Venezuela’s warning systems are monitoring tropical storm Gonzalo, which acquired that status on Wednesday and could reach the South American country this weekend, according to the president of Venezuela’s National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (Inameh), José Ramón Pereira.
The US National Hurricane Center predicted this Wednesday that ‘Gonzalo’, the seventh tropical storm so far this year in the Atlantic basin, will become a hurricane this Thursday.
“We are constantly monitoring this system, since, according to its displacement, it could be affecting the eastern coasts of the country, (the island state of) Nueva Esparta, the island region and the north of the country over the weekend,” Pereira said in a telephone conversation with the Venezuelan state television channel (VTV).
Tropical depression #7 formed on Tuesday over the Central Atlantic and became tropical storm “Gonzalo” early Wednesday morning, the seventh so far this year in the Atlantic basin and whose future intensity is still uncertain, according to the US National Hurricane Center.
In this regard, Pereira explained that satellite images show that “the disturbance, the cyclone” is located about 2,000 kilometers east of the coast of the eastern state of Sucre.
Currently, he added, Gonzalo is moving west and northwest at a speed of 17 kilometers per hour and keeps maximum sustained winds of 75 kilometers per hour.
“Today it’s on a better path, it gained conditions favorable to its continued development,” stressed the director of the Inameh.
For this reason, the storm should have a trajectory that passes through the Greater Antilles, the Dominican Republic, the Lesser Antilles and, finally, along the coasts of Venezuela.
According to Pereira, the special situation of this tropical storm is that it has formed far to the south and will be the first of seven in the current hurricane season that runs from June 1 to November 30, which is so close to Venezuela because the previous ones were “far to the north of the Caribbean and in the Gulf of Mexico.”
Likewise, he warned that this type of tropical cyclone, when approaching the Venezuelan coast, “activates the intertropical convergence strip”, that is, the main rainfall system, which is why rainfall has increased in the country between Tuesday and Wednesday.
Finally, he asked for calm in the face of “alarmist information” that claims “a great hurricane” is coming that will affect Venezuela and he assured the public the country is capable of facing the current situation.
Featured image: predicted path for Tropical Storm Gonzalo. Photo courtesy of the USNHC.