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Meteorological Department St. Maarten - SPECIAL WEATHER BULLETIN

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 DATE ISSUED: Tuesday, August 25,  2015TIME ISSUED:    08:30 PM

 …TROPICAL STORM ERIKA WEAKENS SLIGHTLY …AIR FORCE AND NOAA PLANES FIND ERIKA POORLY ORGANIZED…

 …ERIKA EXPECTED TO BE NEAR THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS TOMORROW NIGHT…

  Location: Lat. 15.8N ….Lon. 53.6W

 About:  560 miles ESE of St. Maarten

Maximum sustained winds: 40 mph ….65 KM/H

 Present Movement: W…280 degrees at 20 mph

 Minimum Central Pressure:  1006 mb….29.71 inches

 DISCUSSION AND 24-HOUR OUTLOOK AT 08:00 PM…THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM ERIKA WAS LOCATED NEAR
LATITUDE 15.8 NORTH…LONGITUDE 53.6 WEST OR ABOUT 560 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST OF ST. MAARTEN.  ERIKA IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST NEAR 20 MPH, AND A WEST-NORTHWESTWARD MOTION AT A SLIGHTLY SLOWER FORWARD SPEED IS EXPECTED OVER THE NEXT 48 HOURS. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 40 MPH…65 KM/H…WITH HIGHER GUSTS.  SOME SLOW STRENGTHENING IS POSSIBLE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

 TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 80 MILES (130 KM) FROM THE CENTER. THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 1006 MB…29.71 INCHES. ON THE FORECAST TRACK, THE CENTER OF ERIKA WILL PASS NEAR ST. MAARTEN SOMETIME WEDNESDAY NIGHT TO EARLY THURSDAY MORNING. 

 HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND AND SEA

 WIND:
Tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area by Wednesday night or early Thursday.

 RAINFALL:

 Erika is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 2 to 4 inches over many of the Northern Leeward Islands through Thursday.

 STORM SURGE/WAVES:

 Erika expected to produce waves up to 13 feet near the center of the Storm as it approaches the Northern Leeward Islands. Some coastal flooding and beach erosion is possible on Thursday as the storm passes its nearest to St. Maarten.

 ALL CITIZENS/ RESIDENTS SHOULD REMAIN VIGILANT AND MAKE PREPARATIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY AND BE READY TO TAKE THE NECESSARY ACTION WHEN CALLED UPON. 

 THE METEOROLOGICAL DEPARTMENT WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR TROPICAL STORM ERIKA AND ISSUE SPECIAL WEATHER BULLETINS.

The next update will be issued Wednesday at 05:30 Lst (09:30 UTC).

  A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA…GENERALLY WITHIN 48 HOURS.

 

 


TROPICAL STORM ERIKA ADVISORY NUMBER 4

nhcerica4NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL       AL052015
500 PM AST TUE AUG 25 2015

...ERIKA EXPECTED TO BE NEAR THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS
TOMORROW NIGHT...

 SUMMARY OF 500 PM AST...2100 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...15.6N 52.8W
ABOUT 605 MI...975 KM E OF ANTIGUA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...40 MPH...65 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...W OR 280 DEGREES AT 20 MPH...31 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1004 MB...29.65 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:

None.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for...
* Montserrat
* Antigua and Barbuda
* St. Kitts and Nevis
* Anguilla
* Saba, St. Eustatius, and St. Maarten
* Guadeloupe, St. Martin, and St. Barthelemy

A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are
possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

For storm information specific to your area, please monitor
products issued by your national meteorological service.


DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
At 500 PM AST (2100 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Erika was
located near latitude 15.6 North, longitude 52.8 West. Erika is
moving toward the west near 20 mph (31 km/h), and a west-
northwestward motion at a slightly slower forward speed is
expected over the next 48 hours.  On the forecast track, the
center of Erika will be near the Leeward Islands Wednesday night
and early Thursday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts.
Some slow strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km)
from the center.

The minimum central pressure reported by an Air Force Hurricane
Hunter aircraft was 1004 mb (29.65 inches).


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
WIND:  Tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch
area by Wednesday night or early Thursday.

RAINFALL: Erika is expected to produce total rain accumulations of
2 to 4 inches over many of the Leeward Islands through Thursday.

NOTE TO OUR READERS AND CLIENTS

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 Tropical Storm Erika is expected to reach the Northeast Caribbean early Thursday and SXM has been under a Tropical Storm Watch since Tuesday morning.

Considering the timeframe and forecast, management has again decided that with the safety of primarily our late night/morning personnel in mind it is prudent not to publish on Thursday, while the office will also remain closed.

A combined paper will appear on Friday, August 28 with the Out’n About, to be prepared on Wednesday. The office will reopen as normal Friday morning.

