Brace For Possibility Of Hurricane Jerry

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By Elesha George

The National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) and the AntiguaMeteorological Service have issued advisories on a developing system which is forecast to reach the Northern Leeward Islands by Friday morning.

The system, known as Tropical Depression 10, up until 5:00 p.m. Tuesday evening, is moving westward and is expected to strengthen into a tropical storm as it moves closer to the Leeward Islands.

Acting Director of the Meteorological Office, Dale Destin, said that if the system continues on a westward path, it is likely to pass 130 miles north of Antigua and 100 miles north of Barbuda.

“If it tracks as is projected now, and follows the most likely path, the most likely path at this time would see the centre passing around 130 miles north of Antigua, 100 miles north of Barbuda,” he said.

Destin explained that parts of Antigua would witness storm conditions; more so Barbuda and the rest of the north-eastern islands.

Preparedness remains the call from the authorities, as the twin-island sits in an area called the ‘cone of uncertainty’ which means that there is a 67 percent chance that the centre of what may then be called ‘Hurricane Jerry’ could pass over us.

Destin explained that “The cone of uncertainty marks all the areas that the centre of the system could be over during the forecast period. So, once you’re within the cone of certainty, there is a 67 percent probability that the centre could pass over you. At this time we are on the southern half of the cone of uncertainty but, nonetheless, we are within the cone of uncertainty and we’re within the margin of error that could see the centre actually passing over us.”

The National Office of Disaster Services (NODS) has issued an advisory encouraging residents to ensure they are not caught unprepared as Antigua and Barbuda moves within this cone of uncertainty.

Individuals are urged to review their hurricane plans and procedures. Critical agencies that have responsibilities under the National Plan need to start their internal reviews and make the necessary adjustments. District Disaster Coordinators are also advised to meet with their committee members and report any challenges.

NODS said it will continue to dialogue with the Met Office and issue the appropriate information. Residents are therefore encouraged to continue monitoring the system and pay attention to the information coming from the weather forecasters.

Already, regional carrier LIAT has predicted interruption in its services due to the adverse weather conditions which may impact operations within its network.

The latest location of the system is less than 1110 miles east of the Leeward Islands. It has maximum sustained winds of 35 miles per hour, moving West North West at 10 miles per hour.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), a west-northwestward motion at a somewhat faster forward speed is expected over the next few days.  On the forecast track, the system will be near the northern Leeward Islands Thursday night or Friday.
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