Hurricane Omar nears Puerto Rico with 75-mph winds - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Hurricane Omar nears Puerto Rico with 75-mph winds

Storm clouds loom over San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Tuesday night as Hurricane Omar nears. Storm clouds loom over San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Tuesday night as Hurricane Omar nears.

Posted by Rachel Leigh email

MIAMI (CNN) - Hurricane Omar churned across the eastern Caribbean early Wednesday on a course that will take it near Puerto Rico, the National Hurricane Center said.

Omar formed Tuesday in the eastern Caribbean and dumped heavy rain on the islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao off the coast of Venezuela. At 5 a.m. ET, its center was about 285 miles (460 kilometers) south-southwest of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The storm was moving northeast near 7 mph.

Omar's maximum sustained winds were 75 mph (120 kilometers per hour), making it a Category 1 hurricane. Hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 15 miles from Omar's center. Tropical storm-force winds extended 105 miles from Omar's center, forecasters said.

"Omar would move through the northern Leeward Islands tonight and early Thursday," the hurricane center in Miami, Florida, said.

A hurricane watch and a tropical storm warning were in effect Tuesday night for Puerto Rico. Hurricane warnings were in effect for many Caribbean islands.

The five-day storm forecast map shows Omar continuing its trek to the northeast and into the mid-Atlantic Ocean.

The storm is expected to dump up to 8 inches of rain over some areas, with 12 inches possible in some areas, the hurricane center said. Some portions of Puerto Rico could get up to 20 inches of rain and the storm could produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides, according to the forecast.

Also, the storm could produce large swells affecting the west- and south-facing coasts of the Lesser Antilles, of which the Leeward Islands are a part.

The swells could cause beach erosion and damage coastal structures, the hurricane center said.

Omar is the 15th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, which began June 1 and ends November 30.

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