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Published 23rd October 2011, 9:9pm

TROPICAL DEPRESSION 18 GETTING BETTER ORGANIZED OVER THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA THE CAYMAN ISLANDS NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CONTINUES TO MONITOR THE SYSTEM

AT 7:00 PM LOCAL TIME THE CENTER OF TROPICAL DEPRESSION EIGHTEEN WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 16.1 NORTH...LONGITUDE 82.0 WEST OR ABOUT 224 MILES SSW OF GRAND CAYMAN AND 302 EAST OF ROATAN, HONDURAS.

THE DEPRESSION IS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHWEST NEAR 10 MPH AND THIS GENERAL MOTION SHOULD CONTINUE TONIGHT. A TURN TOWARD THE NORTHWEST AND THEN THE WEST-NORTHWEST IS EXPECTED ON MONDAY. ON THIS FORECAST TRACK THE CENTER OF THE DEPRESSION IS EXPECTED TO PASS NORTH OF THE NORTHEASTERN COAST OF HONDURAS DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 35 MPH WITH HIGHER GUSTS. REPORTS FROM AN AIR FORCE RESERVE RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT INDICATE THIS SYSTEM IS JUST BELOW TROPICAL STORM STATUS. GRADUAL STRENGTHENING IS EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 24 - 48 HOURS AND THE DEPRESSION IS FORECAST TO BECOME A TROPICAL STORM LATER TONIGHT OR ON MONDAY.

WHILE THE DEPRESSION, AT THIS TIME, IS NOT FORECAST TO HEAD DIRECTLY TO THE CAYMAN ISLANDS, THE LATEST SATELLITE IMAGES INDICATE THAT SEVERE WEATHER ASSOCIATED WITH THIS STRENGTHENING DEPRESSION WILL CONTINUE TO AFFECT THE CAYMAN ISLANDS OVERNIGHT WITH MODERATE TO HEAVY THUNDERSTORMS, SQUALLY CONDITIONS AND ROUGH SEAS. SMALL CRAFT SHOULD REMAIN IN SAFE HARBOUR. INCREASED FLOODING OF LOW LYING AREAS IS EXPECTED AND RESIDENTS OF SUCH AREAS ARE ADVISED TO TAKE THE NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS.

ALL RESIDENTS ARE URGED TO STAY TUNED TO THE LOCAL MEDIA AND WEATHER SERVICE FOR THE MOST RECENT UPDATES ON THE PROGRESS OF THIS WEATHER SYSTEM. NEXT BULLETIN WILL BE AT 10 P.M. .