MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Tropical Storm warnings are up for the Southern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos, while a hurricane watch has been issued for the central Bahamas, as Tropical Storm Irene continues its westward trek toward a possible encounter with South Florida.
At 11 p.m. Sunday., the storm was about 50 miles SE of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and it was moving to the West-Northwest at 15 m.p.h., gradually showing as forecasters predicted.
Tropical Storm Irene’s maximum sustained winds have increased to 60 m/p.h. as of the latest advisory, and tropical storm force winds extend 150 miles from the center.
WARNINGS AND WATCHES
The following watches and warnings have been issued:
- TROPICAL STORM WARNING for the Southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos
- HURRICANE WATCH for the Central Bahamas
- HURRICANE WARNING for Puerto Rico, Vieques and Culebra (National Hurricane Center)
- HURRICANE WATCH/TROPICAL STORM WARNING for U.S. Virgin Islands (National Hurricane Center)
- HURRICANE WARNING for the entire coastline of the Dominican Republic (Govt. of Dominican Republic)
- TROPICAL STORM WARNING for British Virgin Islands (Govt. of Antigua)
- TROPICAL STORM WARNING for Haiti (Haitian Government)
The Leeward Islands were the first to suffer the wind and rain caused by the ninth named storm of this year’s hurricane season. Irene formed early Saturday evening east of the leeward islands and the current 5-day forecast track places it off the coast of South Florida by next Thursday.
The National Hurricane Center says Irene could become a hurricane Monday, though its power was predicted to fluctuate over the next several days as it moves over the Dominican Republican and possibly Cuba.
No watches or warnings have been posted for South Florida, but the 5 day forecast issues by the National Weather service shows Irene passing near Puerto Rico late Sunday or early Monday and near or over the Dominican Republic on Monday.
While the forecast could change considerably over the next 5 days, it’s a good time to review your hurricane plan if you’ve not yet done so, check on hurricane supplies on-hand, and keep a watchful eye on Irene’s progress.