2 p.m. Tropical Weather Update

Showers and thunderstorms associated with a tropical wave located about 350 miles east of Barbados continue to show signs of organization.  Buoy data indicate that the system is producing winds to near tropical storm force, and an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft is just beginning its mission to determine if the system has a closed circulation.

Environmental conditions appear to be favorable for development, and a tropical depression or tropical storm is likely to form later today or tonight.  This system is moving westward to west-northwestward at 15 to 20 mph, and is expected to pass over the Windward Islands on Wednesday morning, and move over the southeastern Caribbean Sea late Wednesday and Thursday.

Interests in the Windward and southern Leeward Islands, Bonaire, Curacao, Aruba, and along the northern coast of South America should monitor the progress of this disturbance, and consult products issued by your national meteorological service, which could include tropical storm warnings or watches.

Regardless of whether the system is a tropical wave or tropical cyclone, heavy rains and tropical-storm-force winds in squalls are expected to spread over the Windward Islands and portions of the southern Leeward Islands, beginning tonight and continuing through Wednesday.