Trinidad under tropical storm watch, Tobago on hurricane warning

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Photo courtesy TT Meteorological Service

Trinidad is now under a tropical storm watch.

At 11.02 am, the TT Meteorological Service issued its first storm watch warning for Trinidad which is on yellow level alert.

The Met Office said this means tropical storm conditions, including sustained winds of 63 to 118 kilometres per hour (km/h), are possible somewhere within the watch area, in this case within 24 hours.

“At 11 am today (June 20), Hurricane Beryl was centred about 640 km east-southeast of Tobago. Beryl is moving westward near 34km/h.

“Though the stronger hurricane and tropical storm force winds are expected to be closely packed around the centre of Beryl, there is a low to marginally medium chance (10-30 per cent) of tropical storm force winds affecting Trinidad, from early morning on Monday, July 1, as Beryl approaches the southern Windwards.

“Sea conditions will be choppy and rough.”

Another update is expected at 2 pm on June 30. The Met Office advised citizens to prepare for the possibility of tropical storm conditions. Have systems in place to protect lives, livelihood, and property. Secure loose outdoor objects and livestock.

Marine interests should exercise extra caution.

It also advised citizens to monitor official news sources and weather updates from and follow the instructions of government officials.

Minister of Rural Development and Local Government Faris Al-Rawi is expected to host a media conference at noon on June 30.

Earlier, in its 8 am update, Tobago was upgraded to orange-level hurricane warning by the Met Office.

“This means there is a higher potential for hurricane conditions, including sustained winds in excess of 100 km/h, within the warning area, within the next 30 hours,” the Met Office said.

“As Beryl approaches the southern Windwards on Monday, there is a high chance (60-80 per cent) of hurricane-force winds impacting Tobago.

“Heavy showers and thunderstorms are likely from Monday, and sea conditions can become choppy and rough.”

Tobagonians were advised to take immediate action to protect lives, livelihoods, and property.

“Shelter in place or evacuate to a safe location if your home is unsafe or vulnerable to flooding or wind damage.

“Secure food, water and medicine for at least seven days in waterproof containers. Outdoor drains should be clear and loose objects secured by now. Sandbags should be near all entrances to your home. Monitor official news sources.”

Beryl, the first named hurricane of the season, is due to make landfall over a number of islands late on June 30.

The hurricane has been upgraded by forecasters to a “very dangerous” category three storm – meaning it is predicted to have winds of 111-130mph (179-209km/h).

The major storm is expected to strengthen further as nears Barbados, Dominica, Grenada and Martinique, among others.