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Showers & Thunderstorms Possible As Tropical Wave Moves Closer

Tropical wave (disturbance1/Invest 99L) moves closer to the Northern Leeward Islands with a possibility of showers and thunderstorms affecting the BVI today.

A large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms located a few hundred miles east of the Leeward Islands is associated with a tropical wave (disturbance1/invest 99L). The Antigua Met Service has indicated that there is a possibility that these showers and thunderstorms may begin to affect the Territory today.  The BVI Department of Disaster Management (BVI DDM) continues to monitor Invest 99L which is just a few hundred miles east of the Territory.  The system is still a wave but has a fifty percent chance of developing further before it reaches the Virgin Islands.  Therefore, residents should continue to monitor the wave/disturbance closely.

Regardless of development, Forecasters think the potential for gusty winds and heavy rainfall is possible. Forecasters also believe that during the passing of Invest 99L rainfall amounts in excess 1 – 3 inches may be possible or even higher amounts in areas with heavy downpours. Residents should also be mindful that if conditions are conducive and we were to experience excessive rainfall, watches and warnings can be activated at very short notice.

Environmental conditions are also somewhat conducive for development of Invest 99L during the next couple of days while it moves west-northwestward at 15 to 20 mph near the northern Leeward Island and the Greater Antilles.  Large-scale conditions could become more conducive later this week while the system moves near Hispaniola and then the southeastern and central Bahamas. An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate this disturbance this morning.

Meantime, Fiona has been downgraded to a depression. At 500 AM, the centre of Tropical Depression Fiona was located near latitude 25.8 North, longitude 63.4 West. The depression is moving toward the west-northwest near 13 mph and a gradual turn toward the northwest with a decrease in forward speed is expected over the next 48 hours. Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph with higher gusts. Fiona is expected to become a remnant low within the next couple of days.

At 5:00 a.m., the centre of Tropical Storm Gaston, the seventh named storm for the Atlantic Hurricane Season, was located near latitude 13.2 North, longitude 32.4 West. Gaston is moving toward the west-northwest near 20 mph and this general motion with a slight decrease in forward speed is expected during the next couple of days. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 50 mph higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast, and Gaston is expected to become a hurricane by Wednesday. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the centre. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1004 mb (millibars).