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The National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) on Monday urged all residents of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), especially those living in the southern Grenadines “to take all the necessary precautions” as tropical storm warning continues for the country.

“Projections are for the center to pass about 180 miles south of mainland St. Vincent. This means, that the Grenadine islands can expect most impact of possible storm conditions,” forecasters said.

Forecasters say that the tropical disturbance they are monitoring has a “high chance” of becoming Tropical Storm Bret today, Monday, before impacting SVG Monday evening into Tuesday.

Forecasters said early Monday morning that “modest strengthening” occurred overnight.

With the likelihood of tropical storm affecting the country over the next 24 hours, a meeting of the National Emergency Council has been called for 11 a.m. today.

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“NEMO is also urging all residents, especially residents in the Southern Grenadines to take all the necessary precautions,” NEMO said.

The SVG Meteorological Services said that at 5 a.m. Monday, the tropical disturbance was centered near latitude 8.4 north, longitude 54.5 west, with an associated 1005 mb low pressure.

“The disturbance was about 400 miles southeast of St. Vincent and the Grenadines moving toward the west near 23 mph (37 km/h) and expected to cross over our islands this evening and Tuesday,” the Met Services said in its 5 a.m. bulletin.

Maximum sustained winds of near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts on the northern side of the system. Storm-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles (95 km), mainly northwest through northeast of the center.

Expected conditions across SVG late Monday into Tuesday include:

  • Deteriorating conditions with pockets of moderate to heavy showers, locally heavy rains, thunderstorms, occasional gusty winds by Monday
  • Rainfall accumulations decreased to 2 to 4 inches (50 to 100 mm).
  • Strong EAST-NORTH EAST winds this afternoon increase to 25 to 35 mph…40 to 55km/h with occasional higher gusts to tropical storm force are now expected.
  • Seas Moderate (1.8-2.5m) by Monday afternoon on east coast; Very rough to high becoming 4.0m- 5.0m (13-16 ft.) across SVG by Monday night into early Tuesday, with easterly storm surge.

A high surf advisory and small craft warning is in effect and sea-bathers and boat operators should take all necessary precautions.

The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Meteorological Services and the Barbados Meteorological Services are monitoring the system.

SVG is bracing for its first significant tropical weather system of the Atlantic Hurrican Season just under three weeks after it began.

At the beginning of the season on June 1, Cédric Van Meerbeeck, climatologist at the Barbados-based Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology reminded Vincentians that it doesn’t take a hurricane for their country to experience loss of life and significant damage during the Hurricane Season.

“A slow-moving system can bring enormous amounts of rainfall and you know that when the rain falls heavily you are going to get also flooding, you might get landslides and sometimes even the loss of lives, just as has happened several times unfortunately in the recent few years,” Van Meerbeeck told iWitness News

Van Meerbeeck said that residents of SVG need to keep updated, adding that there are some extreme wet spells that add to the risk of having landslides and flashfloods.

Forecasters say that the number of hurricane this year might be “slightly above what we usually get”.

Van Meerbeeck said that while the region usually gets about 12 tropical cyclones annually, this year could see as many as 17 storms affecting the Atlantic basin.

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