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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Tropical Storm Harvey is nearing the Windward Islands Thursday night.

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At 11 p.m., the center of the system was about 140 miles east of Barbados.

Harvey is moving toward the west near 18 mph, and a continued westward motion with a slight increase in forward speed is expected over the next couple of days.

On the forecast track, Harvey should move through the Windward Islands and into the eastern Caribbean Sea on Friday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph with higher gusts. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the center.

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Slow strengthening is possible during the next 48 hours.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • Martinique
  • St. Lucia
  • Barbados
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:

  • Dominica

Tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach the Lesser Antilles within the warning area by early Friday, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the watch area on Friday.

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Harvey is expected to produce rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches across portions of the Windward Islands from Martinique southward to Grenada. These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.