Tropical Storm Gonzalo is predicted to become a hurricane by Thursday and pass to the south of Barbados on Saturday morning.
The Barbados Meteorological Services listed the 11 a.m. position on Wednesday July 22 at 9.9N 43.6W or about 1 770 km (1 100 miles) to the east of Barbados.
The system is moving towards the west at 14 mph or 22 km/h and the forward speed of that motion is expected to increase during the next few days.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 50mph or 85km/h.
Gonzalo is a small tropical cyclone, with storm-force winds extending outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the centre.
The system became better defined within the past few hours and this is evident by the improvement in the banding to the north and west and visible satellite imagery is indicating a hint of an eye developing.
If this trend continues, there could be a rapid intensification trend this afternoon, but due to the small nature of the storm, these fluctuations in intensity – up or down – are highly likely. As a result, Gonzalo could become a category one hurricane within the next 12 to 24 hours.
A tropical storm watch may be issued for Barbados sometime on Wednesday night as the system continues to track westward across the Central Atlantic. Current forecast tracks suggest that the centre should pass about 105 miles or 160 km to the south of the island on Saturday morning. (PR/SAT)