Forecasters on Tuesday issued a tropical storm warning for Puerto Rico and other parts of the Caribbean, saying a disturbance in the Atlantic is likely to soon strengthen into a tropical storm that might reach the US mainland. The forecast is likely to change as the system moves westward. The disturbance is expected to strengthen into a tropical storm before reaching the Leeward Islands sometime Wednesday, which is why a tropical storm warning was put into effect for Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Antigua, Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, St. Kitts and numerous other islands in the northeast Caribbean. According to Mike's Weather Page, the system stretches over 500 miles with tropical-storm force winds spanning out 250 miles.
According to the NHC, the Lowcountry could start seeing tropical-storm force winds by Saturday night at the earliest. "Interests there should monitor its progress and updates to the forecast over the next few days".
The Miami-based NHC issued a tropical storm warning for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, which it said the storm will hit Wednesday night.
At 11 a.m., the disturbance had maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour and the system was moving west at 23 miles per hour. The hurricane center said the strongest winds were located far north or its "center" position.
Tropical storm warnings have been issued for numerous islands in the storm's path, including the USA and British Virgin Islands, Antigua and Barbuda, Monserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Martin, Saba and St. Eustatius, and St. Maartin.
A tropical storm watch is in effect for the Dominican Republic from the southern Haiti border eastward to Cabo Caucedo, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas.
Forecasters said some strengthening was expected during the next 48 hours, with the system expected to become a tropical storm Wednesday.
The hurricane center said three to six inches of rain will be possible across the Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico, with some areas getting up to 10 inches.
"It is way too early to know the mainland U.S. future of PTC 9, but not too early to take some precautions", NHC hurricane specialist Eric Blake tweeted, using an abbreviation for "potential tropical cyclone".
"At this juncture, the realm of possibilities of potential tracks for this system still range from the Gulf of Mexico to waters east of the United States and Canada and includes all areas in between", AccuWeather Meteorologist Rob Miller said on Wednesday.