The tropical storm watch that has been in effect for Jamaica is being discontinued with immediate effect, as conditions associated with a tropical storm are no longer expected in respect of Tropical Storm Ian, the Met Service said in its latest bulletin issued a short while ago.
“Over the past several hours, the tropical storm has drifted a bit to the south, taking it farther from the coastline and placing the island outside of the projected range of tropical-storm-force winds,” the Met Service said.
At 2pm, the centre of Tropical Storm Ian was located near latitude 14.2 degrees North, longitude 75.8 degrees West, or about 435 kilometres (270 miles) south-southeast of Kingston, or 405 kilometres (251 miles) south of Morant Point, Jamaica.
Ian is now moving towards the west near 26 km/h (16 mph), and this general motion is expected to continue through Saturday night. A turn toward the northwest is forecast on Sunday, followed by a north-northwestward turn on Monday.
Maximum sustained winds remain near 75 km/h (45 mph) with higher gusts; however, significant strengthening is forecast during the next few days.
The Met Service said Ian is expected to become a hurricane late Sunday evening while south-west of Jamaica and moving farther away towards the Cayman Islands. Jamaica is currently well outside of the range of tropical-storm-force winds, which extend outward up to 95 km (60 miles) from the centre.
“On its forecast track, the centre of the tropical storm is forecast to remain south of Jamaica continue moving westward away from the island through Saturday night and Sunday morning. Ian will then pass near or over the Cayman Islands on Sunday night and early Monday before approaching western Cuba on Monday.
“While the tropical storm remains over the west-central Caribbean, it will continue to produce a large area of showers and thunderstorms that could impact the weather over Jamaica through Monday. Locally, heavy rainfall could produce flash floods mainly over low-lying and flood-prone areas of southern and eastern parishes and residents are urged to remain alert,” the Met Service said.
Small craft operators, including fishers from the cays and banks, are reminded to remain in safe harbouruntil wind and sea conditions have returned to normal, the Met Service advised.