Press conference with Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley and officials from the Department of Emergency Management. (PMO)

A tropical storm warning remains in effect for Barbados.

This was reiterated earlier this evening by Acting Director of the Barbados Meteorological Services, Sabu Best, as he addressed a press conference at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, chaired by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, to update the nation on the impending tropical cyclone.

Speaking with respect to Advisory 4A for Tropical Storm Elsa issued at 2:00 p.m. by his office, Mr. Best noted that such a warning was issued when sustained winds of 34 to 63 knots or 39 to 73 miles per hour, associated with a tropical storm or hurricane, are forecast to affect Barbados within 36 hours, “in this case, in the very early hours of the morning of Friday, July 2”.

Mr. Best continued: ‘At 2:00 p.m. the centre of Tropical Storm Elsa was located near Latitude 10.6 degrees North, Longitude 52.6 degrees West or about 495 miles/795 km East-South-East of Barbados. The maximum sustained winds are near 45 miles/75km per hour and tropical force winds extend outward up to 90 miles/150 km mainly to the north of the centre.”

Tropical Storm Elsa was said to be currently moving towards the West at 28 miles per hour at 44 km per hour and with an even faster motion towards the West-North-West, expected over the next 24 to 36 hours.  

Tropical Storm Elsa was said to be currently moving towards the West at 28 miles per hour at 44 km per hour and with an even faster motion towards the West-North-West, expected over the next 24 to 36 hours.  

The Director added that on its current forecast track, the centre of Tropical Storm Elsa should pass about 40 miles/65 km to the south of Barbados on Friday morning.

He further stated that the island could expect rainfall accumulations of six to eight inches across Barbados on Friday and watches or warnings for flash flooding may be issued from this evening.

Pointing out that a marine advisory was also in effect for the island for the adverse swells expected from Tropical Storm Elsa, Mr. Best stated: “We are forecasting swells in open water four to five metres, particularly on the eastern sections of the coastlines of Barbados, south-eastern and south-western sections.”

Though acknowledging that the western sections of the island would be “a little sheltered” because of the trajectory of the system, the Acting Director said, however, the MET Office was forecasting swells in open water just offshore west coast, and this would be around two to three metres.

Acting Director of the Barbados Meteorological Services, Sabu Best explained that on its current forecast track, the centre of Tropical Storm Elsa should pass about 40 miles/65 km to the south of Barbados on Friday morning. (PMO)

“This basically will result in choppy waters, particularly along the west coast; there will be some beach erosion and possibly some water coming up to some roads, like in Six Men’s area, … where we have really rough sea conditions. But the greater impacts or the greater waves will be on the eastern coast, south-east and south-west,” he outlined.

Further sharing a satellite image of Barbados and the status of Tropical Storm Elsa, Mr. Best pointed out that the centre was actually displaced “slightly to the left of the deep convection”.  

He explained this was happening because “the system is actually racing along and decoupling itself as it races towards the west, towards the south of Barbados”. He also pointed out that this similar satellite signature would probably be seen again, throughout the late evening and tonight.

Mr. Best also gave an idea of when to expect some increase in winds, stating that this could be some time after 2:00 a.m. or 3:00 a.m. tomorrow. 

Elaborating, he stressed: “The early hours of Friday morning we expect winds to increase to just perhaps under tropical storm force and as we go into daybreak around 6, 7, or 8’o clock in the morning. Winds should peak up to around tropical storm force winds. Afterwards, we expect to see an increase in rainfall, also along with an increase in winds in the early hours of the morning, and a deterioration of sea conditions should also follow suit.”

The Acting Director of the Barbados Meteorological Services also provided the forecast intensity for Tropical Storm Elsa by the time it reaches to the south of Barbados.

Noting that maximum sustained winds should be around 60 miles per hour, he, however, stressed: “There is no indication that Elsa would do any rapid intensification because of the rapid forward motion of the system, so that’s a plus but there is still the potential that Elsa would strengthen slowly as she moves towards the west.”

joy-ann.gill@barbados.gov.bb

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