Danny dies en route to country, schools reopen

page7e084PHILIPSBURG--Tropical Storm Danny kept most of the country indoors Sunday night, but failed to deliver on the promise of much-needed rain to soak the drought-dry land Sunday night into Monday morning.

The storm system became a hurricane on Thursday, but then weakened into a tropical depression that is still expected to bring some rain – up to one inch, according to the Meteorological Department – into today, Tuesday. There is still the possibility of flooding.

All businesses were given the go-ahead to reopen on Monday afternoon at owners' discretion and availability of their staff by Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs, who had ordered Government services and all businesses, including restaurants and casinos, closed as of 10:00pm Sunday. He gave the "all clear" at noon on Monday after Danny was downgraded to just a trough of low pressure by the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) at 11:00am Monday.

All Government departments closed on Monday will resume operations and services to the public today.

All schools and day-care centres are open for regular operations today, Tuesday. All schools and day-cares were closed on Monday by an order issued by Education Minister Rita Bourne-Gumbs on Friday.

All court cases postponed from Monday are to be held today.

The outpatient care clinic of St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) is to resume normal operations today after Monday's storm-related closure. All appointments have been rescheduled by the clinic. Patients should contact SMMC for details.

In his address to the nation Gumbs thanked residents "for taking this weather event seriously. ... From what I have observed with this experience in the past days, I say: job well done." He reminded residents not to become complacent because all had been fine with the passage of Danny. "The next time things could be different," he said.

National preparations were carried out in "a timely manner rather than in a haphazard one," he said. All measures taken were "precautionary" to safeguard life and property in the event things changed.

"We made the correct call and we must thank the Almighty that so far everything turned out fine and that we wake up to a nice sunny day," Gumbs said.

Some residents and business owners were critical of Government's order to close down services on Sunday night. Others were in favour of the decision, remembering the rapid weather changes of Hurricane Gonzalo last October.

The country was placed under a tropical storm watch on Saturday morning and remained so until early Monday.

Due to what was described as the "unpredictable behaviour" of Danny, the Commander for the Dutch Caribbean deployed units of the Royal Dutch Navy, the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard and the Aruba Militia from Curaçao and Aruba to St. Maarten and Statia on Saturday. The permanent detachment stationed in St. Maarten was in a high alert status. Military personnel were prepared to deliver aid and assistance before and after Danny's passage.

Only one of the nine hurricane shelters was opened on Sunday night – Rupert I. Maynard Youth Community Centre in St. Peters. The Office of Disaster Management had announced on Thursday that shelters would open based on the severity and anticipated impact of any approaching storm.

With Danny now history, authorities and residents are keeping an eye on Tropical Storm Erika located about 950 miles East of the Eastern Caribbean.

A second system – a tropical wave and associated low pressure area located near the Cape Verde Islands – is accompanied by disorganised showers and thunderstorms. Environmental conditions are not expected to be conducive for significant development of this system while it moves Westward at 15-20 mph over the next few days.

Rain Forest seeks solution to minimize traffic issues

page6d084CUL DE SAC--Rain Forest Adventures is working with the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI to determine the best solution for the entrance to Plantation Industry and Golden Rock where a zip line and chairlift park is slated to be located.

The solution must minimize the effect of busses and mitigate existing traffic problems as much as possible, Rain Forest Chief Engineer John Dalton told The Daily Herald.

Financing of the project has been approved and due diligence is in process. Ground breaking date is dependent on completion of due diligence and receipt of the first disbursement from investors.

Rain Forest Adventure’s expert in rock excavation and tramway foundation construction was in the country last week for inspection and planning of the work at the top of Sentry Hill. Tadzio Bervoets of Nature Foundation joined the Rain Forest team for the hike to top of the highest point on the Dutch side of the island to discuss plans and construction procedures.

Dalton said the evacuation trail will be the first thing to be constructed on the hill and used for access to the top. No explosives will be used and steel mesh will be installed to protect against rock fall during excavation and construction.

With the exception of the helicopter, no heavy equipment will be used on the hill.

Rain Forest Adventures, the holder of the government long lease to the joint plantation shared its plans for the area commonly called Emilio Wilson Estate with members of the heritage, culture and environmental groups as well as other stakeholders in early June.

Dalton had said after that meeting Rainforest Adventures as a newcomer to the country needed the guidance and support of all stakeholders to tell the cultural and natural history story of St. Maarten.

The company has committed to create the "Rocklands Estate Foundation" upon the opening of the zip line and chairlift park. This foundation will be funded by US $1 from each non-resident park ticket sold. Funds will be used for an indigenous reforestation and crop planting programme, ongoing maintenance and upgrade of the Emilio Wilson Park, school participation and senior citizen visitation programmes.

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