The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) in its 08:00 (EDT) advisory on Monday, October 5, reports that Tropical Storm Delta has formed south of Jamaica in the central Caribbean basin. The storm has maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (64 kph) and is moving west-northwest at 9 mph (14 kph) and is forecast to affect the western tip of Cuba over the next 24 to 48 hours. The trajectory and intensity of the storm beyond this time are currently uncertain, although forecast models expect the storm to develop into a hurricane and make landfall in the central US Gulf coast later in the week.
Wind damage, widespread flooding, and dangerous sea conditions are expected during the passing of the storm, and significant disruptions to transportation, business, and utilities are likely in the coming days.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from late May through to the end of November, with activity typically peaking in late August and early September. Numerous tropical storms form in the Atlantic Ocean during this period, with most affecting the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the east coast of the United States. Although communities in the region are generally well prepared for adverse weather conditions during the hurricane season, severe storms bring a significant risk of flooding and infrastructural damage.
Organized tropical activity tends to peak in August and September. Storms tend to flood sections of highways and cause dirt-based roads to become temporarily impassable. More organized systems, depending on intensity, can prove catastrophic in terms of tidal surge, wind damage, flooding, and mudslides.
Those in the above areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, avoid areas directly affected by flooding, confirm road conditions before setting out, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
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