MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Tropical Storm watch was issued for the Florida Keys on Saturday afternoon, as Tropical Storm Laura headed for the Dominican Republic.

The storm continued to dump heavy rain on parts of Puerto Rico.

At 5 p.m. Saturday, Laura was about 125 miles east southeast of Santo Domingo. It had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and headed west at 18 mph.

On the forecast track, Laura is expected near the northern coast of Hispaniola late Saturday and early Sunday.

Slow strengthening is expected during the next few days.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205 miles to the north of the center.

Late Saturday, officials announced Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks would temporarily close in preparation for Tropical Storm Laura.


A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Puerto Rico, Vieques and Culebra
* U.S. Virgin Islands
* The northern coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to the border with Haiti
* The southern coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to Punta Palenque
* The northern coast of Haiti from Le Mole St. Nicholas to the border with the Dominican Republic
* The southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands
* Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Las Tunas, Holguin, Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba, and Granma

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
* The central Bahamas
* Andros Island
* Florida Keys from Ocean Reef to Key West and the Dry Tortugas
* Florida Bay

Tropical storm conditions are expected within portions of the warning area later on Friday through Saturday. Tropical storm conditions are possible within portions of the watch area Saturday night and early Sunday.

Laura is expected to produce 3 to 6 inches of rain over Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, and the southern Haitian Peninsula through Sunday. Maximum amounts up to 8 inches are possible along eastern portions and the southern slopes of Puerto Rico, as well as over Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Locally heavy rainfall could lead to flash and urban flooding, as well as an increased potential for mudslides.