A tropical storm watch has been issued for Jamaica, as the weakening Tropical Storm Chantal moves quickly westward and could pass close to the island’s eastern coastline.
This means that tropical storm conditions pose a possible threat to Jamaica within 36 hours. At 10:00 am, the centre of tropical storm Chantal was located about 470 kilometres or 290 miles east south-east of Morant Point, Jamaica or 245 kilometres south south-west of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
The MET office says if Chantal remains a tropical cyclone, a gradual turn toward the northwest is expected tomorrow.
On this forecast track, the centre would remain near or to the south of Hispaniola today and pass close to north-eastern Jamaica on its way to central Cuba tomorrow.
The MET office says if Chantal degenerates into a tropical wave however, the remnants including heavy rainfall are likely to move rapidly westward across Jamaica.
Maximum sustained winds are now near 75 kilometers per hour, with higher gusts. These winds are confined to areas of heavy thunderstorms to the north and east of the centre.
Weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours. Jamaica could begin feeling the effects of tropical storm Chantal as early as tonight as the system passes in the vicinity of the island either as a tropical wave or tropical cyclone.
The main threat at this time is for outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms to develop over the island, starting with eastern parishes during the course of the night and into tomorrow. Periods of strong, gusty winds are also possible in thunderstorms.
Marine operators, primarily north and east of the island should remain on alert to unfavourable sea conditions through tomorrow.
The meteorological service continues to monitor the progress of this system.