Barbadians told to remain alert

The Barbados Meteorological Service today cautioned Barbadians to remain on alert for heavy showers, strong winds and thunderstorms, as Tropical Storm Matthew formed in the Atlantic Ocean.

Overcast skies were the order of the day.

The storm has developed out of a tropical wave, which passed the island without any major impact this morning. However, authorities say the island can still expect an onslaught of strong showers and thunderstorms as early as midday today.

“The leading edge of that activity is about 50 kilometres away [but] embedded in that large cloud mass is some very heavy activity,  so that is of major concern to us.  We expect that some of that activity will come over us in another two hours [around midday] and we should get some showers and thunderstorms for the remainder of the afternoon,” Meteorologist Cammie Burke said on  local radio this morning.

An emergency crew on the road this morning.
An emergency crew on the road this morning.

The meteorologist urged Barbadians to take the warning seriously, while disclosing that a reconnaissance aircraft, which was in the system this morning, was unable to get a complete picture because of heavy convection in the south east section of the system.

Burke explained that Barbados was not severely impacted around midnight as expected because the center of the system shifted a little further to the north.

“That brought calm winds . . . [but] there were still some pockets of shower activity and some gusty winds which occurred across Barbados throughout the night, but not to the extent that we expected because of that shift in the movement of the system,” he said.

Currently, the Grantley Adams International Airport remains closed.
Government schools and public services also remain closed, pending an all-clear by the authorities.
In the meantime, police report that so far there have been no reports of any incidents related to the bad weather.
However, the country remains under overcast skies, with rain and gusty winds being experienced in some areas.
Local emergency officials continue to warn citizens against venturing out until the all-clear is given.



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