As of 11.00am on Thursday morning, Sint Maarten is under a Tropical Storm Watch due to the formation of Tropical Depression #13 which as of 11.00am is located approximately 750 miles east-southeast of the country.
A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the watch area within 48-hours.
The forecast track has the center of the depression passing about 80 miles north of the country late Friday into Saturday, according to the Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten (MDS).
The MDS says that some gradual strengthening if forecast and the depression is expected to become a tropical storm later today.
The Fire Department/Office of Disaster Management (ODM) Fire Chief/National Disaster Coordinator Clive Richardson, is calling on the community to continue to closely monitor the progress of the depression and to prepare for the possibility of tropical storm conditions.
Residents in areas prone to flooding or near the coast should finalize preparations to protect life and property.
The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will be meeting Thursday afternoon to assess national preparations and to review the latest forecast and projections related to Tropical Depression #13.
The remaining storm names for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season are: Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, René, Sally, Teddy, Vicky, and Wilfred.
The potential hazards for the country according to MDS are:
RAINFALL: The tropical depression could produce about 1 to 3 inches of rainfall through Sunday over the local area. This rainfall could result in flooding in low-lying areas and rock falls.
Some of this rainfall may be heavy at times and may be accompanied by thunderstorms. WIND: Windy conditions are expected over the local area increasing to tropical storm force gusts by late Friday.
SEAS: Slightly rough seas can be expected by Saturday with swells up to 8 feet. A small craft advisory will be issued
The general public should continue to monitor the updates from the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten.
For those who would like to learn more about hurricane hazards and how to prepare for a storm/hurricane strike, you can visit the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/hurricane where you will be able to download your “Hurricane Season Readiness Guide’ and “Hurricane Tracking Chart.”
In addition, you can also download the ‘Disasterprep Sint Maarten’ app for Android and Apple phones by going to the Google and Apple stores.
ODM reminds residents and business owners to have plans in place for quick action when the need arises – storm ready!
Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM - for official information and news before, during and after a hurricane.
For official weather-related information, check out the website of the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS): www.meteosxm.com
Remember, it only takes one hurricane to make it a bad season. Are You Ready? Be prepared this hurricane season!