At 1:30 p.m., the National Hurricane Centre has upgraded Invest 90L (Disturbance 1) to Tropical Storm Gonzalo. This follows newly acquired data from a reconnaissance aircraft that indicated the disturbance has developed into a tropical storm. The Antigua Met Service has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for the British Virgin Islands. A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area…generally within 48 hours.
Tropical Storm Gonzalo is located 16.4N, 58.4W, or approximately 230 miles east of Antigua. Maximum sustained winds are 40 miles per hour. Movement is to the West at 10 miles per hour. Minimum Central Pressure is 1009MB.
Environmental conditions are quite favourable for intensification. Therefore, forecasters expect Gonzalo to intensify to a moderate tropical storm prior to moving through the Leeward Islands in about 24 hours. It likely will be a strong tropical storm by the time it reaches the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Forecasters have indicated the possibility of Gonzalo becoming a hurricane prior to reaching Puerto Rico in about 48 hours. By the end of the week, Gonzalo has the potential to be a significant hurricane near or in the southeast Bahamas.
Residents of the BVI are urged to make the necessary preparations in the event the system is further upgraded.