Tropical Storm LAURA Quite Disorganized

August 21, 2020 2:30 pm
** SPECIAL WEATHER BULLETIN #10 - August 21st - 11:30pm ** ...HURRICANE HUNTER FINDS LAURA QUITE DISORGANIZED... ...HEAVY RAINFALL EXPECTED THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING... At 11PM (0300 UTC), Tropical Storm Laura was located near latitude 17.0 North, longitude 63.5 West or about 80 miles south-southwest of St. Maarten. Laura is moving toward the west-northwest near 18 mph (30 km/h). A general west-northwestward motion at a slightly faster forward speed is expected over the next few days. Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph (75 km/h) with higher gusts. Some slow strengthening is forecast during the next few days. Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 205 miles from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1008mb (29.77 inches). Laura is currently at its closest approach to St. Maarten. The highest gust reported at the PJIA was 29 knots /33mph. HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND: RAINFALL: Laura could produce up to 4 inches of rainfall through Saturday night over the local area. Moderate to heavy showers accompanied by thunderstorms are expected to continue tonight into Saturday morning. This rainfall could result in flooding/flash flooding in low-lying areas and rockfalls along hillsides, especially in areas that are already saturated. WIND: Storm force winds of 45 mph with higher gusts are expected across the local area through Saturday morning. SEAS: Sea conditions will remain rough. A small craft warning remains in effect for St. Maarten. Small craft operators and swimmers should stay out of the water until the all-clear is given. * Residents in areas prone to flooding or near the coast should remain vigilant and take the necessary precautions to protect life and property. • The general public should continue to monitor the updates from the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten. The Meteorological Department of St. Maarten will continue to monitor the progress of this system and keep the public updated accordingly. MORNING UPDATE: Friday, August 21st, 2020 As of 5:00 am Friday morning, Tropical Depression #13 is forecast to pass about 40 miles north of Sint Maarten late tonight and into Saturday. Weather conditions are likely to start deteriorating from Friday afternoon, according to the Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS). The Fire Department/Office of Disaster Management (ODM) Fire Chief/National Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson, is calling on residents to pay close to possible changing weather conditions for Friday afternoon and to continue to closely monitor the progress of the depression and prepare for the possibility of tropical storm conditions. Residents in areas prone to flooding or near the coast should finalize preparations to protect life and property. Motorists are advised to stay off the road during heavy rain events if you do not have to be out; hillside residents are advised to remain indoors during heavy rainfall due to possible rock and landslides. Motorists are advised to stay away from flood-prone areas during heavy rainfall such as: LB Scot Road - from Emilio Wilson Park until Cake House. Zagersgut - from Petro Plus Gas Station until Seventh Day Church. Welgelegen Road Cayhill - from Welgelegen road Roundabout until One Tete Loke Roundabout. Beacon Hill Road - from Sunset Bar & Grill until the beginning of White Sands Road. Rhine Road - from the intersection of University Drive until the intersection of Rio Grande. The potential hazards for the country according to MDS are: RAINFALL: The tropical depression could produce about 1 to 3 inches of rainfall from this evening through Saturday over the local area. This rainfall could result in flooding in low-lying areas and rockfalls. Some of this rainfall may be heavy at times and may be accompanied by thunderstorms. WIND: Windy conditions are expected over the local area increasing to tropical storm force gusts by this evening through Saturday. SEAS: Moderate to rough seas can be expected by tonight with swells up to 8 feet. A small craft advisory will be issued later this morning. Small-craft operators and sea-goers are advised to exercise extreme caution. The country remains under a Tropical Storm Watch. A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the watch area within 48-hours. The general public should continue to monitor updates from the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten and ODM. The remaining storm names for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season are: Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, René, Sally, Teddy, Vicky, and Wilfred. For those who would like to learn more about hurricane hazards and how to prepare for a storm/hurricane strike, you can visit the Government website: where you will be able to download your 'Hurricane Season Readiness Guide' and 'Hurricane Tracking Chart'. In addition, you can also download the 'Disasterprep Sint Maarten' app for Android and Apple phones by going to the Google and Apple stores. ODM reminds residents and business owners to remain vigilant for the hurricane season and to have plans in place for quick action when the need arises - storm ready! Listen to the Government Radio station - 107.9FM - for official information and news before, during, and after a hurricane. For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS): Remember, it only takes one hurricane to make it a bad season. Are You Ready? Be prepared for this hurricane season! Source: