NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A strong and fast-moving tropical wave making its way across the Caribbean Sea could become tropical storm Earl later today.
The wave is about 200 miles south of the Dominican Republic has become significantly better organized overnight. Although this system still lacks a closed circulation, satellite data indicates that tropical-storm-force winds of 40 to 45 mph are occurring on the northern and eastern areas of the disturbance.
Forecasters with the National Hurricane Center say If this trend continues, then a tropical storm could form later today when the wave moves into the central Caribbean Sea, or by early Tuesday as it approaches Jamaica and moves into the western Caribbean Sea. Locally heavy rains and gusty winds are expected over Hispaniola Monday, and reaching Jamaica and Cuba by Monday night as the system moves westward at 20 to 25 mph.
The storm currently poses no threat to the Gulf Coast.