Tropical Storm Sandy 5-day forecast track. NHC/NOAA graphic
By Caribbean News Now contributor
MIAMI, USA -- Tropical Storm Sandy developed south of Jamaica on Monday, becoming the 18th named storm of the 2012 Atlantic season. A tropical storm watch is in effect for Jamaica and Haiti.
According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, at 5:00 pm EDT on Monday, the centre of sandy was nearly stationary about 395 miles south-southwest of Kingston, Jamaica, but movement toward the north and north-northeast is expected during the next couple of days.
On the forecast track, the centre will be near or over Jamaica on Wednesday.
Reports from an Air Force hurricane hunter plane indicate that the maximum sustained winds have increased to near 40 mph, with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours and Sandy could be near hurricane strength when it approaches Jamaica.
A hurricane watch and/or a tropical storm warning could be required for Jamaica on Monday night. Interests in eastern Cuba and The Bahamas should monitor the progress of Sandy.
Tropical storm conditions are possible in Jamaica by Tuesday night and are possible in Haiti by early Wednesday.
Sandy is expected to produce total rainfall amounts of 5 to 10 inches across Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and eastern Cuba, with isolated maximum amounts of 16 inches possible, especially in areas of mountainous terrain. These rains may produce life threatening flash floods and mudslides.