Tropical Storm Irene forms east of Leeward Islands
MIAMI (AP) — Tropical Storm Irene has formed in the Atlantic Ocean east of the Leeward Islands, prompting warnings to be issued for Puerto Rico, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and other islands.
The National Hurricane Center reported Saturday evening that the storm is about 190 miles (306 kilometers) east of the Caribbean island of Dominica, with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (80 kph). It was moving west at 22 mph (35 kph).
In addition to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, tropical storm warnings have been issued for Vieques, Culebra, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maartin, Dominica, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, Antigua, Anguilla and Montserrat.
Forecasters said Irene would pass through the Leeward Islands early Sunday and then move into the northeastern Caribbean Sea. It is expected to bring tropical storm conditions, including 4 to 7 inches of rain, Sunday afternoon to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Hurricane conditions are possible over the Dominican Republic by late Monday.