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Update: Tropical Storm Gonzalo weakens


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Update: Tropical Storm Gonzalo weakens

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A hurricane watch remains in effect for Barbados, although Tropical Storm Gonzalo appears to be weakening.

A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

According to a bulletin from Barbados Meteorological Services at 2 p.m. today, Tropical Storm Gonzalo was located near 9.7N 48.8W or about 760 miles (1 230 km) East South East of Barbados. Maximum sustained winds have decreased to 60 mph (95 km/h) and the system is moving westward or 270 degrees at 14 mph or 22 km/h.

Minimum central pressure is 1 000 MB (29.53 inches). A general westward to west-northwestward motion with an increase in forward speed is expected through the weekend.

The centre of Tropical Storm Gonzalo is expected to pass about 130 miles (210 km) to the south of Barbados on Saturday. Gonzalo is currently encountering a dry environment which is contributing to its weakening. Despite this, some re-strengthening is possible during the next couple of days, and there is still a chance that Gonzalo could become a hurricane.

The intensity forecast remains very problematic and of low confidence due to the small size of the cyclone and occasional dry air entrainment, the bulletin noted.

Sustained storm force winds are likely to spread across Barbados from Saturday morning, with a chance of increasing to hurricane force by Saturday afternoon. Sustained wind speeds of 70 to 80 mph (110 to 130 km/h) with higher gusts are likely to affect the island.

Rough to very rough sea swells are expected. An advisory for this hazard will be issued under the marine products. The next complete advisory will be issued at 5 p.m. (PR)

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