Grace Moving Through The Caribbean
Update as of 5:30 PM Sunday:
Grace has weakened to a depression south of Puerto Rico. It is still on track to pass over or near Hispaniola on Monday. Land interaction and wind shear are likely to keep Grace as a weak system through at least Wednesday.
Update as of Noon Sunday:
Grace is passing south of Puerto Rico and remains a disorganized tropical storm as of Sunday afternoon. It is forecast to make landfall over Hispaniola on Monday. Impacts from the rugged terrain of the island and wind shear are likely to cause Grace to weaken into Tuesday.
It is possible Grace will succumb entirely to wind shear and additional land interaction with Cuba on Wednesday. However, if Grace manages to survive, it will pass the Florida Straits late Wednesday into Thursday morning and could find a more favorable environment to strengthen in the Gulf of Mexico Thursday afternoon into Friday.
Original Story from Saturday afternoon:
Tropical Storm Grace formed early Saturday morning and it is poised to take a track that is similar to Tropical Storm Fred before it.
Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for many of the Leeward Islands, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico ahead of Grace. Tropical storm force winds are likely to overspread the Leeward Islands late Saturday night, the Virgin Islands on Sunday, and Puerto Rico by Sunday evening.
Grace is moving rapidly toward the west near 22 mph as of the midday Saturday advisory from the National Hurricane Center. The storm is likely to gradually strengthen in an environment of warmer water temperatures and low wind shear through the remainder of the weekend. The forecast track brings the tropical storm over or near Puerto Rico on Sunday night and mountainous Hispaniola Monday afternoon and Monday night. If there is direct land interaction, Grace is likely to weaken. Most of the reliable global models also forecast Grace to interact with an upper-level trough of low pressure and then experience wind shear by the middle of the week. These two factors generally favor a weakening trend.
If Grace manages to miss or spend less time over land, or the wind shear is weaker than currently expected, then it could be somewhere between Cuba and South Florida on Thursday. For this reason, interests in Florida should occasionally monitor the forecasts for possible changes in the coming days.