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23 Jul 2020 | 09:43 PM UTC

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Hurricane and tropical storm watches issued as Tropical Storm Gonzalo forecast to impact southern Windward Islands from July 25 /update 1

Hurricane and tropical storm watches have been issued for southern Windward Islands due to the potential impact of Tropical Storm Gonzalo from July 25; strong winds, heavy rain, and associated disruption possible in the coming days



On Thursday, July 23, the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) issued a hurricane watch for Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines, and a tropical storm watch for Tobago and Grenada, due to the approach of Tropical Storm Gonzalo. As of 20:00 AST on Thursday, Gonzalo was located 775 mi (1250 km) east of the southern Windward Islands, tracking westwards at a speed of 13 mph (20 kph) with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kph). Further watches or warnings may be added as the storm system tracks westwards on Friday, July 24. It may strengthen slightly and could still develop into the first hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season. The storm system will move across the southern Windward Islands on Saturday, July 25, and into the Caribbean Sea.

As it passes, hurricane or tropical storm force winds are expected in the aforementioned islands on Saturday. However, being a relatively small system, Gonzalo could strengthen or weaken significantly before it moves across the islands. Up to 7 in (178 mm) of rainfall is expected to fall in parts of Barbados and the Windward Islands from Friday night (local time) through Sunday night, July 26. Flash floods and associated disruptions to transport and business are possible during the passing of the storm.


Individuals in areas forecast to be affected by the storm system are advised to monitor local weather reports, confirm flight reservations, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, anticipate adverse weather and power and transportation disruptions, and remember that running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) is enough to knock over an adult - and never drive through flooded streets; floodwater may also contain wastewater and chemical products.

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