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Tropical storm Gonzalo NOAA 2pm update: Gonzalo could become first 2020 Atlantic hurricane

Tropical Storm Gonzalo has debuted as one of the strongest storms in the Atlantic this year, tearing through the ocean with 60mph winds. The storm is currently one of three on the NOAA radar, alongside one west coast hurricane and an east coast depression. The Atlantic hurricane season only began last month, but six storms have already ripped through the area, and Gonzalo may end up one of the worst.

According to the NOAA’s hurricane wing, the National Hurricane Centre (NHC), Gonzalo may graduate from tropical storm to hurricane.

The NHC said the storm is currently slowing, becoming a “little weaker” as the day progresses.

The storm is currently commanding gale-force winds of 60mph, with some higher gusts.

Officials have advised “there is still a chance” Gonzalo could acquire hurricane status by the weekend.

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The latest NHC advisory states: “Gonzalo is moving toward the west near 13mph (20km/h).

“A westward to west-northwestward motion with an increase in forward speed is expected through the weekend.

“On the forecast track, the centre of Gonzalo will approach the southern Windward Islands Friday night and move across the islands Saturday and Saturday evening.

“Maximum sustained winds are near 60mph (95km/h) with higher gusts.

“Some strengthening is forecast during the next day or two, and there is still a chance that Gonzalo could become a hurricane.

“Weakening is expected after Gonzalo moves into the Caribbean Sea.

“Gonzalo is a tiny tropical storm, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35 km) from the centre.”

The NHC has issued hurricane watch advisories before Gonzalo’s expected development.

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Barbados and St Kitts and the Grenadines are on alert for potential hurricane conditions.

The NHC warnings suggest the conditions will occur within the next 48 hours, and could “make outside preparations difficult or dangerous” when they arrive.

The NHC added: “Interests in the Windward Islands should monitor the progress of this system.

“Additional watches or warnings will likely be required for some of these islands later today.”

Atlantic hurricane season started last month on June 1 and marks a turbulent period for the US, Mexico and parts of the Caribbean.

The area often sees several hurricanes pass through, and last year saw a total of 18 storms.

In all, each of those storms killed 116 deaths and incurred damages of $11.62billion (£9.1billion).

Storms often travel across the Atlantic and can cause adverse weather conditions in the UK.

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