Local November 9, 2015 | 9:38 am

Tropical storm Kate forms near Bahamas

Santo Domingo.- The twelfth tropical depression of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season formed Monday to the southeast of the Bahamas and has now been categorized as a tropical storm, according to the United States National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Tropical storm Kate is moving rapidly in a west-northwest direction at 24 kph and is expected to take a turn to the northwest and north-northwest this evening, followed by a swing to the north and northeast on Tuesday, said the NHC.

Maximum sustained winds are 55 kph, with stronger wind gusts. Its current pattern suggests that "it will pass near or over parts of the central Bahamas, and in the evening and tonight, over the northwest" of the Caribbean nation.

A tropical storm warning has been issued for the central and northwestern Bahamas.

This year’s Atlantic hurricane season, which ends on November 30th, has registered ten tropical storms so far: Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny – which became the first hurricane (3) of the season -, Erika, Fred – a category 1 hurricane -, Grace, Henry, Ida and Joaquín, which reached category 4, of a maximum of 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

The forecast in the Dominican Republic is for torrential rains accompanied by thunderstorms and wind gusts. The National Meteorological Office (Onamet) has announced an alert for urban flooding, landslides, flooded rivers, streams and gullies for the provinces of Peravia, Samaná, María Trinidad Sánchez, Duarte, Santiago, Espaillat, Hermanas Mirabal, Sánchez Ramírez, Monte Plata, Monseñor Nouel, La Romana, El Seibo, Hato Mayor, San Pedro De Macorís, Greater Santo Domingo and San Cristobal.

Onamet says that today the cloud cover caused by a tropical disturbance in the North Atlantic will continue to move over the country causing light to moderate rain showers, especially in areas near the country’s Caribbean coastline, as well as in the Central Cordillera, the border regions and the North, Northeast and Southeast.

The system, according to forecasters, has a 70% chance of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours.

Meanwhile, the Emergencies Operations Center (COE) has issued yellow alerts for the provinces of San Pedro de Macorís, Peravia, Monseñor Nouel, La Altagracia, Samaná, Monte Plata, La Romana, María Trinidad Sánchez, Hato Mayor, Duarte, San Pedro de Macorís, Santiago, El Seibo, Espaillat, Greater Santo Domingo, Hermanas Mirabal, the National District, Sánchez Ramírez, San Cristóbal and La Vega.

Monday evening will be cloudy with rainfall, thunderstorms and isolated wind gusts in the north east, south east and central regions of the country.

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