Gaston Heading Toward Azores

Tropical Storm Warnings in Effect for Western and Central Azores

There are only two named storms now in the Atlantic as of noon time EDT on Thursday. Once of those storms is Hurricane Gaston, which was lost a good deal of its punch, but is still a threat for the Azores island chain in the Northeastern Atlantic. Tropical Storm Warnings are now in effect for the Western and Central Azores.

As of the 11:00 AM Advisory from the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, the eye of Gaston was located some 650 miles to the West of Faial Island in the Central Azores, or about 735 miles to the West of Lajes Air Base in the Azores. Maximum sustained winds are down to 85 miles per hour, which makes Gaston a strong Category One Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.

Wind gusts are in excess of 105 miles per hour while the minimum central pressure is up to 980 millibars, or 28.94 inches of Hg (Mercury). Gaston is a vast system with hurricane force winds extending some 80 miles from the eye while tropical storm force winds reach out about 185 miles from the center. Gaston is forecast to weaken more with time, and reach the Azores as a tropical storm on Friday.

The effects that residents of the Azores will need to worry about from Gaston include: Wind, Rain, and Surf. Tropical storm force winds are expected in the Western Azores during the day on Friday, and in the Central Azores on Friday night. The hurricane is expected to produce anywhere from one to three inches of rain, particularly in the Western Azores.

Swells from Gaston are also expected to impact the island chain in the form of dangerous surf and rip currents. Gaston is expected to be downgraded to a tropical storm within 24 hours, and be post-tropical within 48 hours before dissipating in three days. The hurricane should be out of the Azores island chain completely by sometime on Saturday.