Gaston Becomes a Hurricane Again

Winds Now up to 85 MPH; No Threat to Land

Unlike Invest 99L, which has been a little more difficult to figure out since it has been a fledgling tropical system, Gaston has been well behaved. The storm has pretty much lived up to expectations as it traverses the waters of the Central Atlantic. As forecasted, Gaston has become a hurricane again.

Located some 655 miles to the East-Southeast of Bermuda as of 11:00 PM EDT, Gaston was moving slowly to the Northwest at 8 miles per hour. Maximum sustained winds in Gaston have increased to 85 miles per hour with gusts up to 105 miles per hour. Minimum central pressure has decreased to 980 millibars or 28.94 inches of Hg (Mercury).

The storm is growing in size as well. Hurricane force winds extend some 15 miles from the eye while tropical storm force winds reach out about 140 miles from the center. Gaston is expected to continue strengthening. The most recent discussion by the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, indicates that the hurricane could come very close to being the first major hurricane of 2016.

The NHC indicates that Gaston could grow into a strong Category Two Hurricane with 110 mile per hour winds within 24 to 36 hours. Upper level conditions are expected to remain favorable for development. The only hinderance to intensification over time would be the slow motion of the storm, which could lead to the upwelling of cooler waters to the surface.

Some models have indicated that Gaston could become a major hurricane, and the NHC has ratcheted up the winds a bit in its intensity forecast. Nevertheless, Gaston poses no threat to land, and there are no watches or warnings out presently. The storm is not forecast to affect any land masses in the coming days. It is expected to remain to the east of Bermuda, and then head northeast as it falls under the influence of the westerlies.