PORT OF SPAIN — Tropical storm warnings have been issued to several Caribbean island territories as a poorly defined disturbance is projected to become the first hurricane of 2022 by the end of the week.
The National Hurricane Center’s 2 p.m. advisory today said heavy rains and tropical-storm-force winds are likely to begin late tonight for islands in the Southern Caribbean for what meteorologists are calling Potential Tropical Cyclone Two.
Meanwhile, primary schools and non-exam secondary school classes are to remain closed on today as a result of the Tropical Storm Warning in effect in Trinidad and Tobago.
A release from the Ministry of Education on Monday night stated all primary schools will remain closed, secondarys chools which do not have CAPE examinations scheduled on Tuesday June 28, 2022 will also remain closed and secondary schools which have CAPE examinations for Tuesday June 28, 2022, will remain open, with those exams proceeding as scheduled.
The Ministry states that secondary students who are not involved in CAPE examinations are asked to remain at home.
“Principals are to inform teaching and non-teaching staff essential to the conduct of the CAPE examinations on Tuesday June 28th, 2022 of their requirement to be present at school on that day. All other teaching and non-teaching staff are asked to remain at home,” the Ministry wrote.
A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Hurricane Hunter aircraft confirmed the storm system has is not yet gained the organization to be classified a tropical storm and doesn’t have a center of circulation.
However, hurricane specialists suspect the system could intensify into the first hurricane of the season as it moves into the southwestern Caribbean Sea later this week and toward Central America.
The system is located about 210 miles east of Trinidad, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph moving west-northwest at 23 mph, as of the 2 p.m. update.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in place for Islas de Margarita, Coche and Cubagua, Bonaire, Curacao, and Aruba. There was also a tropical storm watch issued for the coast of Venezuela from Pedernales to Cumana. The system has tropical-storm-force winds extending outward up to 60 miles from the system’s center. If it becomes named, it would be Tropical Storm Bonnie. The NHC gives it a 90 percent chance for formation in the next five days.
“On the forecast track, the system will pass near or over portions of the southern Windward Island by late Tuesday, and move over the southern Caribbean Sea or near the northern coast of Venezuela on Wednesday and Thursday,” according to the NHC. “Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours. Conditions appear conducive for development, and the disturbance will likely become a tropical storm before reaching the southern Windward Islands.”
Meteorologists are also keeping their eyes on two other disturbances with odds of becoming a tropical system.
An area of disturbance has increased its showers and thunderstorms overnight and over the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. More development is possible but the system currently remains disorganized. The NHC gives it a 40 percent chance of forming into a tropical system in the next two to five days, as it slowly drifts west across the northern Gulf of Mexico and toward Texas.
“It could become a short-lived tropical depression near the coast before it moves inland,” the NHC said. “Regardless of development, heavy rain will be possible along portions of the Texas coast later this week.”
Also, a tropical wave over the central tropical Atlantic is producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms. The wave is expected to come into contact with another tropical wave later this week and could develop. The NHC gave the wave a 20 percent chance of becoming a depression in the next five days.
If any of the systems develop, they would be the season’s second system after Tropical Storm Alex, which dumped nearly a foot of rain over parts of Florida earlier this month.
After Bonnie, the next two names would be Colin and Danielle.
A tropical system could be named a tropical depression without growing to tropical-storm status. It doesn’t become named until the system has sustained winds of 39 mph and isn’t named a hurricane until it has sustained winds of 74 mph.
The 2022 season runs from June 1-Nov. 30 is predicted to be another above-normal year for storms following the 30 named storms of 2020 and 21 of 2021.