Tobago under tropical storm watch

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

A satellite view of the Caribbean on June 29. – Photo courtesy Met Office

TOBAGO has been placed under a tropical storm watch.

The Met Office issued a tropical storm alert yellow level for the island at 10.14 am on June 29 as Tropical Storm Beryl is now heading toward the southeast Caribbean and could strengthen into the year’s first hurricane.

It said a tropical storm watch means that tropical storm force winds (63-118 km/h) are possible within 48 hours.

At 10 am, Tropical Storm Beryl was centred near located 9.9N 47.1W, about 1,450 km east of Tobago.

Currently, there is a low to medium chance (30-40 per cent) of tropical storm force winds affecting Tobago, as Beryl approaches the southern Windwards.

Sea conditions are also likely to become occasionally rough, it said.

The Met Office told citizens to prepare for the possibility of tropical storm conditions by securing loose outdoor objects and livestock.

It advised marine interests to exercise extra caution during this period.

On June 28, Barbados issued a hurricane watch as the island’s meteorological service warned of flash flooding and power outages.

“We need to be ready,” Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley said in a public address on June 28.

“You and I know when these things happen, it is better to plan for the worst and pray for the best.”

She noted that thousands of people are in Barbados for the Twenty20 World Cup cricket final, with India and South Africa playing in the capital, Bridgetown, on June 29.

Meanwhile, Trinidad and Tobago was told there is an 80 per cent chance of thunderstorm activity on June 29 “due to the passage of a low-level trough encountering favourable conditions for thunderstorm development.”

The Met Office said gusty winds over 55 km/h can lead to fallen trees, displace unsecured items and agitate seas.

Street/flash flooding and localised ponding can also occur as a result of this activity.