Barbadians were Friday being told to brace for rainy and windy conditions, with the formation of Tropical Storm Bertha.
A tropical storm warning has been issued for Barbados and its Caribbean neighbours to the north, as the system moves into the area.
Forecasters say “a tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected within the next 24 hours”.
However, some islands could start to experience these conditions as early as midday today, with Bertha expected to produce rainfall amounts of “one to three inches with isolated amounts up to six inches across portions of the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands through Saturday night,” a bulletin issued by the National Hurricane Centre in Miami said.
At 5 a.m., the center of Bertha was estimated near latitude 13.0 north, longitude 57.0 west.
Bertha was moving toward the west-northwest near 20 miles per hour (mph) or 31 kilometres per hour (km/h)and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days.
On the forecast track, “Bertha is expected to pass near or north of Barbados this afternoon and move through the central Lesser Antilles tonight and into the northeastern Caribbean on Saturday,” the NHC said.
The system is packing maximum sustained winds remain near 45 mph or 75 km/h with higher gusts.
“No significant change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours,” forecasters said.
“Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 45 miles or 75 km from the centre.
“The estimated minimum central pressure is 1008 mb…29.77 inches,” forecasters say.
Tropical Storm warnings are also in effect for neighbouring Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia, Dominica, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.
A tropical storm warning could also be required for French-speaking Martinique later today.
In the meantime, St Vincent and the Grenadines is on watch for tropical storm conditions within 48 hours.
Interests elsewhere across the northeastern Caribbean sea and Hispaniola have been told that they should monitor the progress of this system.