A tropical storm warning has been issued for much of the Leeward Islands as what is expected to be the ninth named storm of the 2020 hurricane season gains strength and becomes better organized, according to the National Hurricane Center's 2:00 p.m. forecast.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for the following islands: the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Barbados, Dominica, St. Maartin, Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Nevis, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and St. Barthelemy.
A tropical storm watch is in effect for the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to the northern border with Haiti.
A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.
According to N.H.C.'s 2:00 p.m. forecast, the disturbance was centered near latitude 14.1 North, longitude 54.8 West. The system is moving toward the west near 23 mph (37 km/h), and this general motion with some reduction in forward speed is expected over the next few days. On the forecast track, the system is forecast to move through the Leeward Islands on Wednesday, near or over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico Wednesday night, and near or over Hispaniola on Thursday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. Some strengthening is expected during the next 48 hours, and the system is forecast to become a tropical storm tonight or Wednesday. Environmental conditions are expected to be conducive for additional development and a tropical storm is forecast to form tonight or Wednesday.
An Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft is currently investigating the system.
Wind: Tropical storm conditions are expected to reach the Leeward Islands on Wednesday and spread into the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning. These conditions could begin reach portions of the north coast of the Dominican Republic early Thursday.
Rainfall: The potential tropical cyclone will produce total rain accumulation of 3 to 6 inches with maximum amounts of 10 inches across the northern Leeward Islands, British and U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Rainfall accumulations of 2 to 4 inches possible across the Windward Islands. This rainfall may produce life threatening flash flooding and mudslides, as well as potential riverine flooding.