Rafael strengthens as heavy rain and gusty winds continue over portions of the Lesser Antilles

ZIZ News…Oct 14, 2012 — A Tropical Storm warning is in effect for St. Kitts/ Nevis according to the latest advisory issued by the met office in Antigua Barbuda.

A Tropical Storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area…in this case within the next 12 to 24 hours.

On Saturday afternoon the center of Tropical Storm Rafael was located near latitude 17.3 North…longitude 63.3 West or about 40 west of St. Kitts and Nevis. Rafael is moving toward the north-northeast near 12 mph…19 km/h. a northward motion is expected tonight followed by a turn toward the north-northwest on Sunday. On the forecast track…the center of Rafael was expected to pass near the Northern Windward Islands and the Virgin Islands on Saturday night.

Rafael is expected to produce total rainfall amounts of 3 to 5 inches…with isolated maximum amounts of 8 inches over the Leeward and British Virgin Islands. These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides…especially in areas of mountainous terrain. Residents should guard themselves against such possibilities.

Seas are expected to be dangerously rough through today Sunday, reaching as high as 4m or 12ft. A warning against hazardous sea conditions is in place. Mariners should remain in port and seek proper moorings. Sea bathers should avoid the water until the sea has returned to normal levels. All residents are urged to monitor the movement of Rafael closely and be prepared to act accordingly to safeguard life and property.

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