Forecasters issued a tropical storm warning Sunday for Barbados as strengthening Tropical Storm Dorian approached the island off the coast of northeastern South America.
Authorities in St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines have also issued storm warnings , and the National Hurricane Center said additional watches and warnings probably would be issued Monday as the storm approaches the Windward and Leeward islands, which include Dominica and Martinique. Sunday, the storm was moving west about 14 mph but was expected to turn more northward on Monday and Tuesday, forecasters said.
"Strengthening is expected during the next few days, and Dorian could be near hurricane strength by Tuesday over the eastern Caribbean Sea," the center's forecasters said.
Barbados is about 583 miles southeast of Puerto Rico. Dorian is expected to still be hundreds of miles from the U.S. mainland by the end of the week but is forecast to bring heavy rains and swells to the Caribbean as it gathers strength.
On the forecast track, Dorian is expected to be near the Windward Islands late Monday or early Tuesday. Sunday evening, it had maximum sustained winds of about 50 mph with higher gusts. Tropical-storm-force winds extended up to 45 miles, forecasters said.
Dorian is the fourth tropical storm of the hurricane season.
Contributing: Kristin Lam, USA TODAY
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tropical Storm Dorian may become hurricane as it nears Caribbean