BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Tropical depression number five which is forecast to reach tropical storm strength Friday is continuing its passage across the Caribbean sea.

According to the National Hurricane Centre, at 11 a.m. Friday the centre of the depression was located near latitude 13.5 north, longitude 66.4 west, or approximately 340 miles south of San Juan Puerto Rico and about 760 miles east-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica.

The depression is moving toward the west near 15 mile per hour but a turn toward the west-northwest is expected during the next 24 hours, the NHC said.

Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph with higher gusts and some strengthening is forecast during the next 24 hours.

The system which passed the southern Leeward Islands as a strong topical wave on Thursday dumped heavy showers on Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago.

An air force reserve hurricane hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate the system later on Friday.