The tropical storm warning and hurricane watch
issued for the British Virgin Islands remain in effect.
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 warning means that tropical
storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area, in this case
within the next 24 to 36 hours.
The combination of a tropical storm warning and
a hurricane watch means that forecasters expect tropical storm force conditions
to affect the islands. However, because of development of the system, it could
become a hurricane before it gets to our area and therefore, a watch is issued
as precautionary measure to ensure that persons are preparing for possible
impact at the hurricane force level.
At 5:00 a.m., the centre of Tropical Storm Gonzalo
was located near Latitude 16.8 North and Longitude 60.9 West.
Gonzalo is moving toward the west near 10 miles
per hour. A turn toward the
west-northwest is forecast today followed by a turn toward the northwest by
On the forecast track the centre of Gonzalo will
move across the Leeward Islands today and near or over the British Virgin
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near
60 mph with higher gusts. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 60
miles from the centre.
The estimated minimum central pressure is 1000
Satellite and radar imagery from Guadeloupe
indicate that Gonzalo is strengthening and becoming better organised. Some additional strengthening is expected
during the next 48 hours.
Forecasters predict that
Gonzalo to become a hurricane by Tuesday morning. However, there is a decent
chance that Gonzalo could become a hurricane by this evening prior to reaching
the British Virgin Islands.
The next aircraft
reconnaissance flight is scheduled in a few hours, and the data will show
whether or not Gonzalo has strengthened. Continued strengthening is expected
after Gonzalo exits the Caribbean region. Beyond five days, strong wind shear
should cause weakening.
Hazards affecting land
Wind: Tropical storm conditions will spread over
portions of the warning area in the Leeward Islands today. Hurricane conditions are possible within the
hurricane watch area tonight and early Tuesday with tropical storm conditions
expected by this evening.
Rainfall: Gonzalo is expected to produce total
rainfall accumulations of 4 to 8 inches across the Leeward Isands, British and
U.S. Virgin Islands and eastern Puerto Rico, with isolated maximum totals of 12
Surf…swells generated by Gonzalo will affect the islands
from Dominica northward today. Swells
will reach the U.S. and British Virgin Islands by this afternoon. These swells
are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
Residents are urged complete
preparations prior the arrival of Tropical Storm Gonzalo. Please visit the
Department of Disaster Managements website at www.bviddm.com
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