- Tropical Storm Grace will approach the northern Lesser Antilles tonight.
- It will bring gusty winds and rain to many of the Caribbean islands.
- Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are under a tropical storm warning.
The system could follow Fred’s path near the Greater Antilles into next week. Tropical storm warnings have been issued in the eastern Caribbean. Florida is in the cone of uncertainty.
Current Watches and Warnings
New this morning: tropical storm warnings have been hoisted for Puerto Rico (including Vieques and Culebra) and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and also for the British Virgin Islands.
Tropical storm warnings have been issued for Anguilla, St.Martin, and St. Barthelemy, Sint Maarten, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat and Saba and Sint Eustatius.
Latest Information and Forecast
Grace will quickly move westward or west-northwestward at 15 to 25 mph through the weekend. That speed is expected to decrease early next week.
The system will near the Leeward Islands late Saturday and approach the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Sunday.
Gusty winds, rounds of rain and choppy seas are expected as the system passes through the islands into the Caribbean or parallels the northernmost islands of the Lesser Antilles in the Atlantic.
Rainfall totals of 3 to 6 inches are expected there this weekend, which may lead to flash flooding.
There is some uncertainty on how strong this system could get over the next week and its path.
By early next week, interaction with Hispaniola and/or Cuba are expected to have at least some impact on Grace’s strength.
The “G” tropical storm has formed on average (1966-2009) around Sept. 16, but has formed significantly earlier than that in the last decade.
The peak of hurricane season is in the second week of September.
Will This System Follow Fred and Elsa?
If this track sounds familiar, it’s because the last two storms have taken similar tracks.
Hurricane Elsa in July and Fred, which is currently nearing Florida, have tracked through the northern Caribbean.
This track is a common one. Tropical waves frequently track westward through the “Main Development Region,” a stretch of the southern Atlantic between Africa and the Caribbean.
Both Elsa and Fred formed from tropical waves and made the voyage across the Atlantic as tropical waves.
Grace is forming the same way but may push westward on a slightly more northern track toward the Caribbean.
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