Friday and then out to sea to the northeast.
Judging by its appearance on satellite imagery and by ship and buoy reports in the vicinity of the disturbance, forecasters think that the disturbance will most likely be identified as a tropical depression or a tropical storm by this afternoon, possibly before the recon plane arrives. Therefore, forecasters are now estimating its chances of becoming a tropical depression or tropical storm to be 90 percent.
Regardless of whether or not it is named by the National Hurricane Centre, the storm will likely produce very heavy rainfall and gusty wind across the islands of the southeastern Caribbean from early this evening through Sunday morning. Wind gusts could reach as high as 50-60 mph across the islands in heavier squalls. Rainfall amounts of 6-12 inches will be possible from Trinidad north through St. Lucia.
At this time Tropical Disturbance 67 is not a threat to the Virgin Islands however, residence should pay close attention to the movement of this system as long term forecasts suggest it could track very close to Puerto Rico or in the vicinity of the of the local area.
We are still in the hurricane season therefore residents are urged not to become relaxed, but to remain in a state of high alert. Further advisories and information on developing systems in the Atlantic can be found on the Department of Disaster Management’s website at www.bviddm.com.