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Hurricane Hunters Investigate Tropical Disturbance as it Passes the Leewards

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The tropical disturbance that’s been trekking across the Atlantic Ocean this week is bringing gusty winds and heavy rain to Hispaniola, Puerto Rico and parts of the Leeward Islands, late this afternoon. It’s also becoming a bit more organized and as such a Hurricane Hunter aircraft has been dispatched to investigate the long-lived tropical wave.

At present, the system, is still not considered a depression, but it has show a bit more organization in the last few hours. Robust convection (thunderstorms) is now popping up around a somewhat better-defined center of circulation — these are some sings that the system is a bit healthier. And the Hurricane Hunters are reporting tropical storm-force winds just to the north of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola. As of Friday afternoon, the system’s central pressure had dropped to 1009 millibars. Just for a bit of perspective, the mean sea level pressure is 1013 millibars.

Winds were also most recently clocked between 25 and 30 miles per hour. And the storm is also producing waves 9 to 12 feet within a 70 mile radius of the lowest minimum pressure.

As soon as the storm passes Hispaniola and moves out over bathwater-temperature ocean, additional organization and strengthening is expected. The storm will continue to lash the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Puerto Rico through midday Saturday. After that, the Bahamas can expect gusty winds and torrential rainfall through Sunday.

Thus far, the storm has dropped some pretty impressive rainfall totals in the U.S. Virgin Islands. St. Thomas received 2.08 inches of rain in a 24-hour period ending early this morning.

Probability of development, into a depression or tropical storm, in the next two days is about 70%. And in the next five days that chance jumps to 80%.

While the forecast remains VERY uncertain at this time, people that live from Florida to Virginia should monitor the situation in the coming days. WeatherNation meteorologists will be on top of any developments and we’ll give you the latest updates as they come to us.

Meteorologist Alan Raymond

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