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WEATHER | Gonzalo expected to become first hurricane of 2020

  • Written by Wiredja Newsdesk
  • Published in Weather
While Tropical Storm Gonzalo takes aim at the eastern Caribbean placing them on a heightened watch, Gonzalo is expected to become the first hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, prompting hurricane watches in the Windward Islands, but its forecast remains a significant challenge with large uncertainty.

A hurricane watch has been issued for Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, where hurricane conditions are possible Saturday.

Gonzalo, moving at 12 mph, is about 970 miles east of the southern Windward Islands with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. A turn toward the northwest direction is expected Saturday.

The NHC issued a Hurricane Watch for Babados, meaning hurricane conditions are possible for the area over the next 48 hours before tropical-storm-force winds are felt.

While Gonzalo is developing quickly and is expected to gain strength over the next two days, meteorologists aren’t expecting it to remain in the Atlantic for very long as it trudges through areas of dry air and high wind shear on Saturday.

“Global models show this thing actually diminishing to nothing as it gets into the central Caribbean. It’ll be facing increased wind shear and dry air that’s out there right now from Africa.

Gonzalo is expected to drop back to tropical storm strength with winds of 70 miles per hour by Saturday.

King is currently looking at another system behind Gonzalo, which the NHC hasn’t publicly identified. However, models show the system, larger than Gonzalo, taking shape early next week.

Over in the Gulf of Mexico, tropical depression 8 formed just southwest of Florida and continues to move west toward Texas.

TD 8 is moving at 9 mph and was about 405 miles from Port O’Connor, Texas, as of early Thursday. The storm has maximum sustained winds of 30 mph. It is expected to make landfall on the Texas coast Saturday.

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  • Countries: Caribbean