Tropical Storm Selma lashes El Salvador; new storm eyes Cuba

Photo Courtesy of National Hurricane Center

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP/WAVY) — Tropical Storm Selma made landfall on the coast of El Salvador on Saturday with strong winds, heavy rains and dangerous ocean swells, while another system developing in the Caribbean was on a forecast path taking it toward Cuba and then Florida.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Selma hit El Salvador’s coast in the morning before losing strength over land, weakening to a tropical depression with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph (55 kph). The storm’s center was located about 45 miles (75 kilometers) east of San Salvador, and it was heading northeast at 8 mph (13 kph).

Forecasters said Selma would soak El Salvador, southern Guatemala and southern Honduras and dissipate by Saturday night, and Salvadoran Civil Defense director Jorge Melendez said the rains would be “strong and intense.”

Salvadoran emergency agencies posted photos online of swollen storm drains and some toppled trees.

In the Caribbean sea, meanwhile, Tropical Depression Eighteen formed south of Cuba with winds of 35 mph (55 kph), the center reported. It was forecast to strengthen into a tropical storm and approach the island later in the day.

Tropical storm warnings were in place for parts of Cuba and the Bahamas, and a tropical storm watch was issued for the upper Florida Keys and parts of southeastern Florida.

Heavy rains were expected for the Cayman Islands, western and central Cuba and the northern Bahamas. The center forecast about 2 to 4 inches of rain with higher localized accumulations in South Florida.

Head to Meteorologist Deitra Tate’s most recent blog on Super Doppler 10 for the latest on local weather.

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