The latest advisory bulletin from the National Hurricane Center in Miami reports that Tropical Storm Charley is continuing rapidly west-northwestward toward Jamaica and that a tropical storm warning and a hurricane watch remain in effect for the island.
The NHC said the storm could reach hurricane strength today, and cautioned that a tropical storm warning and a hurricane watch remain in effect for the Cayman Islands. A tropical storm warning also “remains in effect for the entire southwest peninsula of Haiti from the Dominican Republic border westward including Port-au-Prince,” said the bulletin.
“The center of tropical storm Charley was located near latitude 16.4 north…longitude 73.8 west or about 225 miles… 360 km…East-southeast of Kingston Jamaica,” the advisory continued. “Charley is moving toward the west-northwest near 25 mph …41 km/hr. and this general motion is expected to continue for the next 24 hours. On this track…the center of charley will be nearing Jamaica near midday.
“Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph.100 km/hr.with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 24 hours… and Charley could become a hurricane as it approaches Jamaica later this morning. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 105 miles …165 km mainly to the north of the center. Estimated minimum central pressure is 999 Mb.29.50 inches.”
The NHC also warned that “above normal tides…accompanied by large and dangerous battering waves…are likely along the coasts of Jamaica today. Rainfall totals of 3 to 6 inches are likely in association with Charley. “