System strengthens, becomes Tropical Storm Ernesto

Storm expected to continue heading west

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MIAMI - Tropical Storm Ernesto has weakened slightly as it moves quickly over the Windward Islands.

READ: Max's take on Ernesto

In the NHC's 5 a.m. advisory, the tropical storm was 35 miles north-northwest of Barbados. It had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph with gusts up to 60 mph.

The tropical storm was moving west at 24 mph.

The tropical storm is expected to continue moving in the same direction over the next 48 hours. Some slight strengthening is forecast in the next 48 hours.

Tropical storm warning were issued in Barbados, St. Vincent, the Grenadines, Dominica, St. Lucia, Martinique, and Guadeloupe. The tropical system could move very close to Jamaica this weekend as the island nation celebrates it's 50th anniversary of independence.

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