Tropical Storm Franklin may impact travel in parts of the Caribbean this week.
The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a tropical storm watch for the Dominican Republic and Turks and Caicos, as well as a tropical storm warning for Hispaniola’s southern coast.
The storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are likely to begin within 48 hours, while the warning indicates that the storm will start within 36 hours.
NWS predicts that Tropical Storm Franklin will reach Hispaniola, the island shared by Dominican Republic and Haiti, in the south on Tuesday and Wednesday. They forecast that the storm will cause heavy rainfall in Puerto Rico as well.
“The heavy rainfall may produce areas of flash and urban flooding as well as river risings and mudslides,” the advisory states. “Across Hispaniola, significant and potentially life-threatening flash flooding is possible Tuesday into Wednesday.”
NWS forecasts that Tropical Storm Franklin will pick up speed as it travels to the islands, reaching maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour. According to the weather organization, dangerous flash-flooding is possible in Hispaniola.
“Franklin is moving toward the west [at nearly] 4 mph and a slow westward motion is expected through this afternoon. A sharp turn to the north is expected tonight or early Tuesday, and a generally northward motion is expected later on Tuesday,” the advisory states. “On the forecast track, the center of Franklin is forecast to reach the southern coast of Hispaniola by Tuesday night.”
Because of Tropical Storm Franklin, Delta Airlines has alerted customers that its flights to and from the cities of Providenciales, Punta Cana, Santiago, and Santo Domingo could be impacted. Delta is allowing travelers to rebook those flights no later than Aug. 27.
Cruise lines are also keeping their eyes on the storm, including Carnival Cruise Line and MSC Cruises, which both had ships due in the Dominican Republic on Tuesday.
“We are monitoring TS Franklin in the Atlantic now as well, but so far, no changes have been made due to that storm,” a spokesperson for Carnival told TMR.
While Carnival has not yet planned to reroute its Carnival Celebration ship, MSC has changed the itinerary for MSC Seascape due to the storm.
“Seascape was due to call at Puerto Plata tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, MSC Cruises has already modified her itinerary so that she will skip Puerto Plata, arrive in San Juan at 6pm tomorrow (8/22) and remain docked overnight into Wednesday,” a MSC spokesperson told TMR. “She will leave San Juan at 5 p.m. Wednesday (as previously scheduled) and continue with the rest of her published itinerary.”
The itinerary is still subject to change.
The forecast shows 2 to 6 inches of total rainfall for Puerto Rico and 5 to 15 inches of total rainfall for Hispaniola.
The National Hurricane Center, along with NWS and NOAA, is tracking four other tropical storms in the Caribbean as well. Tropical Storms Gert, Emily, and two unnamed storms do not have warnings attached to them at this time.
The new tropical storms come after Hurricane Hilary caused thousands of flight delays and cancelations in the southwestern U.S. over the weekend.