Effects of Tropical Storm Laura bring high winds, rain

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    Two tropical systems will share the Gulf of Mexico at the same time and according to the National Hurricane Center, both are expected to reach hurricane strength. If that happens, it will be the first time in recorded history that two hurricanes came churning through warm Gulf waters simultaneously.

    MIAMI – The National Hurricane Center issued a 2 p.m. (AST) advisory on recently upgraded Tropical Storm Laura, which is approaching the northern Leeward Islands.

    In preparation of wind and rain approaching St. Kitts and Nevis, all government offices were closed at 1 p.m., citizens were warned to be prepared as Hurricane Laura passes by.

    At 2:00 p.m. AST (18:00 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Laura was located near latitude 17.0 North, longitude 60.8 West. Laura is moving toward the west near 18 mph (30 km/h), and a generally west-northwestward motion at a faster forward speed is expected over the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the center of Laura will move near or over portions of the Leeward Islands later today, near or over Puerto Rico Saturday morning, and near the northern coast of Hispaniola late Saturday and early Sunday.

    A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
    * Puerto Rico, Vieques and Culebra
    * U.S. Virgin Islands
    * British Virgin Islands
    * Saba and St. Eustatius
    * St. Maarten
    * St. Martin and St. Barthelemy
    * Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, Anguilla, and Montserrat
    * The northern coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to
    the border with Haiti

    A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…
    * The northern coast of Haiti from Le Mole St. Nicholas to the
    border with the Dominican Republic
    * The southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands

    A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.

    A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

    Interests in Cuba and the remainder of the Bahamas should monitor the progress of Laura.

    Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph (75 km/h) with higher gusts. Some slow strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

    Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles (240 km) from the center.

    The estimated minimum central pressure is 1007 mb (29.74 inches).

    HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
    ———————-
    RAINFALL:

    Laura is expected to produce 3 to 6 inches of rain over Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, and the southern Haitian Peninsula through Sunday. Maximum amounts up to 8 inches are possible along eastern portions and the southern slopes of Puerto Rico, as well as over Haiti and the Dominican Republic. This heavy rainfall could lead to flash and urban flooding, as well as an increased potential for mudslides with minor river flooding in Puerto Rico.

    One to 3 inches of rain with isolated maximum totals of 5 inches are expected over the remainder of Haiti, the northern Leeward Islands, the Turks and Caicos and southeast Bahamas.

    WIND:

    Tropical storm conditions are expected within portions of the warning area area later today through Saturday. Tropical storm conditions are possible within portions of the watch area Saturday night and early Sunday.

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