Tropical Storm Don Losing Steam as it Approaches Windward Islands

NOAA weather map. Click for larger view.
NOAA weather map. Click for larger view.

Tropical Storm Don began losing steam Tuesday morning as it approached the Windward Islands, according to the National Hurricane Center and other weather observers.

A tropical storm warning remained in effect for Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but St. Lucia discontinued its warning at midday Tuesday. A tropical storm watch was still in effect for Barbados and Bonaire, which projections suggest are in the path of the weather disturbance.

As of about 11 a.m. Tuesday, the storm’s center was about 150 miles southeast of Barbados and about 250 miles east of Grenada, moving west at 20 mph.

According to the NHC, the maximum sustained winds are 35 knots, with gusts to 50. The NHC said the storm had stirred up 12-foot seas. Hurricane Hunter aircraft Tuesday reported top sustained winds were at the minimal tropical-storm strength of 40 mph, down from 50 mph Monday night.

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Relatively dry air and wind shear are reportedly preventing Don from developing, and the system may be downgraded to a tropical depression or remnant low.

However, meteorologists at the Weather Underground website cautioned that some models continue to call for Don to strengthen somewhat as it approaches the islands, and warned island residents.

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