Grace expected to become hurricane Wednesday

Tracking the Tropics

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tropical Storm Grace is causing flooding across parts of the Dominican Republic and earthquake-damaged Haiti, and is becoming better organized as it heads toward Jamaica Tuesday morning, the National Hurricane Center said.

At 2 p.m. ET Tuesday, Grace was about 25 miles east of Montego Bay, Jamaica with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and tropical-storm-force winds extending outward up to 70 miles. It was moving west at 15 mph.

Grace is forecast to travel near or over Jamaica Tuesday, and near the Cayman Islands Tuesday night. It should be near Mexico’s Yucatán coast late Wednesday or early Thursday.

The NHC expects Grace to become a hurricane Wednesday, potentially gathering more strength before reaching the Yucatan.

The hurricane center said heavy rains from Grace are causing flooding across parts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, which was hit by a magnitude 7.2 earthquake on Saturday.

Haiti could see another two to four inches of rain with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches. Cuba, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and portions of the Yucatán Peninsula may see three to 6 inches of rain with isolated maximum totals of 10 inches. Forecasters warn the heavy rainfall could lead to flash and urban flooding and possible mudslides.

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for:

  • Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico from Cabo Catoche to Punta Allen

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • Jamaica
  • Southern coast of the Cuban provinces of Santiago de Cuba, Granma, Las Tunas, and Camaguey
  • Cayman Islands

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:

  • Entire coast of Haiti
  • Southern coast of the Cuban provinces of Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus, Cienfuegos, Matanzas, and Pinar del Rio, as well as Isla de la Juventud.

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