Tropical Storm Gonzalo forms in Atlantic

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AccuWeather: Tropical Depression 7 formed late Tuesday afternoon and on Wednesday morning the depression was upgraded to Tropical Storm Gonzalo, the National Hurricane Center said, as the Atlantic basin sprang back to life with multiple disturbances that had caught the attention of meteorologists.

In addition to the newly-formed tropical storm, forecasters are keeping a close eye on another disturbance that could strengthen into a tropical depression or storm over the next few days. Gonzalo has set an early-formation record for the seventh named system and a feature in the Gulf of Mexico could do the same. Both records were set during the notorious 2005 hurricane season.

The formation of Tropical Depression 7, now Tropical Storm Gonzalo, ended what was a lull in tropical activity across the basin that lasted about 10 days after Tropical Storm Fay dissolved on July 11 after moving ashore over the interior northeastern United States.

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As of early Wednesday morning, Gonzalo was located far out over the open Atlantic, about 1,285 miles east of the southern Windward Islands and moving west-northwest at 12 mph with sustained wind speeds of 35 mph.

AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Adam Douty said the “mid-ocean tropical wave already appeared to have a defined circulation visible on satellite” earlier in the day. The disturbance was located over a pool of relatively low wind shear, or changing wind with altitude, and a moist atmosphere — both factors that favor strengthening into a tropical system.

Waters are sufficiently warm — in the low to mid-80s — to support further development of this system over the next couple of days, prior to it approaching the Windward Islands.

“There is a chance Gonzalo ramps up to a Category 1 hurricane prior to reaching the Windward Islands,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Rob Miller stated.

However, as the system approaches the Caribbean, conditions may become more hostile for development and could lead to its demise.

“This system is likely to encounter increasing wind shear as well as resistance from the large landmass of South America late this week since it is a bit far south compared to other tropical systems that have developed over the years,” Douty said.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

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