ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Bermuda is under Tropical Storm Watch as a strengthening Category Two Hurricane Ophelia heads its way after causing widespread flooding in Dominica and other regional islands.
The National Hurricane Centre (NCH) in Miami said the centre is forecast to pass east of the country Saturday, as it moves toward the north-northwest near 9 miles per hour with further strengthening expected in the next 48 hours.
The system, which developed into the fourth hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic season Thursday, has maximum sustained winds near 100 miles per hour with higher gusts.
NCH said tropical storm force wind are possible Saturday afternoon and will cause hazardous surf conditions along the south shore. Up to two inches of rainfall are expected.
Hurricane-force winds extend up to 30 miles (45 kilometre) from the centre while tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles.
Earlier, the centre was located near latitude 22.4 north, longitude 62.6 west.
A rain band associated with Ophelia resulted in heavy showers and thunderstorms across Antigua & Barbuda and Montserrat Thursday evening, resulting in moderate flooding.