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Tropical Storm Gonzalo triggered many warnings in Eastern Caribbean

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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IMAGE: This visible image from NOAA's GOES-East satellite on Oct. 13 at 1145 UTC (7:45 a.m. EDT) shows Tropical Storm Fay northeast of Bermuda and Tropical Storm Gonzalo over the Lesser... view more

Credit: Image Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project

The Eastern Caribbean islands were getting the brunt of Tropical Storm Gonzalo as the storm slowly moved through on Oct. 13. NASA's Terra satellite and NOAA's GOES-East satellite provided data on the storm. Gonzalo is the sixth named storm in the Atlantic Ocean Hurricane Season.

On Oct. 12 at 15:00 UTC (11:00 a.m. EDT), NASA's Terra satellite flew over Tropical Storm Gonzalo while it moved over the Lesser Antilles. The MODIS instrument captured a visible image of the storm that showed a concentration of strong thunderstorms around the center of circulation and in a thick band east of the center.

A visible image from NOAA's GOES-East satellite on Oct. 13 at 1145 UTC (7:45 a.m. EDT) showed Tropical Storm Fay northeast of Bermuda and Tropical Storm Gonzalo over the Lesser Antilles. Fay appeared circular, but didn't have the signature shape of a tropical storm like Gonzalo, with bands of thunderstorms spiraling into the center. The image was created by the NASA/NOAA GOES Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Gonzalo is over the Lesser Antilles and affecting many eastern Caribbean islands so there are many warnings and watches in effect. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) noted the following: A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Puerto Rico, Vieques and Culebra, U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Guadeloupe, Desirade, Les Saintes, and Marie Galante, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, St. Maartin, Saba and St. Eustatius, Barbuda, Antigua, Anguilla, St. Kitts And Nevis, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, Vieques and Culebra, U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.

A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area, in this case in the next 24 hours. A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.

On Monday, Oct. 13 at 8 a.m. EDT, Tropical Storm Gonzalo had maximum sustained winds near 60 mph (95 kph). The National Hurricane Center expects strengthening during the next 48 hours and Gonzalo is forecast to become a hurricane tonight or Tuesday, Oct. 14. The center of Gonzalo was located near latitude 17.0 north and longitude 61.5 west. That's about 20 miles (35 km) east-southeast of Antigua and about 50 miles (75 km) north of Guadeloupe.

NHC said that Gonzalo is moving toward the west near 10 mph (17 kph). A turn toward the west-northwest is forecast today, followed by a turn toward the northwest by tonight. On the forecast track, the center of Gonzalo will move across the Leeward Islands today and near or over the Virgin Islands tonight.

The National Hurricane Center expects Gonzalo to intensify into a hurricane on Wednesday, Oct. 15 after having turned to the northwest. Gonzalo is then expected to move north-northeast and by pass east of Bermuda on Oct. 17.

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Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

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