Tropical disturbance to bring heavy rain, gusty winds to T&T

A tropical disturbance is on a collision course with Trinidad and Tobago, with the National Hurricane Center indicating tropical storm watches and warnings could be required for portions of the Windwards and Venezuela today.

As of 8 pm yesterday, the tropical wave was located in the central Atlantic near 45°W latitude, south of 15°N longitude, moving west at 28 kilometres per hour. This tropical wave has an area of low pressure, centred near 8°N, 45°W, and a tropical depression will likely form during the early to the middle part of this upcoming week while the system moves across the country.

According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the system is forecast to continue on a westward to west-northwestward track over the tropical Atlantic, approaching the Windward Islands on Tuesday, and move across the southeastern Caribbean Sea on Wednesday and Thursday.

In their 8 pm Tropical Weather Outlook yesterday, the NHC gave the tropical wave (also called INVEST 94L, a tropical disturbance) a medium chance of development over the next 48 hours, at 60 percent, and a high chance of development over the next five days at 80 per cent.

The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service noted in their official statement on the approaching tropical wave, issued at 6 pm Sunday, that regardless of intensification or development of the system, significant moisture and peripheral instability will bring heavy rainfall and gusty winds to T&T and the Windward Islands, beginning Tuesday afternoon with peak activity from Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

While the latest model guidance shows the system moving across the northern half of Trinidad and Tobago, dumping torrential rains, the strongest winds are forecast to remain offshore, north of the country.

T&T experiences adverse weather after the alert ends

While T&T is not under any tropical storm or hurricane watches or warnings as of Sunday evening, the country was under an Adverse Weather Alert on Sunday.

Another active tropical wave moved across the Lesser Antilles on Sunday afternoon, which prompted the Met Office to issue an Adverse Weather Alert (Yellow Level) on Saturday afternoon, which went into effect at 8 am Sunday. However, the Met Office inexplicably discontinued the alert while some of the most intense thunderstorms moved across T&T.

In their discontinuation, issued at 3.29 pm Sunday, they stated, “the most impactful weather has dissipated, and settled conditions are present in most areas.”

At that time, intense thunderstorms were moving across most areas of T&T, producing frequent lightning that caused sporadic power outages in central, eastern, and southern Trinidad.

Torrential rainfall also caused street and flash flooding after the alert was discontinued on Sunday afternoon.

Flooding was reported along the southbound lanes of the Solomon Hochoy Highway between Claxton Bay and Macaulay, within the Claxton Bay area along Cedar Hill Road, in Penal along Lachoos Road, Clarke Road, and Penal Rock Road, and even along the North Coast Road.

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