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TS Grace moving away from Jamaica

Jamaica Observer – The Meteorological Service of Jamaica says Tropical Storm Grace has begun to move away from Jamaica; however, a tropical storm warning remains in effect for the island.

The Met Service said tropical storm conditions, including possible sustained wind speeds of 34-63 knots or 63-118 km/h, are expected to continue to affect the country.

At 7:00 pm the centre of Tropical Storm Grace was located near latitude 18.3 degrees north, longitude 78.6 degrees west. This is about 32 kilometres (20 miles) west of Negril Point, Jamaica, or 295 kilometres (185 miles) east-southeast of Grand Cayman.

The Met Service said Grace is moving towards the west near 24 km/h (15 mph), and a general westward to west-northwestward motion is expected for the next several days.

On the forecast track, the centre of Grace will move away from Jamaica this evening and then near or over the Cayman Islands late tonight and early Wednesday. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 95 km/h (60 mph), with higher gusts.

Grace is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane on Wednesday with some additional strengthening possible thereafter. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 130 kilometres (80 miles) from the center.

Reports from Doppler radar and other observation platforms confirm that most parishes continue to experience periods of heavy rainfall and strong winds from outer bands associated with Tropical Storm Grace.

Frequent outbreaks of showers will continue to impact the island through tonight, even as the centre of the tropical storm begins to move from Jamaica.

Flash flooding is still possible in low-lying and flood prone areas and strong gusty winds are likely to continue into the night. Improved weather conditions are expected to gradually return to the island tomorrow.

Marine operators are reminded to remain in safe harbour until all warning messages have been lifted and sea conditions have returned to normal

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