By The Associated Press
MIAMI (AP) — A hurricane warning was issued Sunday for Puerto Rico and the northern Coast of the Dominican Republic as Tropical Storm Irene dumped heavy rain in the Caribbean.
The storm could hit southern Florida by the end of the week.
Forecasters at the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Irene could become a hurricane by Monday. On Sunday, the storm had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (80 kph) and was moving west-northwest at 20 mph (32 kph). Sustained winds must reach 74 mph (119 kph) for the storm to become a hurricane.
The warning in the Dominican Republic stretches from its border with Haiti in the south to Cabo Frances Viejo on the north coast.
Meanwhile, a hurricane watch has been issued for the U.S. Virgin Islands. A tropical storm warning is in effect for Haiti, the U.S. Virgin Islands and other islands.
Irene was 235 miles (378 kilometers) east-southeast of Ponce, Puerto Rico. It was expected to pass near Puerto Rico sometime late Sunday or early Monday.
Tropical storm warnings have been issued for the U.S. Virgin islands as well as a host of nearby islands.
Irene could bring dangerous storm surge to the coasts of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
Also Sunday, Harvey trekked westward across southeastern Mexico with heavy rains. Recently downgraded to a tropical depression, Harvey was located at about 125 miles (201 kilometers) east-southeast of Coatzacoalcos, Mexico.
Harvey had maximum sustained winds of 30 mph (48 kph) and was forecast to dissipate over southern Mexico by Sunday night. The system still could produce several inches of rainfall over parts of southeastern Mexico.