HAVANA, Aug. 25th The Lesser Antilles are being put on alert for impacts from Tropical Storm Dorian
ranging from strong winds and rough surf to localized flooding early this week.
An area of disturbed weather that AccuWeather meteorologists were monitoring since last week became Tropical Depression Five on Saturday morning. By Saturday afternoon, it strengthened into Tropical Storm Dorian.
Dorian is the fourth named tropical system of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season.
This satellite image shows Tropical Storm Dorian east of the Lesser Antilles on Sunday morning, Aug. 25, 2019. (NOAA)
The government of Barbados issued a tropical storm warning for the island on Sunday morning in preparation for Dorian’s arrival. A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the next 36 hours. A tropical storm watch is in effect for St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
“The center of Dorian is expected to pass close to Barbados Monday night or early Tuesday morning before the system crosses the Lesser Antilles and then moves into the eastern Caribbean,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski said.
Prior to Dorian’s arrival, surf will become dangerous for swimmers and small craft along the east-facing beaches of the islands on Monday.
The frequency and intensity of rip currents will increase as the seas are stirred.
“Monday night into Tuesday night, islands stretching from St. Vincent northward to Guadeloupe should prepare for wind gusts of 50-60 mph, sporadic power outages and localized flooding due to 2-4 inches of rainfall,” Pydynowski said.
Dorian has been designated a <1 on the AccuWeather RealImpact™ Scale for Hurricanes.
In comparison to the Saffir-Simpson scale, which has been used by meteorologists for decades and classifies storms by wind speed only, the AccuWeather RealImpact™ Scale for Hurricanes is based on a broad range of important factors. The scale covers not only wind speed, but flooding rain, storm surge and economic damage and loss.
Dorian is a small storm, which will spare large areas from feeling its worst impacts. However, small storms can undergo rapid fluctuations in intensity. As a result, there is the potential for Dorian to reach hurricane status before reaching the Lesser Antilles.
Should the storm undergo intensification into a hurricane prior to reaching the Lesser Antilles, the islands will endure an even greater risk of storm surge flooding and damaging winds.
People across the islands should be making the necessary preparations ahead of the storm, such as keeping cell phones charged, stocking up on bottles of water and batteries and ensuring flashlights are working properly.
Where will Dorian head next?
After passing through the Lesser Antilles, Dorian will reach the open waters of the eastern Caribbean.
“Dorian is expected to make a bit more of a northward turn and head in the direction of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola around midweek,” Pydynowski said.
“Depending on its exact track and intensity, Dorian could cause flash flooding and mudslides across the islands middle to late week as 4-8 inches of rain may fall in some areas,” he added.