SINT MAARTEN - TS Gonzalo is nearing hurricane strength, a category 1 hurricane. As of 2.00PM Gonzalo is now 65 miles south east of Sint Maarten with 70 mile per hour winds with higher gusts. It is moving at 10 miles per hour and is now moving west north west. Sint Maarten is under a Hurricane Watch and a Tropical Storm Warning.
Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center. Current weather on Sint Maarten at the moment is: heavy rainfall with gusty winds; and one can conclude that Gonzalo tropical storm force winds have reached the island.
ARCHIVED: Sunday - As of 5.00PM Sunday, the NHC reports that TS Gonzalo has strengthened with wind speeds now 45 miles per hour and further strengthening is likely. Gonzalo is expected to become a hurricane early Tuesday morning as it approaches Puerto Rico. The storm is now 125 miles east of Guadeloupe and moving west at 12 miles per hour. A hurricane watch has been issued Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Sint Maarten remains under a Tropical Storm Warning.
On Sunday afternoon you could see several vessels from the island as well as neighbouring islands awaiting in the Simpson Bay for the bridge to open so they can enter the Simpson Bay Lagoon for safe shelter.
In the meantime Fay north of Bermuda has become a hurricane with winds at 75 miles per hour. This system however continues out in the open Atlantic ocean and is no threat to land.
TS Gonzalo continues to track westward at 12 miles per hour. Gonzalo is expected to move through the Leeward Islands by early Monday morning. Tropical storm force winds extend outward from the center up to 60 miles.
ARCHIVED: Sunday 2.00PM - The NHC has upgraded the Low Pressure system 200 miles east of Guadeloupe/Leeward Islands to Tropical Storm Gonzalo (TS). The storm is moving westward at 10 miles hour with 40 mile per hour winds with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours.
Tropical Storm Warnings have been issued for all Leeward Islands (St. Martin, Sint Maarten, St. Barths, Saba, Statia, St. Kitts & Nevis, Montserrat, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda) while a Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Tropical Storm conditions are expected in the warning area within the next 24 to 36 hours. Gonzalo is expected to move through the Leeward Islands by early Monday morning. TS force winds extend outward from the center up to 45 miles.
ARCHIVED: Sunday: Tropical Storm Gonzalo, the seventh storm of the season could be forming just east of the Leeward Islands. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has already stated that Tropical Storm warnings and watches could be issued within hours for the Leeward Islands (Sint Maarten included), Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Hispanola.
A Tropical Storm Warning is more likely for Sint Maarten which means that the country could experience tropical storm conditions within 24-36 hours. Expected conditions are heavy rainfall of two to four inches and strong gusty winds of 40 to 50 miles per hour along with very rough seas.
The Low Pressure (LP) system which is forecasted to become a tropical depression or storm within the next few hourrs is moving westward at 10 to 15 miles per hour. Residents of the islands are asked to monitor the progress of the system very closely.
ARCHIVED: A Tropical Depression could form within the next 24 to 48 hours as a LP approaches the Leeward Islands from the east. According to the NHC, whether the sustem develops or not, Sint Maarten and the other Leeward Islands could start to experience gusty winds and heavy rains starting early Sunday.
ARCHIVED: At 2.00PM on Saturday thunderstorm activity and cloudiness around a Low Pressure (LP, orange X on map) system several hundred miles east of the Leeward Islands has become better organized this afternoon-Saturday, and environmental conditions are expected to become better organized for possible tropical storm development according to the NHC. A tropical depression could form early next week.
A Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to visit the system on Sunday afternoon. Residents of the Leeward Islands, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are advised to monitor the system closely. The LP is moving westward or west-northwestaward at 10 miles per hour.
ARCHIVED: As of 8.00AM Saturday morning there are two areas of disorganized shower activity east of the Leeward Islands. The closest system has a 60 per cent chance of becoming a tropical system. Environmental conditions are expected to become more favourable for this system to develop.
Interests in the northern Leeward Islands, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico have been requested by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) to closely monitor the progress of this system as it tracks west-north westward at about 10 miles per hour during the next several days.
Weather watchers based on some of the forecast computer models are of the opinion that this area could impact the Leeward Islands as a Tropical Depression or Tropical Storm Monday or Tuesday and be prepared for the possibility of tropical storm conditions from Monday.
The second system is behind the first one. This system has a 20 per cent chance of storm development and is several hundred miles out in the open Atlantic Ocean.