The Antigua and Barbuda Metrological Service has issued a Hurricane Warning for the British Virgin Islands
At 5:00 pm the centre of Hurricane Gonzalo was located by an air force reserve reconnaissance aircraft and Guadeloupe radar near latitude 17.9 north longitude 62.9 west. Gonzalo is moving toward the west-northwest near 12 mph. This general motion is expected to continue through Tuesday. On the forecast track the Centre of Gonzalo will continue to move through the northern Leeward Islands tonight and be near or east of the British Virgin Islands tonight and early Tuesday.
Reports from the reconnaissance aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 75 mph with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours...and Gonzalo could become a major hurricane by Wednesday.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 10 miles from the centre and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles. The minimum central pressure recently measured by the aircraft was 984 mb.
Hazards affecting land
Wind: Hurricane conditions are expected in the British Virgin Islands tonight and early Tuesday. Hurricane conditions are possible within the hurricane watch area tonight and early Tuesday with tropical storm conditions expected by this evening. Tropical storm conditions will continue to spread over portions of the warning area in the Leeward Islands today.
Rainfall: Gonzalo is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 4 to 8 inches across the Leeward Islands...British Virgin Islands...and Puerto Rico...with isolated maximum totals of 12 inches possible.
Surf: Swells generated by Gonzalo are affecting the Leeward Islands from Dominica northward. Swells will reach the British Virgin Islands this afternoon and evening. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
Residents are urged to complete preparations prior the arrival of Hurricane Gonzalo. Please visit the Department of Disaster Management website at www.bviddm.com and subscribe for updates and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bvi.ddm.
Disclaimer: The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) is not an official Meteorological Office. The Information disseminated by the Department is gathered from a number of professional sources used or contracted by the DDM to provide such information. This information is to be used as a guide by anyone who has interest in local weather conditions. By no means can the DDM or the BVI Government be held accountable by anyone who uses this information appropriately for legal evidence or in justification of any decision which may result in the loss of finances, property or life