Hurricane GONZALO strengthening

General overview Tuesday 14th October 2014

Almost every day for the last month, modellers have been predicting a tropical storm developing in the southern Bay of Campeche ‘in two weeks time' with monotonous regularity. Today is no different, except that a number of respected modellers are for once in agreement. A cell of rising air inbound from the Pacific is due in the area around the 23rd but so is a strong cold front moving south from the US Gulf coast. This can hinder development, but can equally produce a trailing eddy which can be a storm source. I do not like medium to long term forecasts at this time of the season, but raise this here for interest only.

Hurricane GONZALO is turning into a very powerful storm indeed. Centred 160 miles north-nor'east of San Juan, Puerto Rico and headed northwest at 10 knots, current maximum sustained winds of 100 to 125 knots have been reported with a storm force windfield over a 120 mile radius. The current hurricane severity index is 14 out of a possible 50 (4 for size and 10 for intensity) with a projected peak of 26 (11 size / 15 intensity). GONZALO will continue to move north west away from the north eastern Caribbean. A northwest to north-nor'west motion will continue over the next 36 to 48 hours before the hurricane turns to the northeast. This will place the system on a trajectory toward Bermuda and Newfoundland. It will make its closest approach to Bermuda on Friday and Newfoundland on Sunday. This storm is forming a clearly defined eye with robust eyewall replacement taking place – clear signs of development towards a very powerful storm indeed. Continued intensification is likely over the next 3 days and could be as strong as a cat 4 as it nears Bermuda on Friday. Despite an expected weakening trend after the hurricane passes Bermuda, GONZALO may still be a hurricane as it tracks near or over Newfoundland on Sunday.

FAY has merged with a low pressure system in the north Atlantic and is outside of our area of interest now.
Disturbance forty seven is near 15.5N, 44.0W – around 560 miles north-nor'east of the Amazon delta and is moving to the northwest at 5 knots. Although the disturbance has been producing a persistent area of showers and thunderstorms, upper-level winds are unfavourable for development. The disturbance has a slight chance of developing over the next few days as it moves slowly to the northwest. There is no threat to land.

Storm cones aloft over Bermuda