TS Gaston no threat ‘at this time’
Tropical Storm Gaston fell back below hurricane strength this morning as it continued moving towards the island.
While the storm is expected to strengthen again this weekend, the Bermuda Weather Service says the system still poses no threat to Bermuda “at this time”.
According to the Bermuda Weather Service's 6pm advisory, Tropical Storm Gaston was located about 1,212 nautical miles east-southeast of Bermuda and travelling northwest at about 17mph.
The storm's closest point of approach within three days is forecast to be 422 nautical miles to the east-southeast at 6pm on Sunday.
According to the National Hurricane Centre, the storm this afternoon boasted maximum sustained winds of 65mph. Some further weakening is expected today, with the storm beginning to pick up strength again on Friday.
Early forecasts have suggested the storm system will continue moving towards the island until Sunday night, when it is expected to make a sharp turn away from Bermuda, passing to the island's east.
James Dodgson, deputy director of the Bermuda Weather Service, said the anticipated change of direction is the result of westerly winds high above the ocean.
“With many tropical systems, it is the steering flow at mid-levels in the atmosphere (around 18,000 feet), that dictate where the system will move,” he explained. “This is the case with Gaston.
“At the moment it is being steered northwest around a mid-level ridge centred to its northeast. The reason for the sharp turn late Sunday into Monday is due to this tropical system then being affected by the mid-latitude westerly winds (again at mid-levels in the atmosphere).”
“The BWS continue to monitor Gaston closely for any significant changes in this current track forecast (especially at the point of recurvature Sunday into Monday), which holds Gaston around 350 nautical miles to our east during its closest point of approach on Monday morning.”
He added that the main forecast consideration today was building swells, which are likely to bring hazardous conditions and rip currents, especially along the South Shore.
“BWS encourage you and your readers to continue to monitor all our forecast updates closely,” he said.