Tuesday 20 November, 2018

ODPM monitoring Tropical Storm Isaac, Hurricane Helene

Photo courtesy NHC.

Photo courtesy NHC.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) and the Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) are actively monitoring Tropical Storms Helene and Isaac in the Eastern Atlantic.

In a statement issued Sunday, the ODPM said as a result of the storms’ projected movement toward the west, these cyclones pose no direct threat to Trinidad and Tobago.

The ODPM said the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency Coordinating Unit (CDEMA CU) has activated its regional alerting and notifications, pre-impact analysis, coordination procedures among others. Key state agencies have been notified to be ready to respond if the need arises.

As the ODPM, TEMA and the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service (TTMS) continues to monitor Tropical Storms Helen and Isaac very closely, officials said it's too early to tell what impact, if any, these storms will have on the region.

The Relief Officer and Officer in Charge of the ODPM Captain (Retired) Neville Wint reminded the population that "We are entering the peak of Hurricane Season and if these storms pass us, there could be more on the way.”

“Residents and visitors can be impacted from the feeder bands from these systems if they progress closer to Trinidad and Tobago. At this time this is not expected but should there be a risk of this we shall issue the appropriate announcement.”

The ODPM said persons in potentially low lying and vulnerable areas should review their emergency plans and consider actions they would need to take if the storms move closer towards Trinidad and Tobago.

Everyone should monitor the storms via local news media, the ODPM and TEMA Websites and follow updates from the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service.

"It is extremely critical that every individual "Get Ready and Stay Ready" by having a personal emergency plan and be ready to act if they need," the ODPM said.

(Photo: Estimated arrival time of tropical storm-force winds, according to the NHC.)

Tropical storm Isaac accelerating toward Caribbean

According to an update from the NHC on Sunday evening, Isaac was heading West with a path stretching over several Caribbean islands including St Lucia, Barbados and Grenada, among others.

At 500 PM AST (2100 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Isaac was located near latitude 14.5 North, longitude 40.3 West.  Isaac is moving toward the west near 12 mph (19 km/h) and is expected to accelerate during the next 36 hours. 

A westward motion is forecast to continue through the end of the week, with Isaac expected to move across the Lesser Antilles and into the eastern Caribbean Sea Wednesday night or Thursday.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 70 mph (110 km/h) with higher gusts.  Additional strengthening is forecast, and Isaac is expected to become a hurricane tonight. 

The NHC said weakening is anticipated to begin by the middle of the week while Isaac approaches the Lesser Antilles.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 997 mb (29.44 inches).


Hurricane Helene heading west, then north

Meanwhile, the NHC said in an update at 500 PM AST (2100 UTC), that the center of Hurricane Helene was located near latitude 13.4 North, longitude 26.0 West.

Hurricane Helene was moving toward the west near 13 mph (20 km/h), and a turn toward the west-northwest was expected on Monday, with a continued west-northwestward motion through Tuesday.

On the forecast track, the center of Helene will continue to move away from the Cabo Verde


Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 75 mph (120 km/h) with higher gusts.  Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 15 miles (30 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km).

The estimated minimum central pressure is 992 mb (29.30 inches).

The ODPM’s 2018 Hurricane Guide is available at www.odpm.gov.tt/hurricaneguide.


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