National Hurricane Center: Weather System 97 L is now Tropical Storm Matthew
WILLEMSTAD - The budding tropical system has been officially named Tropical Storm Matthew as of the midday hours on Wednesday, local time.
The system has been producing tropical storm-force winds since Tuesday afternoon but had been struggling to form a complete circulation until Wednesday.
The center of the system passed very close to Barbados during Wednesday morning and will pass near Saint Vincent and the Grenadines as a tropical storm during Wednesday afternoon.
Matthew to threaten Caribbean into this weekend
Short-term rain, wind and sea impacts over the Caribbean will depend on how quickly the storm strengthens.
Breezes will evolve into stiff winds, seas will turn rough and spotty showers will transition to gusty squalls and potentially into severe thunderstorms as the system moves along in the Caribbean.
The first areas to feel the direct impacts will be the Windward and southern Leeward islands. Gusty squalls and building surf will unfold into Thursday morning.
The effects of the storm have the potential to become more severe during the weekend.