Tracking the Tropics: Gonzalo expected to become first hurricane of 2020 Atlantic season

Weather

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tropical Storm Gonzalo formed in the Atlantic on Wednesday and is on track to become the first hurricane of the 2020 season. We’re also tracking a tropical wave in the Gulf of Mexico that has a medium chance of development in the coming days.

Tropical Storm Gonzalo

Gonzalo, previously Tropical Depression Seven, became more organized overnight and strengthened into the seventh named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season Wednesday morning. It is the earliest seventh named storm on record, edging out Gert from July 24 in 2005.

According to the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Gonzalo will likely strengthen and become Hurricane Gonzalo by Thursday. On average, the first hurricane of the season does not form until August 10.

As of 5 a.m. Thursday, Gonzalo is about 970 miles east of the southern Windward Islands and is moving west at about 12 mph. Maximum sustained winds are 65 mph.

There is high confidence in the forecast track taking Gonzalo into the eastern Caribbean over the weekend. There is still a great deal of uncertainty regarding the intensity of the storm long term. It is a very small tropical cyclone that will likely be weakened by a considerable amount of dry air and wind shear in the eastern Caribbean.

Potential Gulf development

The National Hurricane Center is also monitoring a tropical wave in the Gulf of Mexico that could organize and develop in the coming days.

According to the NHC, the wave is producing a large area of disorganized showers and storms over the eastern Gulf and western Cuba as well as central and southern Florida.

The wave could gradually develop as it moves over the central Gulf and toward the northwestern Gulf, the NHC says. The wave has been given a medium 40% chance of formation in the next 48 hours and a medium 50% chance of formation in the next five days.

Tracking the Tropics is keeping you safe and informed this hurricane season. Our team is live every Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET with an update.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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