Tropical Storm Earl was expected to bring two to four inches of rain over the Leeward Islands, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico through the weekend, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The storm, which formed late on Friday, was about 85 miles north of St. Thomas, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and moving west northwest at 3 miles per hour, forecasters said in an update on Sunday morning.
A storm is given a name after it reaches wind speeds of at least 39 m.p.h. Earl’s maximum sustained winds were near 50 m.p.h. as of 11 a.m. on Sunday.
The center of the storm was expected to pass to the north of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Sunday. The rainfall could cause “rapid rises on rivers and mudslides” in parts of Puerto Rico with steep terrain, the Hurricane Center said. The storm is expected to move to the north through Tuesday.
While no weather-related warnings or watches have been issued, forecasters warned that flash flooding and gusty winds, especially in squalls, were possible over the islands throughout the weekend. Meteorologists also said that mudslides in areas of steep terrain are possible in Puerto Rico. Some areas could get up to six inches of rain.
The Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June to November, has had a relatively quiet start, with only three named storms before this week. And there were no named storms in the Atlantic during August, the first time that has happened since 1997.
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Story courtesy of The New York Times