A tropical storm watch for Tropical Storm Gonzalo will be issued for St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) at 8 a.m. Thursday, forecasters say.

At 5 p.m. Wednesday, the centre of Tropical Storm Gonzalo was approximately 9.9º north and 45º west.

The storm is moving westward at 14 mph with maximum sustained winds near 50 mph and possesses a minimum central pressure of 1000 mb.

Additional strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days, and Gonzalo is expected to become a hurricane by Thursday.

The necessary watches/warnings will be issued by the SVG Meteorological Services.

Fair to occasionally cloudy skies and isolated showers are forecast across SVG on Thursday.

 However, by late evening, instability (a shearline) ahead of Tropical Storm Gonzalo should trigger some scattered showers and possible isolated thunderstorms across SVG into Friday.

Moderate to heavy showers, gusty winds and thunderstorm activity are forecast for Saturday as Tropical Storm Gonzalo interacts with the island chain.

Model guidance suggests rainfall in excess of 80mm (3 inches) is possible by late Saturday night.

All residents are advised to keep informed on the progress of this system and pay close attention to updates being issued by the SVG Meteorological Services.

Moderate to fresh (15 – 35km/h) east to east north easterly (E-ENE) trades will cross the islands up to Friday, but near gale conditions (50km/h) with possible higher gusts are anticipated across SVG by late evening into Saturday.

Slight to moderate sea conditions with swells peaking to 1 metre (3 feet) on the western coasts and 2 metre on the eastern coasts are forecast up to Friday afternoon. Moderate (2-2.5 metre) sea conditions are expected by nightfall as the system begins to affect the islands.

Small craft operators and sea-bathers should exercise caution and keep informed on the progress of this system.