A Tropical Depression has formed over the central Caribbean Sea. The Meteorological Service says Jamaica and its territorial waters should begin to feel the effects of Tropical Depression 9 as early as midday on Saturday with an increase in showers and gusty winds. The Severe Weather Alert remains in effect as the system is forecast to continue its slow strengthening over the next couple of days while moving closer to Jamaica. The Tropical Depression will move over the waters south of Hispaniola on Saturday and move closer to Jamaica‘s southwestern coastline as a tropical storm on Sunday as it approaches the Cayman Islands. All small craft operators, including fishers from the cays and banks, should be arriving in port to start preparations for safe harbour. Schools Schools which are emergency shelters will close early today as part of preparations for the severe weather system. Radio Jamaica News was informed that the Education Ministry issued the advisory Thursday afternoon. Schools that are designated shelters will end classes half-day so that preparations can be made for possible emergencies. Government on alert Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Horace Chang says the government is on high alert following the Meteorological Service bulletin. He said the Disaster Risk Management Committee – which includes the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), the security forces, National Works Agency and several ministries – is scheduled to meet today.