The Meteorological Service has discontinued the Hurricane Warning for Jamaica as significant improvement in weather conditions is now being experienced after the passage of Hurricane Sandy. The island is no longer at threat of hurricane or tropical storm force winds as Sandy continues to move away.
At 4:00 a.m. the centre of Hurricane Sandy was located near Latitude 20.9 degrees North, Longitude 75.8 degrees West. This is about 75 km (40 miles) east of Holguin, Cuba, or 300 km (185 miles) north of Morant Point, Jamaica.
Sandy is moving towards the north near 30 km/h (18 mph) and this general motion is expected to continue today. A turn towards the north-northwest and a decrease in forward speed are expected tonight and Friday. On this track, the centre of Sandy is expected to move off the northeastern coast of Cuba this morning, and be near or over the central Bahamas by tonight before moving near or over the northwestern Bahamas tomorrow.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 165 km/h (105 mph), with higher gusts. Sandy is a Category 2 hurricane and gradual weakening is forecast over the next 48 hours. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 35 km (25 miles) from the centre, and tropical storm force winds extend up to 220 kilometres (140 miles).
Although Sandy is no longer considered a threat to Jamaica, the island will continue to be influenced by bands of rain extending south of the hurricane. Residents are, therefore, advised to remain on the alert for rising waters, especially in low-lying and flood-prone areas.
Small craft operators should also continue to exercise caution until wind and sea conditions have returned to safe levels.
This is the final Bulletin on Hurricane Sandy that will be issued by the Meteorological Service. Further updates on this system and current weather conditions will be included in regular forecasts and News Releases.
[Original Story from the Meteorological Service of Jamaica]