MIAMI — Forecasters said Tropical Storm Ernesto is churning toward a string of popular vacation islands in the Caribbean Sea and expected to pass near Barbados during the night.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said at 10 p.m. Thursday the storm was centered 80 miles east of Barbados moving west at 22 mph. Tropical storm warnings are in effect for the islands of Barbados, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Martinique, Guadeloupe and the Grenadines.
The storm has maximum sustained winds of 50 mph.
It is expected to bring heavy rains to the Windward Islands on Friday and large waves to the warning area. Its general track takes it toward Jamaica.
Hurricane Center meteorologist David Zelinsky said that the storm is strengthening and could become a hurricane.