Tropical Storm Harvey forms; heads to the Caribbean

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The tropics continues to ramp up. Newly developed Tropical Storm Harvey in approaching the Lesser Antilles and it is forecast to continue traveling west, officially arriving the Caribbean by tomorrow afternoon.

Harvey is expected to continue as a tropical storm as it moves well south of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, maintaining sustained winds below 74 mph.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Martinique, St. Lucia, Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines while a Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Dominica.

Conditions are forecast to become more favorable for Harvey to intensify to a Hurricane Category 1 by Sunday afternoon, as wind shear will decrease

In Barbados, Government offices closed from as early as 2:30 p.m. today, as the island remains under tropical storm warning.

In addition, the Transport Board has advised that the last bus for today will leave the terminals at 5 p.m.

The Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry has also recommended that private sector entities employ a staggered shutdown approach with offices closing at 2:30 p.m.; retail stores at 3:30 p.m; and gas stations and supermarkets and other essentials by 4:30 p.m.

Those recommendations follow detailed discussions with stakeholders in the National Emergency Operations Centre in light of the approach of the system.

A small craft warning will be in effect from 6 p.m. today.

Residents living in low-lying areas are urged to be on the alert and take all necessary precautions.