THE much-hated Sahara dust is causing Tropical Storm Gonzalo to weaken.
Earlier today the Met Office said Gonzalo was threatening to become a hurricane. However, in media release at 2.30 on Thursday, the Met Office said Sahara dust around the system is inhibiting further development and intensification. Additionally, atmospheric conditions are also not very conducive for strengthening Gonzalo with the intensity of the winds decreasing.
On the latest forecast track, the centre of Gonzalo will approach the southern Windwards by Friday night and move across the islands Saturday evening. Gonzalo remains a very small Tropical Storm and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to only 35 km from the centre. Earlier today the winds extended outward up to 55 km from the centre.
The Met Office says it will continue to monitor the situation and will update the country at 6 pm if not sooner and is encouraging the public to visit its social media pages and website for updates and to download the TTMetOffice app.
This story was originally published with the title "Gonzalo expected to strengthen to hurricane today" and has been adjusted to include additional details. See original post below.
TROPICAL STORM Gonzalo is expected to become a hurricane today.
The Met Office, in a media release posted on it's website, said that on Gonzalo's current trajectory, it is expected to approach the Windward Islands late Friday into Saturday and is expected to strengthen to a hurricane by Thursday.
Gonzalo is currently listed as a small tropical cyclone, as winds extend outward up to 55 km from the centre. At the time of the media release, Gonzalo was 1565 kilometres east of the Southern Windward Islands with winds of 19 kilometres per hour.
The Met Office is continuing to monitor Gonzalo and is encouraging the public to visit its social media pages and website for updates and to download the TTMetOffice app.