Tropical Storm Matthew Becomes 13th Named Storm of the Atlantic Hurricane Season; Warnings Issued in Windward IslandsTropical Storm Matthew has formed near the Windward Islands.
Matthew is producing locally heavy rain and strong winds in parts of the Lesser Antilles.
It, then, will threaten parts of the Caribbean Sea as a hurricane this weekend or early next week.
Potential U.S. impact next week remains unclear.
Tropical Storm Matthew has become the 13th named storm of the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season near the Windward Islands and is forecast to eventually strengthen to a hurricane, posing a threat to parts of the Caribbean basin and possibly parts of the U.S. later next week.
Matthew was located about 35 miles southeast St. Lucia of the Windward Islands, as of Wednesday morning.
A Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance mission found a sufficient low-level circulation to upgrade the former Invest 97L into a tropical storm, based on flight-level winds measured over 60 mph.
Tropical storm warnings have been issued for parts of the Lesser Antilles, including Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Lucia, Dominica, Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadine Islands.
Tropical storm conditions are expected through tonight in these areas.
Rainfall accumulations of 4 to 8 inches are expected across the Windward Islands and the southern Leeward Islands through Thursday. Life-threatening flash flooding is possible.
Rainfall of 1 to 2 inches can be expected farther north across the northern Leeward Islands plus theVirgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Matthew will be in the eastern Caribbean Sea shortly.
Given the southern track, there could be some outer bands of rain and gusty winds in the typically drier “ABC Islands” – Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao – as well as parts of coastal Venezuela and Colombia Thursday through early Saturday.
Beyond that, uncertainty is still considerable on the critical details of this system.