The Met Office said that the storm is weakening slightly, due in part to the passage of Saharan dust: 'Over the last several hours, Tropical Storm Gonzalo has become less organized and has weakened slightly.' 'Saharan dust around the system is inhibiting further development and intensification.
Additionally, atmospheric conditions are also not very conducive for strengthening of the system at this time.'
At 7 p.m. the centre of Tropical Storm Gonzalo was located near latitude 10.0 North, longitude 56.3 West. Gonzalo is moving toward the west near 18 mph (30 km/h). A general westward to west-northwestward motion is expected for the next couple of days.
On the forecast track, Gonzalo will move across the southern Windward Islands Saturday afternoon or evening and over the eastern Caribbean Sea on Sunday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. Some slight strengthening is possible before Gonzalo reaches the southern Windward Islands. Weakening is expected after Gonzalo moves over the eastern Caribbean Sea and the system is forecast to dissipate early next week.
Gonzalo is forecast to bring tropical storm conditions to a portion of the southern Windward Islands Saturday and Saturday night. Tropical Storm Warnings are currently in effect for some of the islands.
Interests in the southern Windward Islands should monitor the progress of Gonzalo and follow any advice given by local officials.
Gonzalo is expected to produce heavy rain over portions of the southern Windward Islands. This could lead to life-threatening flash flooding.
The National Hurricane Centre says Although there has been a recent increase in deep convection in association with Gonzalo, data from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft continues to show that the tropical cyclone is poorly organized.
The aircraft has not yet found winds to support tropical storm strength, however the advisory intensity will remain a possibly generous 35-kt until the aircraft completes its mission overnight.
There is also some possibility that this recent convective burst could result in some short-term re-organization. However, with the system losing organization over the past day or so, it is becoming less likely that the small cyclone will be able to significantly recover due to the nearby dry mid-level environment.
The updated NHC intensity forecast no longer calls for any re-strengthening, and Gonzalo could even become a tropical depression before reaching the Windward Islands.
After that time, dry air and Gonzalo's close proximity to the coast of Venezuela are likely to cause the system to weaken and degenerate into a trough of low pressure. The NHC forecast now calls for dissipation by 60 h, but this could occur sooner. Gonzalo continues moving generally westward or 270/15 kt.
The system is not expected to gain much latitude as it should continue moving westward to west-northwestward within the low-level easterly flow. The track guidance continues to trend southward and the NHC track forecast has again been shifted in that direction.
- Countries: Caribbean
- WEATHER | Tropical storm warning issued for sections of the Caribbean
- WEATHER | Gonzalo expected to become first hurricane of 2020
- ANTIGUA | Browne gets green light to reorganise regional carrier LIAT
- SVG | IMF allocates US$16-M to help St. Vincent with COVID-19 pandemic.
- COVID-19 UPDATE | Most of Cuba's COVID-19 deaths have been men