By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES – The quick development of Tropical Storm Delta led Cuban authorities to issue a Hurricane Warning* Monday for Pinar del Rio. Artemisa and the Isle of Youth are on Hurricane Watch* and Havana on Tropical Storm Watch.
The eye of the cyclone currently churns south of Jamaica in the central Caribbean, informs the National Hurricane Center. Forecasts show it approaching Pinar del Río as a hurricane by Tuesday night.
Delta packs 75 km/h maximum sustained winds, expected to intensify quickly, become a hurricane on Tuesday. It’s currently moving west at 12 km/h. It centra pressure is 1002 millibars.
At noon Monday, Delta’s center was 215 kilometers south of Jamaica and 425 kilometers southeast of Gran Caiman.
Forecasters from the National Hurricane Center predict tide levels will raise 2 to 4 feet above normal on the south coast of western Cuba.
The coastal areas near where the center makes landfall and to the right are likely to produce the greatest sea surge and dangerous waves.
Meanwhile, to the west, Tropical Storm Gamma is expected to produce heavy rains in portions of the states of Yucatan, Campeche and Tabasco.
Gamma currently also has 75 km/h maximum sustained winds and a central pressure of 1003 millibars. It is moving very slowly south-southwest at 3 km/h. It is not forecast to be a danger to Cuba.
National Hurricane Center criteria for warnings and watches
*A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. A warning is typically issued 36 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.
*A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.
*A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.