TS Gonzalo: St Lucia on Tropical Storm Warning
Warnings/Cone map Source: NOAA, 8 AM AST
The government of St Lucia has now issued a Tropical Storm Warning for the island as Tropical Storm Gonzalo advances towards the Caribbean.
A Tropical Storm Warning is also in effect for Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines. The Hurricane Watch for these islands also remain in place at this time.
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Tobago and Grenada and its dependencies.
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.
A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.
A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.
This is according to the US National Hurricane Centre (NHC) update at 8 am AST (July 24).
Maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph (95 km/h) with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next day or two, and there is still a chance that Gonzalo could become a hurricane before reaching the Windward Islands.
Gonzalo is now forecast to strengthen into a hurricane by 2 pm on Saturday, when it is also expected to make landfall in Barbados.
The NHC says that Hurricane or tropical storm conditions are possible within the respective watch areas on Saturday.
SUMMARY OF 800 AM AST...1200 UTC...INFORMATION
ABOUT 580 MI...930 KM E OF THE SOUTHERN WINDWARD ISLANDS MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...60 MPH...95 KM/H PRESENT MOVEMENT...W OR 275 DEGREES AT 15 MPH...24 KM/H MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1000 MB...29.53 INCHES
DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK
At 800 AM AST (1200 UTC), satellite data indicated that the centre of Tropical Storm Gonzalo was located near latitude 10.0 North, longitude 52.8 West. Gonzalo is moving toward the west near 15 mph (24 km/h). A westward to west-northwestward motion with an increase in forward speed is expected through the weekend. On the forecast track, the centre of Gonzalo will approach the southern Windward Islands tonight and then move across the islands on Saturday and over the eastern Caribbean Sea on Sunday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph (95 km/h) with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next day or two, and there is still a chance that Gonzalo could become a hurricane before reaching the Windward Islands. Weakening is expected after Gonzalo moves into the Caribbean Sea, and the cyclone is expected to dissipate by the middle of next week.
Gonzalo is a small tropical cyclone. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the centre.
The estimated minimum central pressure is 1000 mb (29.53 inches).
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
Key messages for Gonzalo can be found in the Tropical Cyclone Discussion under AWIPS header MIATCDAT2 and WMO header WTNT42 KNHC.
WIND: Tropical storm conditions are expected within portions of the Tropical Storm Warning area on Saturday. Hurricane conditions are possible on Saturday within the Hurricane Watch area.
RAINFALL: Gonzalo is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 2 to 5 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 7 inches in Barbados and the Windward Islands tonight through Sunday night.
Gonzalo is also expected to produce total rain accumulations of 1 to 2 inches in Trinidad and Tobago. Rainfall in Barbados and the Windward Islands could lead to life-threatening flash floods.