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Stay alert, governor urges as tropical wave nears

Governor Augustus Jaspert

A tropical wave announced earlier this week is drawing closer to the British Virgin Islands (BVI), and is forecast to cause showers in the territory from Saturday through to Monday, October 16.

The Department of Disaster Management (DDM), in a media release today, noted: “A tropical wave is expected to affect the area beginning Saturday which will cause unstable weather conditions across the territory. Cloudy periods, showers, and a moderate chance of thunderstorms can be expected through to Sunday across the Leeward Islands, and through Monday morning across the British Virgin Islands.”

“The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s National Hurricane Centre has stated that upper-level winds are not expected to be conducive for significant development during the next couple of days while the system moves west-north-westward at 15 to 20 miles per hour, and passes north of the Leeward Islands and the Virgin Islands. However, environmental conditions could become a little more conducive for some development early next week while the system begins to move northward over the west-central Atlantic Ocean,” the DDM further said, noting that the information it disseminates is gathered from various professional sources – including some that have been contracted.

Meanwhile, Governor Augustus Jaspert, in a press statement covering various issues this afternoon, urged residents to be mindful of the approaching tropical wave.

He also noted that the hurricane season has not yet ended, adding that the BVI has been facing an increase in the frequency of tropical waves.

The territory was also affected by two category 5 hurricanes last month.

“We are still in a very active Atlantic Hurricane Season, and we are also observing and experiencing an increase in tropical waves in the area which at times adversely affects our efforts… Please note we are expecting a tropical wave to start affecting us from Saturday.”

Governor Jaspert also noted that plans are afoot to re-establish the weather monitoring networks that were damaged during Hurricane Irma.

“Unfortunately, many of the weather monitoring and alert networks locally and regionally were affected by hurricanes Irma and Maria, which also presents a challenge.  I’m working with the team at the DDM/NEOC to identify resources to re-establish the monitoring networks. However, in the meantime, I am encouraging everyone to remain in a high state of readiness and to regularly check weather alerts,” the governor further said.

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