Tropical Depression Thirteen was, as of the afternoon of Thursday, August 20, located approximately 615 miles (990 km) east of the northern Leeward Islands and heading in a west-north-westerly direction. According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the weather system is expected to strengthen into a tropical storm as it moves near the northern Leeward Islands late on Friday, August 21. Heavy rainfall is expected late Friday and mudslides and flash flooding remain possible through Sunday, August 23.
The NHC has stated that the system could also move over large portions of the Greater Antilles during the weekend from Friday through Sunday. Further, storm surge, rainfall, and wind could impact portions of Hispaniola, Cuba, the Bahamas, and Florida during the weekend and into early next week. The NHC has stated that the details of the long-range track and intensity forecasts remain uncertain.
A Tropical Storm Watch is in place for Puerto Rico, Vieques and Culebra, US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Saba and St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Anguilla. Tropical storm conditions are possible in these locations in the next 48 hours.
Heavy rainfall and resultant flooding are possible over the coming days, along with associated disruptions to business and transport.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from late May through to the end of November, with activity typically peaking in late August and early September. Numerous tropical storms form in the Atlantic Ocean during this period, with most affecting the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the east coast of the United States. Although communities in the region are generally well prepared for adverse weather conditions during the hurricane season, severe storms bring a significant risk of flooding and infrastructural damage
Individuals in areas forecast to be affected by the storm system are advised to monitor local weather reports, confirm flight reservations, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, anticipate adverse weather and power and transportation disruptions, and remember that running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) is enough to knock over an adult - and never drive through flooded streets; floodwater may also contain wastewater and chemical products.