Gonzalo may become hurricane before it weakens

| 24/07/2020 | 3 Comments

(CNS): As Tropical Storm Gonzalo was headed toward the Southern Windward Islands Friday morning, forecasters said the storm might increase to hurricane strength as it passes over those islands before dissipating in the Caribbean Sea next week. John Tibbetts, who heads the Cayman Islands National Weather Service (CINWS), said this storm does not pose a direct threat yet to Cayman but small storms can be unpredictable.

Located around 500 miles east of the Southern Windward Islands by mid-morning Friday, Gonzalo was travelling west at around 15mph, with winds of 60mph and higher gusts.

The US National Hurricane Center said a westward to west-northwestward motion and an increase in forward speed is expected over the weekend. There is still a chance that Gonzalo could become a hurricane before reaching the Windward Islands, but after that the storm is expected to dissipate by the middle of next week.

Gonzalo is a small cyclone with winds extending outward up to 25 miles from the centre. In his bulletin about the storm, Tibbetts explained that this means it is hard to predict the path and intensity. However he said the recent dust storm in the area has created dry air in this region, which will impact the storm as it comes into the Caribbean.

Nevertheless, Tibbetts said it was a storm that needed to be monitored. Tropical Storm Hanna, on the other hand, poses no threat to the Cayman Islands and is headed toward Texas, where it is expected to produce heavy rains.

Meanwhile, the local weather is expected to remain unsettled this weekend and into next week. The CINWS is calling for isolated showers and possible thunder in the Cayman area for the next 24 hours, in association with a mid-level trough and the recent passage of a tropical wave.

The Friday forecast calls for partly cloudy skies and a 60% chance of showers and some thunder. Showers may be locally heavy. Temperatures will rise to the upper 80’s °F. Winds will be east to southeast at 5 to 10 knots. Seas will be slight with wave heights of 1 to 3 feet.

See Tibbetts’ Gonzalo bulletin below:

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Category: Science & Nature, Weather

Comments (3)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Your sarcasm is misplaced. It is still active.

    • Anonymous says:

      Peak winds of 35kts dropping to 30kts in next 21hrs and dissipating. That would be windy, but not reason to tell folks to rush out to buy hurricane shutters, plywood panels and hoard all the TP (again). We need some rational mental checkpoints between doing nothing and full Ivan PTSD. Does ALT pay these guys?

  2. Anonymous says:

    John Tibbetts seems to be the only meteorologist on the planet that doesn’t see Gonzalo downgraded and fizzling out from a TD within 96hrs.

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