Hurricane Dean now close to South Western Jamaica
Met Office Bulletin No. 18 at 8 p.m.
A Hurricane Warning remains in effect for Jamaica as extreme weather conditions associated with Hurricane Dean move across the island. This means that dangerous effects of a hurricane are still expected over Jamaica within 24 hours.
At 7:00 p.m. the centre of Hurricane Dean was located near Latitude 17.5 degrees North, Longitude 77.8 degrees West. This is about 115 km (70 miles) west-southwest of Kingston or 40 km (25 miles) south of Loverís Leap, St. Elizabeth.
Dean is moving westward at near 32 km/h (20 mph) and a general motion towards the west or west-northwest is expected during the next 24 hours.
Maximum sustained winds remain near 230 km/h (145 mph), with higher gusts; hence Dean remains a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. Fluctuations in strength are, however, still possible. Hurricane force winds extend outward approximately 95 km (60 miles), while tropical storm force winds extend 335 km (205 miles) from the centre.
Radar reports and satellite imagery confirm that the eye of Hurricane Dean is now located off the southwest coast of Jamaica and that the bands of rainfall surrounding the eye continue to engulf the island. There are also reports of wind-speeds reaching 130 km/h (80 mph) in Kingston.
On the current forecast track, the centre of Hurricane Dean will continue moving west-northwestward to begin moving away to the west after midnight. Showers and thunderstorms are expected to continue to affect most parishes throughout the night and into tomorrow with periods of strong, gusty winds, especially over western parishes.
All interests should continue to monitor subsequent Releases from the Meteorological Service. The next Bulletin on Hurricane Dean will be issued at 11:00 p.m.
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Source: Gleaner/Power 106 News