BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – What was Tropical Storm Ernesto, developed into a category one hurricane Sunday and was moving northwestward toward the southwest peninsula of Haiti.

At 11AM hurricane warnings were issued for parts of Cuba and Haiti, while a hurricane watch remained in effect for Jamaica.

Interests in the northwestern Caribbean Sea were also advised to monitor Ernesto\’s progress.

At 11AM the centre of Hurricane Ernesto was located near latitude 17.6 north, longitude 73.7 west or about 115 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince, Haiti and 205 miles south-southwest of Guantanamo, Cuba.

Ernesto is moving toward the northwest near 9 miles per hour and this general motion is expected to continue for the next 24 hours. On this track, Ernesto is expected to pass very near the southwestern tip of Haiti Sunday afternoon or early evening and be near the southeastern coast of Cuba Monday morning.

Maximum sustained winds are near 75 miles per hour with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast today and tonight and it could become a category 2 hurricane before it reaches the coast of Cuba.