Weakened Ernesto moves across Windward Islands
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Aug 3, CMC – A weakened Tropical Storm Ernesto is expected to move across portions of the Windward Islands on Friday as several Caribbean countries discontinued a tropical storm warning.
Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines have discontinued the tropical storm warnings, but it remains in effect for Dominica, St. Lucia and the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe.
The regional airline, LIAT, has already announced the cancellation of several flights and the Miami-Based National Hurricane Center (NHC) in its 5.00 am bulletin said the center of the storm was located near latitude 13.5 north, longitude 60.7 west or 30 miles of south east St. Lucia or 35 miles east north east of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
“Ernesto is moving towards the west near 24 miles per hour (mph) and this motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days with a gradual decrease in forward speed.
“The center of Ernesto will move very near St. Lucia and St. Vincent in the next few hours and then move into the Eastern Caribbean Sea later this morning,” the NHC added.
It said that the maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 45 mph and some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours.
LIAT said that it had been advised by the Barbados authorities that the Grantley Adams International Airport will be closed for a possible 10:00 a m (local time) re-opening Friday.
“Additionally the St. Vincent authorities have also advised that the E. T. Joshua International Airport will be closed ... for a possible 4:00 pm re -opening Friday. In light of this, there could be further disruptions to LIAT’s schedule,” the airline said, announcing a number of cancellations.