Oct. 14, 2003 – While Tropical Depression 19 is strengthening, it no longer appears likely to strike the territory. However, it's possible that "it may pass closer than expected" now, Andy Roche, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in San Juan, said.
Roche said a series of upper level lows pulled Tropical Depression 19 northward. When the storm first formed on Monday, it was headed in a westerly direction and on a course toward the Virgin Islands.
As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, the storm system was centered at 11.2 degrees north latitude and 42.3 degrees west longitude, or about 1,600 miles southeast of the Virgin Islands. With sustained winds of 35 mph and gusts to 45 mph, it was moving west-northwest at 10 mph. The barometric pressure stood at 1006 millibars or 29.7 inches.
Forecasters think the storm will strengthen into Tropical Storm Nicholas over the next day or so. Tropical storm status means sustained winds are of at least 39 mph.
Roche warned residents to monitor weather reports in coming days, because when storms are so far away, it's hard to predict their course accurately.
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