The Antigua and Barbuda meteorological service continues to closely monitor the progress of tropical disturbance 97L. The system has a 90 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone (i.e. tropical depression, tropical storm or hurricane) in 48 hours.
At 8 am, the centre of the tropical disturbance was located near latitude 13.0 north, longitude 59.0 west or about 430 miles east of the Leeward Islands and 550 miles British Virgin Islands.
The disturbance is moving west to west-northwestward at around 15 mph and is expected to pass over the windward islands later today and over 150 miles south of Antigua.
The disturbance is producing winds of 40 to 45 mph with higher gusts mainly to the north of the centre. It is possible with some strengthening expected that the system could become a depression or a tropical storm later today.
Regardless of whether or not the system becomes a tropical storm before or as it moves through the Windward Islands, some squally conditions (showers, thunderstorms and gusty winds) could spread to the Leeward Islands later today and continuing through Thursday morning. Similar weather could spread to the Virgin Islands on Thursday morning. Possible rainfall total is 12.6 to 50 mm or 0.50 to 2 inches.
For the Leeward Islands and the British Virgin Islands, winds will gradually increase, peaking near 25 mph and gusting to near 40 mph Wednesday evening. Residents should secure light objects. No sustained storm-force winds are expected; thus, no tropical storm watches or warnings are anticipated for the islands.
Seas are deteriorating and are expected to peak to near 10 feet. Hence, marine warnings are in effect; mariners should seek safe anchorage and residents should avoid the beaches.
All residents are urged to monitor the movement of disturbance 97L closely until it is out of the area by Friday morning.