80.3 F
Charlotte Amalie
Monday, July 22, 2024


Tropical Storm Joyce gained some strength Tuesday as it churned on a due west course across the south central Atlantic. At 11 p.m. Tuesday, the storm's center was located about 1,900 miles east-southeast of the Virgin Islands near 11.8 degrees north latitude, 36.5 degrees west longitude, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Joyce is maintaining a westward motion at 12 miles per hour and top winds have been estimated at near 65 miles per hour with additional strengthening expected Wednesday. "Tropical Storm Joyce could become a hurricane in a day or two," forecaster Lixion Avila said Tuesday.
"Showers and thundershowers are limited but the overall cloud pattern associated with the tropical storm is gradually improving," he said.
The 11 p.m. advisory estimated the minimum central pressure at 994 millibars.
Avila noted that a strong ridge of high pressure currently building to the north of Joyce is forcing the storm to maintain a westward motion. "The ridge is forecast to be so strong that some of the models have Joyce tracking slightly south of due west during the next one or two days," he said. Avila cautioned that the farther south of due west that the storm travels, the more dangerous it becomes for the islands of the Lesser Antilles.
Some long-range computer forecast models indicate a turn to the west-northwest in three days while others have the storm shifting its forward motion to the northwest before it reaches the Lesser Antilles. "As always, forecasts that extend beyond 72 hours are subject to large errors," he cautioned. Earlier, meteorologist Alan Archer estimated that it would not be before the first part of next week that Joyce would affect the northern Leeward Islands or the Virgin Islands.

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