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TROPICAL STORM ODETTE—THE 15TH NAMED STORM OF THE YEAR—FORMS IN THE CARIBBEAN SEA

(See the NOAA National Hurricane Center for the latest information on this storm. Complete advisories are posted at 11 a.m., 5 p.m., 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. All times are Eastern. Advisories are posted more frequently as the storm nears the USA mainland.)

NOAA satellite image of Tropical Depression Twenty taken at 8:45 a.m. EST on Dec. 4, 2003.Dec. 4, 2003 ó NOAA satellite data indicate that the tropical depression in the Caribbean Sea strengthened and is now Tropical Storm Odette, the 15th named storm of the year and the first storm to form in the Caribbean sea in December. At 4 p.m. EST, the center of tropical storm Odette was estimated near latitude 14.0 north, longitude 75.6 west or about 280 miles south-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica, according to the NOAA National Hurricane Center in Miami, Fla. (Click NOAA satellite image for larger view of Tropical Depression Twenty taken at 8:45 a.m. EST on Dec. 4, 2003. Please credit “NOAA.”)

Odette is moving toward the northeast near 10 mph. A general track between the northeast and north is expected during the next 24 hours. This motion would bring Odette over Haiti and the Windward Passage within the next 24 to 36 hours.

NOAA tracking map of Tropical Depression Twenty.Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph with higher gusts. Some slight strengthening is forecast during the next 24 hours. (Click NOAA tracking map of Tropical Depression Twenty for larger view.)

Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 115 miles to the north and east of the center. The strong winds occurring over the Bahamas are due to the combination of a strong high pressure system over the mid-Atlantic states and Odette.

Estimated minimum central pressure is 1003 mb, 29.62 inches.

Rainfall accumulations of 5 to 10 inches, with higher amounts in the mountains, can be expected near the path of Odette. These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mud slides, particularly in the mountains of Haiti.

At 4 p.m. EST, the government of Jamaica issued a tropical storm warning for Jamaica. A tropical storm warning remains in effect for Haiti. A tropical storm watch remains in effect for the Dominican Republic west of Santo Domingo, the southeastern Bahamas, and the Turk and Caicos islands. Tropical storm watches or warnings may be issued for eastern Cuba later Thursday.

For storm information specific to your area, please monitor products issued by NOAA National Weather Service local forecast offices.

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Relevant Web Sites
NOAA National Hurricane Center — Get the latest advisories here

NOAA Atlantic Hurricanes Database — 150 Years of Atlantic Hurricanes

NOAA Forecasters Say Six to Nine Hurricanes Could Threaten in 2003

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Media Contact:
Frank Lepore, NOAA Hurricane Center, (305) 229-4404