Wednesday 12noon Alert from Antigua & Barbuda Met Office
A tropical cyclone alert is in effect for the Leeward Islands and the British Virgin Islands. A tropical cyclone alert means that, in this case, a tropical cyclone is in the area of concern with the potential to become a major hurricane, but no watches or warnings are necessary at this time.
Most forecast models continue to maintain that the centre will likely pass a relatively safe distance North of the northern leeward islands; however, residents are still advised to stay vigilant and monitor the progress of this cyclone closely.
At 11 am, the centre of Tropical Storm Lee was located near Latitude 14.1 North, Longitude 45.5 West or about miles 1100 East-Southeast of the Leeward Islands or about 1300 miles East-Southeast of the British Virgin Islands. The storm is moving West-Northwest near 14 mph and this motion is expected to continue for the next few days with a slight reduction in forward speed.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 70 mph with higher gusts. Continued steady to rapid strengthening is forecast, and Lee is expected to become a hurricane later today and a major hurricane in a couple of days.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the centre.
The estimated minimum central pressure is 994 mb.
On its forecast track, Tropical Storm Lee could be near the Leeward Islands late Friday or Saturday as a major tropical cyclone, and it is likely that the islands will be impacted by hazardous seas. Other impacts which include the possibility of storm winds and heavy rains will highly depend on the proximity of the cyclone’s path, its size and intensity which would become clearer in time.
Note that there are no watches or warnings in effect at this time. However, residents should continue to closely monitor Tropical Storm Lee and ensure that they have their hurricane season plans prepared.
The next update will be issued shortly after 5 pm.