Update: Tropical Storm Richard Forms in the Caribbean

October 21, 2010
Update, 4:48 p.m. EDT -- A tropical storm watch is now in effect for Honduras from the border with Nicaragua west to Limon. That means tropical storm conditions are possible within 48 hours.

(11:30 a.m. EDT) -- Tropical Storm Richard -- the seventeenth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season -- has formed in the Caribbean and is expected to intensify and become a hurricane by the weekend.

According to the National Hurricane Center's 11 a.m. EDT update, Richard is located about 220 miles south-southeast of Grand Cayman. Maximum sustained winds are at 40 miles per hour. The storm is moving toward the southeast at 6 miles per hour.

Cruise Ship Itinerary Changes

At this point there are no cruise ship itinerary changes -- we'll keep you posted. Weather Outlook: Next Affected Ships & Ports

There are no tropical storm warnings in place right now, but Jamaica could see four to eight inches of rain, with up to 12 inches in isolated areas. The rainfall could produce life-threatening flash floods or mudslides.

Tropical Storm Richard could strengthen and become a hurricane by the weekend and could reach Honduras by Sunday morning, according to the NHC update.

Projections show the storm is headed in the direction of Belize and Mexico after the weekend and possibly into the Gulf of Mexico next week.

Carnival's Carnival Freedom is due in Ocho Rios today and Princess Cruises' Coral Princess is due in Ocho Rios on Sunday -- neither line has announced any itinerary changes. Holland America's Ryndam, Carnival Conquest and Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas are all due in Georgetown, Grand Cayman today. Cruise line representatives have said there are no deviations at this point.

--by Kelly Ranson, U.K. Editor