Gonzalo remains a tropical storm east of Trinidad and Tobago as of Thursday afternoon but there remains a notable amount of uncertainty in both the eventual intensity and track that has shifted toward the south.

As of 11:00 AM Thursday, this tropical storm had sustained winds of 100 KM/H and gusts to 120 KM/H. This system is moving westward at 22 KM/H, generally accelerating westward over the next few days. Some strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days and Gonzalo could become a hurricane later tonight or Friday.

Gonzalo is forecast to move just north of Tobago on Saturday as a Category 1 hurricane, with the track from the National Hurricane Center shifted towards the south as of the 11 AM Advisory. This means sustained winds up to 130 KM/H and gusts to 160 KM/H will be possible near the centre of the system.

Gonzalo remains a small tropical cyclone, with tropical storm winds extending outward, up to 55 kilometres from the centre, approximately the distance from Sangre Grande to Chaguaramas. Because of the small size, Gonzalo is subject to rapid intensity changes as it battles dry air and increasing wind shear.

Based on the current track, much of the strongest winds are forecast to remain north of Tobago. For Trinidad and Tobago, heavy rainfall is in the forecast for Saturday, with gusty winds likely. Heavier showers and thunderstorms are forecast to favour Northern Trinidad as well as Tobago.

No alerts, watches or warnings were in effect for Trinidad and Tobago as of the 11 AM advisory from the National Hurricane Center. However, hurricane watches are in effect for Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, with the National Hurricane Center signalling the possibility of additional watches and warning likely later today for parts of the Southern Windwards

Reporter: Kalain Hosein