Tropical Storm Dorian passed by Barbados late Monday and could move toward Puerto Rico by late Wednesday. A tropical storm watch was issued for Puerto Rico, according to the National Weather Service. The center of Dorian is expected to move near or over the Windward Islands on Monday night and move into the eastern Caribbean Sea on Tuesday.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami described the fourth tropical storm of the season as a “small tropical cyclone” but said Dorian was expected to intensify to near hurricane strength by the time it passes the Windward Islands. The storm is forecast to be a low-grade Category 1 hurricane by the time it moves near Puerto Rico.As of 11 p.m. ET Monday, Dorian’s maximum sustained winds have slightly decreased to 55 mph. To be classified as a hurricane, the storm must have sustained winds of at least 74 mph.
Dorian’s center was located about 95 miles east-southeast of St. Lucia and was moving west-northwest at about 13 mph. Tropical-storm-force winds extended outward up to 45 miles from the center of the storm. NHC said a wind gust of 55 mph was reported in Barbados late Monday.A tropical storm warning was in effect for Barbados, Martinique, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. A tropical storm watch was in effect for Dominica, Saba, St. Eustatius, Grenada and its dependencies. NHC expects tropical storm conditions to appear in the watch areas by Monday night or early Tuesday morning.A tropical storm warning means tropical storm conditions are expected within 36 hours while a tropical storm watch means tropical storm conditions are possible within 48 hours.Dorian is expected to drop 3 to 8 inches of rain across the Windward Islands, Martinique and St. Vincent. Isolated areas across the northern Windward Islands could possibly see 10 inches.The National Weather Service said, “While uncertainty is high, wind and rain impacts are possible in the Bahamas and Florida later this week and weekend.”Preparing for Tropical Storm DorianIn St. Lucia, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet announced that everything on the island of nearly 179,000 people would shut down by 6 p.m. ET on Monday, with the hurricane expected to hit around 2 a.m. EDT on Tuesday.”We are expecting the worst,” he said.