August 2, 2011 by staff
Dominican Republic, The Dominican Republic’s government on Monday announced measures to deal with Tropical Storm Emily, which is expected to become the first hurricane of Atlantic season, one that represents a threat to the country.
The evacuations of people in low lying areas have been ordered to start on Monday afternoon, while locally the National Meteorological Office said the country can expect heavier than usual rains on Wednesday.
Tropical Storm Emily formed in the Caribbean Sea on the first Monday night, forecasters said, prompting tropical storm warnings for the islands numerous. The storm was expected to strengthen slowly.
Meteorologists in the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) have been following the climate system since Thursday night when it emerged as a tropical wave between Africa and the Lesser Antilles. It quickly became better organized on Saturday and Sunday, but suddenly could not strengthen into a tropical storm until Monday night.
“Data from Air Force planes HURRICANE HUNTER investigating the system through the Lesser Antilles show that a well-defined center of circulation has finally formed near the island of Dominica, which marks the formation of Tropical Storm Emily,” high NHC said hurricane specialist Michael Brennan.
In late Monday afternoon, the center of Emily is about 105 miles (170 kilometers) west of Dominica, an island in the Caribbean Sea. It is moving westward at a speed of about 17 miles (28 kilometers) per hour.
Maximum sustained winds are near Emily 40 miles (65 kilometers) per hour with higher gusts, according to meteorologists. “As evidenced by the amount of time it took to build this system around a single center, the environment is only marginally favorable for strengthening in the short term,” said Brennan.
But despite that only some slow strengthening is expected during the next few days, Emily could pose a serious threat to Haiti and the Dominican Republic, where he is expected to make landfall on Wednesday. Haiti is one of the world’s poorest countries and is still recovering from the devastating earthquake last year.
As a result, tropical storm warning is in effect for Dominica, Guadeloupe, Wanted, Les Saintes, Marie Galante, Puerto Rico, Vieques and Culebra, and the Dominican Republic. A tropical storm warning is in effect for the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, Antigua and Barbuda and Haiti.
“The tropical storm conditions are occurring or imminent in the warning area in the Leeward Islands,” said Brennan. “The tropical storm conditions are expected in Puerto Rico, Culebra, Vieques and Tuesday, and the Dominican Republic on Tuesday night. Tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area on the Leeward Islands tonight, Virgin Islands of the U.S. by early Tuesday, and in Haiti on Wednesday. ”
In addition to strong winds, Emily is also expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimeters) in the north of the Windward Islands and Leeward Islands. Total rainfall accumulations of 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) is expected in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, with isolated maximum amounts of 10 inches (25 centimeters) possible. “These rains could cause dangerous flooding and mudslides in areas of mountainous terrain,” said Brennan.
In addition, storm surges Emily is expected to raise water levels of 1 to 2 feet (0.3 to 0.6 meters) above normal tide levels in the area of ??tropical storm warning. “Near the coast, the increase is accompanied by large and dangerous waves,” said Brennan.
After passing over the Dominican Republic and Haiti, Emily is expected toward the Bahamas which should allow to strengthen, as it remains over water. The NHC said there is a possibility that Emily could approach the east coast of Florida as a hurricane on Saturday, although climate models are still conflicting on the duration of the storm will last and which direction it will take later this week.
Emily is the fifth named storm of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane, after the tropical storm that made landfall Don, on the southern coast of Texas late Friday afternoon, causing no casualties or significant damage.
According to figures released in May, the Climate Prediction Center NOAA’s hurricane season expected higher than normal in the Atlantic this year. The outlook calls for 12 to 18 named storms, six to ten becoming hurricanes and three-six are expected to become a major hurricane (category 3 or higher).
An average Atlantic hurricane season produces 11 named storms, six becoming hurricanes and two major hurricanes every time. Atlantic Hurricane
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