Hurricane watch issued for Barbados and St Vincent

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A hurricane watch has been issued for Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines as Tropical Storm Gonzalo continues to strengthen, the Jamaica Observer has reported.

The Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that the storm, packing maximum sustained winds of 100 kilometres per hour (mph), is located 1470 kilometres east of the southern Windward Islands and is expected to become a hurricane later today.

It its 7:00 am bulletin, NHC said a general westward motion at a faster forward speed is expected today followed by a turn toward the west-northwest on Saturday.

On the forecast track, the centre of Gonzalo would approach the Windward Islands late Friday and Saturday.

A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area.  A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.

According to the Jamaica Observer the Meteorological (Met) Service of Jamaica has advised that tropical storm Gonzalo is not a threat to Jamaica at this time, however it will continue to monitor the system.

Gonzalo made history yesterday by becoming the earliest named seventh tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.

Meanwhile, meteorologists are also tracking tropical depression eight which formed yesterday. The Met service said this depression is also not a treat to the island.

The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season ends on November 30, the Jamaica Observer reported.