HOUSTON Tropical Storm Ernesto formed in the Atlantic Thursday afternoon and continued its speedy trek westward toward the Caribbean Sea.

Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for Barbados, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, Dominica, St. Lucia, Martinique and Guadeloupe.

Forecasters expect those islands to experience tropical storm conditions within the next 12 to 24 hours.

As of 4 p.m., Ernesto was located about 295 miles east of the Windward Islands, traveling west at 22 mph.

Maximum sustained winds were 50 mph, with higher gusts.

Forecasters said the storm should continue moving westward for the next 48 hours, and there could be some strengthening over that time period.

Tropical-storm-force winds were extending about 115 miles outward from the center of Ernesto, mainly to the north and northeast.

The current forecast track has Ernesto traveling toward the Caribbean Sea and Jamaica, possibly becoming a hurricane by Monday afternoon.

After that, it s difficult to determine where the storm might go, but you can always stay up to date on all tropical weather developments at s Hurricane Central.

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