Gustav strengthening east of Jamaica...Hurricane warning remains in effect.
A Hurricane Warning is now in effect for Jamaica as Tropical Storm Gustav strengthens just east of the island. This means that the following dangerous effects of a hurricane are expected to affect the island in 24 hours or less:
- Dangerously high water or a combination of dangerously high water and exceptionally high waves;
- Average winds 118 km/h (75 mph) or higher.
At 7:00 a.m. the centre of Tropical Storm Gustav was located near latitude 17.8 degrees North and longitude 75.6 degrees West; about 50 km (30 miles) east of Morant Point, Jamaica, or 270 km (170 miles) south of Guantanamo, Cuba.
Gustav is moving very little; however, a motion towards the west-southwest at 9 km/h (6 mph) is expected today. Maximum sustained winds have increased to 110 km/h (70 mph), with higher gusts, and Gustav is expected to strengthen to hurricane force today. Tropical storm force winds now extend up to 85 km (50 miles) from the centre.
On its forecast track, the centre of Tropical Storm Gustav is now projected to pass along the coast of southern parishes as early as this afternoon and continuing through the day. Doppler radar has begun to detect rainfall over sections of eastern and central parishes, and these will spread across the country today. Winds will also increase in strength, out of the northeast, as the system makes its way westward. Storm surges should be expected to reach 1-2 metres above normal tide levels over southern coastal areas.
Small craft operators, including fishers from the cays and banks, are strongly advised to remain in safe harbour until all warning messages have been lifted and wind and sea conditions have returned to normal.
The next bulletin will be issued at 11:00 a.m. today.