Tropical storm Gonzalo, the seventh named storm of the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season, has formed to the east of the Leeward islands and is expected to become a hurricane in the coming days. The forecast models do not expect any U.S. threat to emerge from this storm.
Yesterday when we wrote about tropical storm Fay’s approach to Bermuda we said there was a high possibility of an area of low pressure (90L) developing into Gonzalo and sure enough the tropics have heated up enough to support development of what could become a strong hurricane.
Currently tropical storm Gonzalo, with winds of 50mph+, is located in the Leeward islands and is expected to affect Antigua, St Kitts & Nevis, Guadeloupe, Anguilla, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico over the next 24 hours, before a gradual turn to the north begins. The storm is forecast to become hurricane Gonzalo later today with further strengthening possible and at the end of this week it may come close to Bermuda, depending on how much other weather systems affect the path.
Tropical storm Gonzalo sees the weather forecast models unified in their opinion that the storm will be picked up in a low pressure trough and turn northwards, taking it away from the U.S. coastline. While current weather patterns persist the trend looks to be higher risk of storm formation but a general track away from the U.S.
There is a significant threat to the Leeward islands from flash flooding and extreme rainfall due to tropical storm Gonzalo. Some forecasters suggest that Gonzalo may reach hurricane status before hitting Puerto Rico, while Bermuda could be at risk towards next weekend as Gonzalo moves north. Sea surface temperatures are conducive for further development and Gonzalo could be a stronger hurricane by the time it comes closest to Bermuda, so this storm needs to be watched to establish how close its path may come to the island.
You can track tropical storm Gonzalo’s path on our dedicated 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season page.